When it comes to congestive heart failure, recognizing the signs and symptoms can make all the difference. You need to understand that weakening the heart muscle causes congestive heart failure. This can be due to many factors, including age, genetics, and lifestyle choices. That is why knowing the signs of congestive heart failure Tomball is advisable.
Why you need a diagnosis
The key to treating congestive heart failure is recognizing it as soon as possible. If left untreated, the condition can lead to other medical problems. You need to know the common signs of this condition so that if you show any of them, you can seek medical advice immediately.
The right way to diagnose is through:
- Comprehensive assessment of the heart muscle: This may include looking at your family’s medical history and performing tests like an X-ray to understand the problem better.
- Echocardiogram: This is used to determine how well the heart is functioning and check if there is any damage or weakness in its structure.
- Blood tests: Tests like N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) can be used to diagnose congestive heart failure.
These are some of the main causes of congestive heart failure:
- High blood pressure: When your blood pressure is too high, the heart has to work harder than normal. This can weaken the heart’s muscles over time and cause it to fail.
- Coronary artery disease: When arteries that supply oxygen-rich blood to the heart become narrowed or blocked, it can cause congestive heart failure.
- Diabetes: High blood sugar levels can damage the heart’s vessels, making it difficult for them to do their job.
- Viral infections of the heart: Certain viruses can infect and weaken the heart’s muscles, leading to congestive heart failure.
Common signs of congestive heart failure
Once you understand how doctors use various tests to diagnose this condition, it is advisable to know the common signs of congestive heart failure. The signs include:
Shortness of breath
This is one of the most common signs of this condition. It can occur even when you are at rest and not doing any physical activity. Did you know that this is an early sign of congestive heart failure? Your breathing rate should be between 12 to 20 breaths per minute. If it is higher, it may indicate that you have congestive heart failure.
Swelling in the abdomen, neck veins, and legs
Swelling of the extremities like legs and feet is a sign of fluid build-up caused by weakened heart muscles. Also, if your neck veins become visible and swollen, it may signify congestive heart failure.
It could be because of the weakened heart muscle if you feel tired even when not doing anything strenuous or energetic. As the heart strives to pump more blood with each beat, it becomes weak, eventually leading to fatigue.
Rapid weight gain
If you notice that your weight starts to increase quickly, even without changing your diet and lifestyle, it may be a sign of congestive heart failure. This is because the body retains more water than usual due to weakened heart muscles.
Rapid heart rate
An increased resting heart rate is a classic sign of congestive heart failure. It can be caused by a weakened pumping capacity, leading to an accelerated heartbeat.
If you experience any of the signs mentioned above, it is recommended to consult your doctor at Northwest Houston Heart Center.