Congestive Heart Failure Stages

In the congestive heart failure stages there is a decrease in the ability of the heart to pump sufficient blood to supply the organs in the body. Factors that can lead to the development include high blood pressure, a past myocardial infarction or heart attack, infection of the heart muscle (myocarditis) or heart valves (endocarditis).

Also the congenital defects of the heart, cardiomyopathy, disease of the muscle of the heart, disease of the heart valve that is caused by rheumatic fever and narrow arteries that are supplying blood to the heart.

Congestive heart failure is termed as such because there is congestion in the circulatory system due to the slowing pumping actions of the heart. In the congestive heart failure symptoms is edema or swelling which can be observed in the ankles or legs. Edema is also caused by the increased retention of water that is caused by the kidney's inability to dispose water and sodium. If the congestion is severe, the swelling can be observed in other body parts as well. The edema or fluid collection in the lungs can result to shortness of breath which aggravates when the sufferer is in a lying position.

The progression of congestive heart failure stages is classified into four main categories:

Mild or Class I - In this stage, the sufferer still functions normally. Regular physical activities don't result in chest pain.

Moderate or Class II - The sufferer is still comfortable at rest but experiences limitations when engaged in physical activities. Regular physical activities results in shortness of breath, anginal pain, palpitations or fatigue.

Severe or Class III - There is already a marked limitation of the regular physical activities but the sufferer still remains comfortable at rest. Normal activities easily cause anginal pain, shortness of breath, palpitations and fatigue.

Incapacitated or Class IV - In this stage, discomfort is already felt with the regular physical activities. The symptoms of anginal syndrome or cardiac insufficiency may be seen even if the sufferer is at rest.

Congestive Heart Failure Treatment

The treatment is necessary after your doctor rules in congestive heart failure after undergoing laboratory examinations. Treatment program for congestive heart failure stages usually includes: modification of daily activities, proper diet (especially the reduction of salt intake), rest and medications.

It is also critical to determine the cause of the congestive heart failure symptoms.

If the cause is identified, high blood pressure for instance, then it is necessary to treat and correct it to prevent further damage to the heart and other organs of the body.

Mild and moderate congestive heart failure can still be treated with medications. In the case that the heart is severely damaged and can no longer be treated with the regular approach, something more extreme like a heart transplant probably will be considered.

Congestive heart failure is a serious condition that can be prevented with proper diet and healthy lifestyle with exercise. If you experience the signs and symptoms of congestive heart failure it is best to consult your doctor immediately. Early treatment can prevent the condition from becoming worse.


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