COVID Update: Visitation restrictions lifted, masks still required at all St. Joseph’s/Candler facilities. Learn More.

When your heart is not pumping properly, fluid builds up in the lungs causing congestion. For a while, your heart will work harder, pump faster and circulate more blood with each beat as it tries to do its job of distributing blood throughout your body. Once the heart can no longer compensate adequately, congestive heart failure (CHF) occurs.

Congestive heart failure is typically caused by coronary heart disease and is just as frequent in men as it is in women affecting people of all ages, including children. There are many risk factors that can contribute to this disease including:

  • Family history of heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Family history of high blood pressure
  • Being inactive
  • Being overweight.

Currently, there are 5 million Americans with CHF.

It’s important to know the signs of congestive heart failure and to be proactive about seeking treatment from a cardiologist if you are experiencing changes that are causing you or your family members to be concerned.

Seek immediate care if you are experiencing two or more of these symptoms of congestive heart failure:

  • Shortness of breath, called dyspnea will usually occur with activity but can progress to symptoms at rest or while sleeping (advanced disease). The feeling can be so strong, it causes you to wake up.
  • Tiredness or fatigue accompanied by experiencing difficulty with daily activities such as walking, grocery shopping, doing errands, or climbing stairs.
  • Swelling in your feet or ankles or sudden weight gain around your abdomen.
  • Lack of appetite or nausea including feeling like you have a full stomach even when you haven’t recently eaten a meal.
  • Increased heart rate or throbbing as your heart beats faster, trying to compensate for the loss in pumping capacity.
  • Persistent coughing or wheezing that produces white or blood-stained mucus.

There are many treatment options for congestive heart failure. Most are non-invasive and involve medications and proper diet. Once diagnosed, our physicians will determine the right course of action for you.

 

Request an Appointment with a Cardiologist

Request an appointment with any of our cardiologists quickly and easily by filling out our online request form.

Make a Cardiology Appointment
SPECIALTY SERVICES

Meet the Team at St. Joseph's/Candler

Our team of specialty physicians are experienced in many aspects of healthcare from neurologists to podiatrists. Learn more about our specialty physicians now.

How can we help you?