Treating Congestive Heart Failure
Parminder Singh, MD, is a cardiologist on staff at Banner Estrella Medical Center. His office can be reached at 602-307-0070.
Question: Once congestive heart failure is diagnosed, is it treatable? What can I do to reduce my risk of developing heart failure?
Answer: I think it’s safe to say that nobody wants to hear the words “heart” and “failure” in the same sentence when discussing one’s health, or the health of a loved one.
Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a serious condition, but to be clear, it does not mean that the heart has actually failed or stopped beating. It means that, for various reasons, the heart has weakened over time and is unable to pump as much blood through the body as it should. As a result, fluid can build in the lungs and other body tissues, and individuals often experience fatigue and shortness of breath.
Although there is currently no cure for common forms of congesetive heart failure, there are treatment options available. With the guidance of a physician, it is critical to properly address and control any underlying problems that may be causing the condition, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, and unhealthy lifestyle choices, like smoking and poor diet. Treatments can include medication, lifestyle modifications, radiological procedures and surgery.
Symptoms generally take years to become noticeable, due to the condition’s slow and gradual progression. It is important not to wait until serious problems appear before seeking your physician’s care, especially if you have medical issues that increase your risk for developing congestive heart failure.
By making healthy and proactive lifestyle choices now, such as eating a balanced diet, limiting alcohol consumption, exercising regularly, not smoking and following your doctor’s orders, you can help prevent future cardiac concerns.