Congestive heart failure is a chronic and progressive condition in which the heart functions weaker than normal. It does not mean that the heart stops but instead that it can’t work as efficiently to supply the body with nutrients it needs. About six million people in the US are living with heart failure, and it is the leading reason for hospitalizations in people over 65. Several conditions contribute to congestive heart failure, so if you have one of these diseases, talk to your doctor about ways you can cut your risk of developing it.
Coronary Artery Disease
Coronary artery disease , or CAD, occurs when the arteries that supply the heart with blood and oxygen become narrowed or completely blocked. The lack of blood flow starves the heart of the nutrients it needs. CAD is usually caused by plaque build-up in the arteries as the result of high cholesterol. CAD can lead to a heart attack if the flow of blood to the heart is stopped completely. While CAD can itself lead to heart failure with or without a heart attack, the damage done to the heart muscle during a heart attack can dramatically increase your risk.
With cardiomyopathy, the heart muscle becomes enlarged, thickened, or stiffened. The condition is progressive, and as a result, the heart’s ability to pump is compromised, which leads to congestive heart failure. There are three types of cardiomyopathy – dilated, hypertrophic, and restrictive – and the treatment your heart doctor recommends depends on the type you have.
Non-cardiac conditions that put a strain on the heart can also cause heart failure. These include thyroid disease, kidney disease, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis. Often, managing these conditions if you have them can reduce your risk of developing heart failure.
At Cardiac Solutions , our team works closely with heart failure patients to help them control symptoms and slow the progression of the disease. If you have been diagnosed with a heart disease, including congestive heart failure in Phoenix, schedule an appointment at our clinic today by calling (623) 876-8816.