What is congestive heart failure?
Congestive heart failure occurs when the heart weakens and can’t pump enough blood throughout the body.
It doesn’t mean your heart has stopped working or is about to stop working, but it is a serious condition that needs immediate medical attention.
Congestive heart failure can result from a variety of conditions that damage your heart, including the following:
Congestive heart failure symptoms and causes
Symptoms of congestive heart failure
- Shortness of breath (dyspnea)
- Persistent coughing or wheezing
- Swelling in feet, ankles, legs or abdomen (edema)
- Increased heart rate
Potential causes of congestive heart failure
- Eating foods high in fat and sodium
- Not getting enough physical activity
Care for congestive heart failure at Rush
If congestive heart failure is suspected, experts at Rush will draw on their many years of experience to find the root of your problem. We welcome patients seeking second opinions.
If you are diagnosed with congestive heart failure, treatment can help you lead a longer and more active life. You may need one or more of these treatments:
- Changes to your diet
- Beta blockers, which are medications used to slow down the heart rate, reducing the heart’s need for oxygen and improving the supply of blood to the heart
- Other medications, such as diuretics and ACE inhibitors to reduce the heart’s workload
- Angioplasty, a minimally invasive procedure to increase blood flow to the heart when needed
- Bypass surgery to create a new path for blood and oxygen to get to your heart
- Implanted cardiac defibrillator (ICD) for patients with or at risk for unstable rhythms
Other therapies for congestive heart failure are often available through clinical trials. Your cardiologist will discuss your options and see if you are eligible for a trial.
Why choose Rush for congestive heart failure care
- Heart specialists at Rush are engaged in research on congestive heart failure, leading to a better understanding of the complexities of its care.