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Congestive Heart Failure Stages, Causes, Symptoms, Life Expectancy and Treatment


Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a disease in which heart does not supply the blood to the body as it should be. This heart disease is also known as chronic heart failure or congestive cardiac failure. This disease is very common throughout the world. Research shows that in UK 30,000 people die with CHF every year.

In CHF condition, basically the heart muscles become weakened so as a result of that it works way slower and cannot maintain the normal pumping rate.

The ventricles which are the main chambers of the heart play a major role to trigger the fluid towards other organs of body such as abdomen, lungs and legs as well. These ventricles develop thicker or lager in size. Due to this condition the ventricles cannot relax as well, so ventricles also cannot perform their work as normal.

In congestive heart failure (CHF) disease the ability of heart reduces. However, it doesn’t means at all that the heart has stopped working but in this way its pumping power become slower and it flows the blood in the body at a slower rate. In this condition the pressure on the heart develops and the heart in not able to meet the requirement of oxygen and nutrients in the body as well.

Due to the weaker pumping power of the heart, the muscular walls of heart become weekend and its working efficiency reduces. When this condition occurs in the body it puts negative effects on kidney’s working. The kidneys don’t respond properly and the fluid is retained in the body and also in the different parts of the body such as feet, arm, ankles, legs and lungs and towards other parts of the body.

Heart is basically a blood pumping machine. Its main purpose is to pump the blood throughout the body.  Heart contains 4 chambers.  Two upper chambers are known by Atria and the two lower chambers are known by ventricles.

Our heart pumps the blood from the right side towards lungs in order to take the oxygen. This oxygen concentrated blood came back in the heart from its left side. The purpose of left side is to push the blood throughout the body by the means of blood vessels.

Congestive Heart Failure

The entire body supplies the blood through left ventricle and it is much stronger pump than right ventricle. In CHF disease the tissues of the body reduce their ability and don’t the pump the blood and oxygen as they should be. The CHF disease patients should not be worried at all because disease can be controlled if diagnosed at earlier stages and patient can recover through heart therapy.

Congestive Heart Failure Stages:

Stage “A”

The people having symptoms like high blood pressure, diabetes, or any heart problem are at the risk of heart failure disease. So it is very important to take proper care of health. Use of diet high in fat, use of alcohol or smoke or drugs is the main causes of CHF disease. The people who don’t pay proper attention to heart health and use all above mentioned things belong to stage A.

Stage “B”

The people who are at stage B never experience any symptoms related with heart failure disease.  One thing which is very much clear is that the CHF disease at stage B only detect through test.  Generally doctors advised some medicine to reduce this disease for examples ACE inhibitors or beta blockers.

Stage “C”

In this stage some symptoms of congestive heart failure occurs like tiredness, shortness of breath and fatigue feel in performing just simple activities. The doctors advise some exercises along with diet care with low intake of salt to reduce this disease.

Stage “D”

In this stage the patients feel symptoms of congestive heart failure even then when they do treatments and therapy. The doctors advised regular check up of blood pressure, exercise, diet plan to minimize CHF.

Symptoms of Heart Failure:

Symptoms of heart failure start to happen when your heart cannot pump enough blood to the rest of your body. In the early stages you can have the following feelings:

  • You feel tired easily.
  • You experience short of breath when you exert yourself.
  • You experience like your heart is racing
  • You feel the weakness or dizziness.

In case the disease of CHF gets worse than as a result the fluid is retained in the lungs and other body parts. You experience following symptoms in this condition.  Then you feel short of breath even at rest.

  • You have swelling in your legs, ankles, and feet.
  • You gain weight as well
  • Cough or wheeze, especially when you lie down.
  • Frequent urination at night
  • You feel bloating or sick to your stomach.

If you experience these conditions, it means you need emergency help from doctor.

Congestive Heart Failure

How to Diagnose Heart Failure?

 Congestive heart failure is determined through Varity of tests. These tests are given below.

  • electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • lung function tests
  • Blood tests.
  • x-rays test
  • echocardiography test
  • exercise stress test
  • angiography test


 There are number of factors that cause CHF disease.

  • Heart valves maintain the blood flow in the body. If this valve becomes affected by some disease then its ability of blood flow reduces in the result of that pressure is build on the heart to maintain the blood flow. As a result heart becomes weaker and it causes the heart failure.
  • Coronary artery disease is one of the most common reasons which cause CHF disease. The purpose of arteries is to supply blood and oxygen towards the heart. When unfortunately arteries become fail to perform their actives due to some disease after that CHF disease happens.
  • Irregular heartbeats damage the heart as it weakened the heart and causes its failures.
  • CHF disease develops in the body due to high blood pressure. Previous heart attack can also be the reason because previous heart attack leaves the scar on heart which badly affects its ability of blood supply so this reason can also creates the danger of CHF.
  • Use of alcohol and drugs puts bad effects on Heart health and this reason can cause the heart failure.
  • Irregular heartbeats damage the heart as it weakened the heart and can cause its failures.
  • Heart failure can be due to the chronic lungs disease. Blood clot in the lungs also affects the heart working and caused for CHF disease.
  • Several diseases for example diabetes, obesity, atherosclerosis and anemia puts very bad effects on heart and caused for it failure.
  • Thyroid disease can also be the cause of congestive heart failure because in this disease the thyroid gland produces too much of its hormone, thyroxine. When there is more production of hormone then it increases the work of the heart and can lead to heart failure.

How your Lifestyle affects Heart Failure:

Most of us did not take serious of our bad habits or things which destroy our health badly and contribute in heart failure disease. There are some habits which allow the heart failure to occur and these things directly or indirectly play their role in congestive heart failure. You need to change following habits such as

  • Use of smoking.
  • Continuous and excessive use of alcohol.
  • Lack of exercise and obesity.
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure.
  • Coronary arteries disease.
  • Use of high amount salt in meals.

How Can I Prevent Further Heart Damage?

To avoid following things we can be prevented from the risk of CHF disease.

  • Avoid smoking & drinking alcohol immediately.
  • Don’t gain weight and maintain balance healthy weight.
  • Stop taking those foods which increase bad cholesterol (LDL) in the body high blood pressure and diabetes.
  • Adopt the recommended surgery and other treatment procedure to prevent your heart from further damage.
  • Make the habit of exercise on regular basis.

How Can I Improve My Quality of Life With Heart Failure?

 If you are suffering from CHF then you can improve your quality of through adopting several things in your routine of life.

  • Maintain healthy diet: Eat balance and healthy diet which should be high in fiber and avoid the foods which are high in cholesterol, Trans-fats and sugar. Reduce the use of salt in your daily intake by using 2 gram of salt in your daily intake.
  • Make habit of exercise: Regular exercise provides you help to improve quality of life and reduces the CHF. Doctor use to advise cardiovascular exercises in CHF disease which improves the strength of the body against heart failure disease and reduces it progression.
  • Don’t overdo Work:  Arrange your daily actives according to your plane including rest intervals. Keep one thing in your mind clearly that don’t perform extra or heavy activities like pulling or pushing heavy objects. Heavy activities may increase the danger of heart failure and its symptoms.
  • Stay away from respiratory infections: To escape yourself from respiratory infection like flu and pneumonia ask your doctor for vaccination.
  • Use prescribed medication regularly:  Use prescribed medicine regularly according to the doctor advice. In cause of any problem contact your doctor first. Don’t stop taking medicine without doctor advice.

Life Expectancy of People having CHF:

Life expectancy in the condition of CHF depends upon on its stages and on the overall health of patient. Although we cannot give the exact answer to the question how long a patient of CHF is going to live but according to an estimate the Patients having CHF up to 50% have the life expectancy of 5 years and those having CHF up to 90% have the chance of life expectancy of 01 years.

Congestive Heart Failure

The people who are suffering from CHF with moderate stage can live long for about 10 years. The congestive heart failure disease must be treated in its initial stage, so for this purpose awareness about this disease is very important.

If unfortunately, the congestive heart failure disease is detected in its last stages then one cannot survive for a long. However, if this disease is detected in its early stages then there is a reasonable chance for the patients to live long life. He patient lives longer by improving the lifestyle with the help of medication along with proper dietary changes.

Updated: July 15, 2016 — 7:15 am

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