Congestive Heart Failure: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment Options – St. Mark’s Hospital

By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , /

(Acoustic music) – [Dr. Zebrack] Congestive
heart failure is a process where the body accumulates too much fluid. There are many causes of heart failure. Um, there’s two general types that we call systolic or diastolic. Systolic refers to when the heart function is weak and when the heart is enlarged. And diastolic is a general term for excess fluid accumulation without enlargement or weakening of the heart. One of the most common
causes of heart failure is heart disease or cholesterol build up, which can cause a heart
attack and therefore damage and scar tissue
to the heart muscle, which creates abnormal hemodynamics or function of the heart, that has to change over time to compensate for the damaged area. And that’s called remodeling. But there also are
hormones that are activated in that setting that create additional fluid retention in the body. Because the heart function
is not appropriately, the output of blood is not normal, the body compensates by retaining fluid, acting as if the heart was dehydrated, in terms of low blood volume. But in reality, it creates a situation where there’s much too much fluid and that fluid backs up into the lungs and creates shortness of breath. For a young patient, the
most common cause may be a virus that effects the heart, and that can create scar tissue
inside the heart as well, but it’s more of a
generalized rim of scar tissue as opposed to one area of the heart that is damaged as in a heart attack. Other common causes are sleep apnea, which creates low oxygen levels at night that create strain on the heart and causes rhythm problems and that can certainly contribute to heart failure. High blood pressure is a very common cause that creates increased
thickness of the heart to compensate for the high blood pressure, that then creates more
of a stiffening process within the heart that
also creates difficulty in getting normal blood output
and also fluid retention. The signs of heart failure usually are swelling in the legs and
difficulty laying flat in bed, shortness of breath with
activity, feeling tired, occasionally, rhythm
problems or palpitations. Young patients tend to have
less swelling in the legs and often get more
swelling in their abdomen and maybe feel abdominal
fullness or loss of appetite, or even abdominal pain. The initial treatment for heart failure first is to regulate the fluid balance. So, water pills will prevent
the excess fluid accumulation. Once the fluid levels are balanced, we also initiate blood
pressure-type medications called beta blockers and ACE inhibitors. Even if the blood pressure is not elevated these medicines also
block some of the hormones that are activated in heart failure. Whatever damage has caused the
heart not to work correctly, the heart compensates by
elevated levels of adrenaline. And so we block that with beta blockers. As well as activation of the
renin-angiotensin system, and we block that with
angiotensin blockers. So these two types of medications reverse the process and
help the heart recover in terms of allowing
the function to improve, for the size to decrease, and prevent some of the fluid
accumulation that occurs. Heart failure is a very treatable disease. If patients are treated correctly and the underlying process
that caused the heart failure is identified and that’s corrected, patients due very well. Heart function generally improves, the symptoms can be controlled, and a lot of patients
return back to normal life without symptoms at all and will be on some medications to help
maintain normal heart function. So it all comes down to
seeing the right person who will get you on the right treatment and treat it appropriately to
improve your future prognosis. (Pleasant music) – [Announcer] For more
information about this physician, or to schedule an appointment, please call our referral line or visit

19 thoughts on “Congestive Heart Failure: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment Options – St. Mark’s Hospital

  1. I was retaining water in the lungs and i was on water pills and i lost weight and my doctor has reduced the dose ,but i have started gaining weight and does this means that i am going to have the same problems as before?

  2. Interesting how medication can help the heart heal itself than w/o. I was thinking improper nutrition and exercise caused the heart to enlarge. Seems like if it's broken too far w/o medication it will not heal itself.

  3. I just diagnose with c.h.f and fluid of the lungs at the age of 28 my doctors don't know how I got it and what is the difference between heart failure and c.h.f?

  4. This guy says heart failure is very treatable but online it says half of people pass away within 5 years so which is it

  5. Just because your tired dose not mean you have heart failure so why day that false statement to scare people

  6. The ONLY NATURAL CURE for congestive heart failure, is MAGNESIUM AND VITAMIN B-1. Look up both Dr Joel Wallach and Dr Sircus. You DONT need medication DRUGS to manage the symptoms with water pills or beta blockers. Those WILL KILL YOU !!!

  7. I'm 29 with congestive heart failure that stemmed from ppcm. Ive started a youtube channel to document my journey
    I know somewhere there is someone sitting trying to learn more about this illness.

  8. My best friend just pass because of this I’m devastated He was such a loving person overweight was his problem, I encourage anyone who might have a family member or friend struggling with weight problems to take them seriously and get the help they need before is too late much love God bless..

  9. I've had congestive heart failure since 2008, Everyday I hope is the day the motherfucker quits beating for good, I'm prescribed all kinds of shit and take none of it but I say fuck it let it kill me!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *