Congestive Heart Failure Videos
Henry Bellaci M.D. of Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs California explains that congestive heart failure is a problem that develops when there has been damage to the heart muscle. Dr. Bellaci says this damage can be caused by high blood pressure that if not treated properly can cause heart attacks which might damage the heart muscle or heart valve. Symptoms of congestive heart failure include shortness of breath during exertion and awakening at night with a suffocating feeling Dr. Bellaci says the primary cause of congestive heart failure in the American population is coronary artery disease.
Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a condition in which the heart's function as a pump becomes useless in terms of delivering oxygen rich blood to the body. Congestive heart failure can be caused by diseases that weaken the heart muscle, diseases that cause stiffening of the heart muscles, and diseases that increase oxygen demand by the body tissue beyond the capability of the heart to deliver adequate oxygen-rich blood.
The heart consists of two atria one is the right atrium and one is the left atrium which make up the upper chambers of the heart Many diseases can impair the pumping action of the atriums. For example, the muscles of the atriums can be weakened by heart attacks, infections or toxins. The pumping ability of the atriums due to muscle weakening is called systolic dysfunction. After each ventricular contraction the ventricle muscles need to relax to allow blood from the atria to fill in the heart ventricles. This relaxation of the atriums is called diastole.
Diseases such as hemochromatosis or also known as iron overload or amyloidosis can cause stiffening of the heart muscle and impair the ventricles' capacity to relax and fill; this is referred to as diastolic dysfunction. The most common cause of this is longstanding high blood pressure. This results in a thickened heart. Additionally, in some patients, although the pumping action and filling capacity of the heart may be normal, abnormally high oxygen demand by the body's tissues for example, with hyperthyroidism or anemia may make it difficult for the heart to supply an adequate blood flow (called high output heart failure.
In congestive heart failure, the heart can no longer pump enough blood out of the body. Exertion can leave a person with congestive heart failure exhausted and out of breath.
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