Congestive Heart Failure Essay

Submitted By HospiceRN23
Words: 1837
Pages: 8

Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)

The most common cause of Heart Disease is, coronary artery disease. Heart failure happens when there is not enough blood pumping through the heart to the rest of the body. Coronary artery disease is the narrowing of the blood vessels and it does not allow enough blood to flow through them, (cdc.gov/CAD). This weakens the heart muscle itself and can cause damage over a period of time or it can cause death in an instant. The heart is actively failing so it is going to lead to death anyway, unless lifestyle and diet changes, or in extreme conditions, a heart transplant is performed. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and can affect all people of any age or cultural background (http://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease). According to the Center of Disease Control approximately 600,000 people die every year, so 1 in 4 people. More than half of the deaths were men in 2009. Coronary heart disease kills more than 385,000 people a year. Along with that, about 715,000 people the United States have a heart attack every year. About 190,000 people of the 715,000 have already had at least one heart attack. About twenty-four percent that die are African Americans, eighteen percent are American Indians or Alaska Natives, twenty-three percent are Asians or Pacific Islanders, about twenty percent are Hispanics, about twenty five percent are Caucasians, and about twenty five percents includes all of the ethnicity groups (cdc.gov/heartdisease/statistics). Some people are at a higher risk than others. Some people are prone to it from genetics and others can simply lower their risks by lifestyle changes. High blood pressure is a common heredity factor. The combination of a poor diet, lack of exercise, and the condition is hereditary, can be fatal. There are reasons why heart disease is so common in the United States. In America, there are a lot of fast food restaurants that are quick and easy when we are on the go. These fast food restaurants prepare meals that are high in fat and low in the vitamins we actually need. Diets that are high in fat are not healthy for the heart. Diets higher in fiber are suggested for heart health. Myplate.gov can assist people with choosing a balance between foods that we need everyday and portion control. Usually it is more to do with what people eat and not necessarily how much they are eating. Symptoms of CHF can start out as being relatively mild, such as, coughing when exercising, fatigue, weakness, and loss of appetite. Other symptoms can include, a fast heart beat or pulse, irregular heart beat, shortness of breath when exercising or resting, frequently urinating at night, swollen liver and stomach or abdomen, swollen feet and ankles, not sleeping through the night, and weight gain. (http://www.nlm.nih.gov). Sometimes symptoms start slowly, if the person is otherwise healthy. If someone has had a heart attack, the symptoms will usually be more fast and that pushes the person to see their physician. In order to be diagnosed with this disease, the physician will do exams or tests on the patient. The doctor will check for signs of heart failure in the patient. General signs for CHF are; rapid or difficulty breathing, edema (leg swelling), protruding neck veins, sounds of fluid in the lungs, liver and abdomen swelling, irregular sounds in the heart. An echocardiogram is often the best way to test for CHF. Blood tests may be done in order to assist the diagnoses of the disease and to monitor it. Blood test are also used to identify more risks that could be involved and to identify any medication side effects if any. Preventing CHF can be done by knowledge of the signs and symptoms. Eating a healthy diet high in fruits and vegetables, fiber, proteins, and getting at least thirty minutes a day of exercise. Low alcohol intake and not smoking can lower risks as well. A lot of the treatment for this disease is monitoring blood pressure, pulse and weight…