Heart failure doesn’t mean that the heart has stopped working, but that it just isn’t able to pump enough blood to meet the needs of the body.
When the heart does not circulate blood normally, the kidneys receive less blood and filter less fluid out of the circulation into the urine. The extra fluid in the circulation builds up in the lungs, the liver, around the eyes, and sometimes in the legs. This is called fluid “congestion” and for this reason, doctors call this “congestive heart failure”.
Signs & SymptomsJump Up
- Shortness of breath
- Persistent coughing or wheezing
- Fluid overload often resulting in leg swelling
- Fatigue and diminished ability to walk or exercise
- Impaired thinking
- Increased heart rate
- Lack of appetite and nausea
Once CHF is diagnosed, a complete heart evaluation is performed including echocardiography and other non-invasive or invasive tests. The cardiologists at Missouri Heart Center are very knowledgeable and can suggest lifestyle changes and medications that treat both acute symptoms and also help to stabilize the condition long term.
What to ExpectJump Up
If your cardiologist suspects congestive heart failure due to signs and symptoms that you are experiencing, the next step will be the ordering of tests and procedures. These tests will help determine the nature of the possible problem.
Tests might include:
- Physical examination
- Blood tests
- Exercise stress test
The cardiologist will use your test results to determine if you have heart failure, the degree of severity, type of heart failure as well as the class of heart failure, and what treatments would be most effective.
How We TreatJump Up
At Missouri Heart Center, our cardiologists all share the same vision and desire to provide quality cardiac care in an efficient, compassionate, and comfortable setting. Our trained technicians and cardiologists specialize in performing procedures and evaluating the results to identify and treat common heart problems.