Symptoms of advanced congestive heart failure

Congestive heart failure is when the heart cannot pump enough blood to the tissues, muscles and other organs of the body. As the heart failure progresses the symptoms worsen and this will then lead to “advanced stage heart failure”.

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Patients with advanced heart failure still live their life and compensates for their symptoms their quality of life is really not 100%. It is challenging to live with this disease and often additional diseases may occur due to this advanced stage of heart disease. People with this disease would need help with their day to day task.

What could cause advanced congestive heart failure or advanced CHF is caused by an underlying condition, CAD or coronary artery disease. Other causes are: hypertension, damage to the heart caused by infections or damaged after a heart attack, heart valve problems, severe lung disease even obesity, kidney and/or chronic kidney disease, abnormal or irregular heartbeat, alcohol abuse, thyroid disorders, radiation and chemotherapy, congenital disorders and hereditary.

Because CHF is a progressive disease with time the disease gets worse.
Dyspnea or SOB (shortness of breath) is often found to be worse during exertion however also when lying down or Orthopnea.

Fluid in the lungs results in nagging cough and again is worst when lying down. Swelling of the legs, ankles, feet or a distended abdomen are signs of fluid back-up due to a weak heart plus rapid weight gain. And, fatigue. The lack of oxygen that gives fuel to the muscles results in exhaustion even with the simplest of activities.

The symptoms of advanced congestive heart failure may include swelling of the legs, vascular disease, high cholesterol and high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, diabetes, angina. Often, because CHF is gradual, early symptoms are ignored and by the time a patient sees the doctor the disease has advanced, albeit probably not too significant, yet enough to be out of the “early stages”.

Although patients with advanced congestive heart failure may have limited physical activities it is not to say they are bedridden. Physical activities may still be done albeit limited. Fluid intake is also closely monitored and even limited so as to control or avoid too much swelling of the legs.

People dealing with this heart disease may need full time care. Someone who would ensure that the mediations are taken when needed, to help the patient maneuver around and to help with light exercise even.

Light exercises are advised and could be helpful to the patients. However, before engaging in any physical activities do discuss this with your physician to determine the best type and level of exercise you would need. Being active may help you relax, feel less stressed and this could help alleviate your symptoms. And in as much as patients with stage III or IV of advanced cardiac disease is believed to not be able to have the energy to move around, doing light activities could help the patient feel better over all. Quality of life may be limited but however little that quality is, some is better than none.

Often, family members need to get an outside help as this could prove to be too much at times.

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