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  • Writer's pictureFarhad Nassiri Afshar

Congestive Heart Failure.

Updated: Feb 18

Key Factors in Understanding Congestive Heart Failure: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment Options:

Heart failure is a medical condition where the heart's ability to pump blood effectively is compromised, leading to insufficient blood flow throughout the body. This results in a buildup of fluid, causing swelling, difficulty in breathing, and fatigue. Despite its name, heart failure does not mean the heart has stopped beating; it simply isn't functioning as efficiently as it should.

Heart Failure Symptoms:

Symptoms of heart failure can initially be nonexistent, but as the condition progresses, they may include:

  • Fatigue, weakness, dizziness, or lightheadedness

  • Breathlessness, which may limit physical activity or require additional pillows for sleeping

  • An accelerated heartbeat, even when at rest

  • Swelling in the feet, ankles, legs, or abdomen

Diagnosis of Heart Failure:

Diagnosing heart failure involves a medical examination and various tests:

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG): Checks the heart's electrical activity and can indicate previous heart attacks or abnormal rhythms, potential contributors to heart failure.

  • Blood Tests (BNP or NT-proBNP): Elevated levels of these markers often indicate heart failure.

  • Chest X-ray: Detects fluid in the lungs and assesses the heart's shape and size.

  • Echocardiogram: Uses sound waves to visualize the heart's chambers and valves, measuring its size and pumping efficiency.

  • Stress Test: Monitors heart function under physical stress or via medication if physical activity isn't possible.

  • Cardiac Catheterization (or Cardiac Cath): Involves inserting a tube into a blood vessel, extending to the heart for direct measurements. Coronary angiography may be performed by injecting a dye to identify any blockages.

Management of Heart Failure:

To manage heart failure, consider these self-care measures:

  • Adhere to prescribed medications to improve symptoms and prolong life.

  • Monitor symptoms and follow an action plan for any changes, including daily weight tracking.

  • Limit salt intake and opt for fresh or low-sodium foods.

  • Maintain a healthy weight to reduce the heart's workload.

  • Avoid smoking and alcohol, both of which can exacerbate heart failure.

  • Stay physically active within safe limits advised by a doctor.

  • Be cautious with new medications or supplements, as some can worsen heart failure.


After understanding congestive heart failure, let's focus on its treatments. Heart failure treatment primarily involves medications to manage the condition and reduce hospitalizations, heart attacks, or death. These medications also aim to alleviate symptoms. It's crucial to communicate with healthcare about the affordability and side effects of these medications.

Other treatment options include medical devices to aid the heart's pumping ability or regulate its rhythm, and surgical procedures to enhance blood flow or even replace the heart.


In conclusion, if you're experiencing symptoms of congestive heart failure or seeking professional medical advice, Irys Medical Clinic in Honolulu is here to assist. Our experienced team offers comprehensive care for heart health, helping you manage symptoms effectively. We encourage you to take a proactive step towards improving your heart health by scheduling an appointment with us. Let's work together towards a healthier heart and a better quality of life.

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