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Congestive heart failure is a condition in which the heart is not able to pump enough blood to satisfy the body’s needs. It may occur if the heart becomes weakened or when a heart defect prevents blood flowing properly. When congestive heart failure occurs, the kidneys do not filter as much fluid into urine and the excess fluid builds up in the body. The fluid congests in the lungs, the liver, the face and the legs. While this condition often affects the elderly, children may also experience it.
Other symptoms include shortness of breath, a chronic cough, excess fluid (called edema) in the extremeties, feeling lightheaded, fatigue, nausea, confusion and a rapid or racing heart rate.
In children, congestive heart failure is caused by heart structure or pumping defects. These issues include holes between the heart’s chambers, abnormal heart valves, damage from viral or strep infections, heart electrical system malfunctions, or systemic muscular problems such as muscular dystrophy.
If you have several of these symptoms, see a medical professional. While the condition is incurable, treatment can minimize symptoms and improve your health.
Treatment of congestive heart failure includes medications, diet modification and sometimes surgery. The treatment depends on the cause underlying the heart failure.
STRUCTURAL OR PUMPING heart failure in children often necessitates surgery for correction. Surgery can be supplemented with medication.
WEAKENED MUSCLE heart failure in adults is often caused by untreated high blood pressure. Medication and diet can help.
Adult Treatments include:
♥ Diurecitcs (“water pills”)
These medications increase unrination to remove fluid
♥ Blood vessel relaxants
These medications make it easier for the heart to pump
To help the body flush fluid, your doctor may recommend a low-salt diet