Congestive Heart Failure

César R. Molina, M.D., FACC

Cardiologist & Internal Medicine Specialist located in Mountain View, CA

Nearly 5 million Americans are living with congestive heart failure and over 500,000 more are diagnosed with the condition each year. Though most common in patients over 65 years of age, congestive heart failure can affect people of all ages. At the office of César R. Molina, M.D., FACC in Mountain View, California, Dr. Molina can diagnose and provide a treatment plan for congestive heart failure to prevent further symptoms and prolong your health. To learn more, call Dr. Molina to schedule your consultation or book online.

Congestive Heart Failure Q & A

What is congestive heart failure?

Congestive heart failure refers to a condition in which your heart doesn’t pump blood as it should. This happens when the parts of your heart responsible for pumping blood, the ventricles, become too weak or stiff to properly fill with oxygen-rich blood and contract efficiently.

What causes congestive heart failure?

Any medical condition that weakens your heart or causes your heart to become too stiff, or otherwise prevents your heart from pumping blood effectively can lead to heart failure. There are a variety of potential causes, though some of the most common include:

Lifestyle choices

Certain lifestyle choices can lead to conditions that increase your risk for heart failure. High blood pressure for example, often brought on by obesity, smoking, or a poor diet can cause your heart to work harder than average, weakening it over time.

Certain medical conditions

Diabetes, HIV, allergic reactions, and even viral infections can affect the heart and eventually lead to heart failure.

Congenital conditions

Some people are born with conditions that can affect the functioning of the heart. An abnormally formed heart, faulty heart valves, or heart arrhythmias can all lead to a weakened of stiff heart and eventual heart failure.

What are the symptoms of congestive heart failure?

Symptoms of congestive heart failure aren’t always obvious. In fact, many cases of heart failure develop slowly over a long period of time. Signs of heart failure usually include one or several of the following:

  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Swelling in your ankles, legs, or feet
  • Weight gain from fluid retention
  • Lack of appetite
  • Persistent cough
  • Increased need to urinate at night

These symptoms can come and go over time, so it’s important to seek help as soon as you noticed these symptoms.

How is congestive heart failure treated?

As a chronic disease, heart failure requires long-term treatment. The type of treatment Dr. Molina provides depends on the severity and cause of your congestive heart failure. Treatment typically falls into a few categories:

Medication

Most people suffering from congestive heart failure require regular use of one or several types of medications. These often help reduce blood pressure or relieve the workload placed on your heart.

Surgery

Heart failure caused by certain underlying medical conditions can benefit from surgical procedures or medical devices. Examples include coronary bypass surgery and heart valve replacements.

If you’re suffering from congestive heart failure or have a family history of the disease, don’t delay your treatment. Call the office of César R. Molina, M.D., FACC in Mountain View, California, to receive treatment that will keep you healthier for years to come.