When your heart’s ability to pump blood slowly declines, it’s called congestive heart failure (CHF).
Dignity Health Southern California’s heart care services cover everything from to prevention to diagnosis to treatment and followup. You can find our cardiologists and other heart experts at these locations:
To learn more about care for congestive heart failure in Southern California, Find a Doctor today.
Causes of Congestive Heart Failure
Heart failure is caused by overwork or damage to the heart, which causes it to become weak and unable to pump blood effectively. Common causes of congestive heart failure include:
- Heart valve disorders
- Untreated heart disease
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Coronary artery disease (hardening of the arteries)
- Heart attack
- Substance abuse, including use of anabolic steroids
- Untreated anemia
Congestive Heart Failure Symptoms
Although symptoms may vary, people with congestive heart failure generally experience:
- Chest pain or congestion
- Weight gain
- Swelling of the feet or legs
- Shortness of breath with physical exertion
- Sleeping better when propped up
Treating Congestive Heart Failure at Dignity Health Southern California
Treatment of congestive heart failure focuses on reducing risk factors and slowing the progression of existing disease. Heart failure cannot be reversed or cured. Living a heart-healthy lifestyle is the best way to prevent developing or worsening congestive heart failure.
You can help reduce your risk of developing congestive heart failure by:
- Eating healthy, unprocessed foods
- Getting plenty of exercise
- Limiting sodium (salt) intake
- Not taking illicit drugs
- Quitting smoking
- Treating any underlying heart conditions, such as hypertension or high cholesterol
The goal of congestive heart failure treatments is to ease symptoms and slow the progression of the disease. Your doctor may recommend several therapies, including:
- Home oxygen therapy to ease breathing difficulties
- Lifestyle modifications, including a low-salt diet and restricted fluid intake
- Medications to eliminate excess fluids from your body, which helps your heart pump more easily
- Medications to reduce the work of your heart
- Specialized physical therapy for heart failure
- Surgery to implant a ventricular assist device that will enable your heart to pump better
- Surgery to repair issues contributing to your heart failure, such as valve abnormalities
- Heart transplant
Let your doctor know how they can support in protecting your heart heart today.
Dignity Health provides specialized care for cardiovascular conditions, including congestive heart failure, in Southern California.