The Heart and Medical Center and Urgent Care
Board Certified Internal Medicine & Cardiology located in Durant, OK
More than six million Americans currently suffer from congestive heart failure, and it’s the most common reason for hospital stays in patients over 65. With heart failure becoming more common each year, it’s important to monitor your heart health closely. At The Heart and Medical Center and Urgent Care in Durant, Oklahoma, the board-certified internal medicine team is here to help with education, prevention, and treatment. Book your appointment online or by phone today.
Congestive Heart Failure Q & A
What is heart failure?
Heart failure is a condition in which your heart isn't pumping blood as efficiently as it should. If you have heart failure, your blood moves through your body at a decreased rate, and your heart works harder to keep up with the demand for oxygen and nutrient-rich blood.
This extra effort can thicken and stiffen your heart muscle. Your heart chambers could also stretch and weaken while trying to contain more blood. Although your body's compensatory measures can help short-term, eventually, your heart grows weaker overall.
This can lead to fluid and salt retention in your kidneys. Eventually, the fluid retention, also called congestion, can affect nearly the whole body, and it's called congestive heart failure.
What is the underlying cause of congestive heart failure?
There are a number of possible causes of congestive heart failure. Conditions that damage your heart muscle, including all of the following, are common causes of congestive heart failure.
Coronary artery disease
Coronary artery disease affects the arteries leading to your heart, causing narrowing or partial blockage.
Sudden blockage of your coronary artery intercepts blood supply to your heart to cause a heart attack. After a heart attack, your heart muscle typically has scarring and doesn't function at its previous capacity.
Cardiomyopathy is heart muscle damage arising from problems not related to your arteries or blood flow. Common causes of cardiomyopathy include infections stemming from alcohol or drug use.
Many different conditions, including kidney disease, diabetes, and thyroid disease, overwork your heart. Sometimes congenital conditions cause an overworked heart from the beginning of life.
Sometimes, several of these factors contribute to heart failure.
How is heart failure diagnosed?
The expert internal medicine team at The Heart and Medical Center and Urgent Care carefully examine you and perform specific diagnostic tests such as:
- Nuclear stress test
- Electrocardiogram (EKG)
- Holter monitor
- Cardiovascular studies
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Cardiac computerized tomography (CT) scan
- Myocardial biopsy
After diagnosing your heart failure and identifying underlying causes, your internal medicine provider at The Heart and Medical Center and Urgent Care designs a customized care plan for you.
How is congestive heart failure treated?
The Heart and Medical Center and Urgent Care offers today’s most advanced and innovative treatments for heart failure. Treatment may include:
- Lifestyle changes
- Surgery to repair damage
- Defibrillators to restore the heartbeat
The practice also offers enhanced external counterpulsation (EECP) therapy. In this treatment, you wear large cuffs on your legs and buttocks. The cuffs contract and release at specific points to boost your blood flow and relieve heart muscle stress. This in-office treatment is also helpful for chest pain.
For heart failure help, from compassionate internal medicine specialists, book an appointment online, or call The Heart and Medical Center and Urgent Care now.