If you have any of the risk factors including a medical history we recommend you to maintain a regular screening with Dr. Ghalchi, a top rated cardiac specialist at Manhattan Cardiovascular Associates. Don’t wait until you’re in the emergency room before talking to your cardiovascular doctor in NYC about heart failure prevention.
Congestive heart failure
Congestive heart failure, also referred to as just “heart failure” or CHF, occurs when your heart doesn’t pump blood properly through your system. A wide range of heart muscle diseases — such as cardiomyopathy, coronary artery disease and high blood pressure — take their toll on your heart, often leaving it too weak to work right.
Although there are treatments to help heart failure if it occurs, the primary path to preventing heart failure is to know your heart function and work on your risk factors. While not all conditions are reversible, most are treatable by an experienced cardiologist, cardiac specialist or at least can be contained enough to allow you to have a better quality of life.
Symptoms to Recognize
Your cardiologist should monitor you if you have any of the chronic heart conditions that could lead to CHF. Let your cardiovascular doctor or cardiac specialist know any time you have acute, sudden signs and symptoms. Seek immediate medical attention if you suspect you’re having an exacerbation of heart failure.
Some of the signs can include:
- Swelling in your ankles, feet and lower legs
- Shortness of breath when you lie down or when you exert yourself
- Reduced alertness and disorientation
- Weakness and sudden fatigue
- Fluid retention and quick weight gain
- Inability to exercise
- Nausea and lack of appetite
- Irregular or rapid heartbeat that you didn’t have before
- Wheezing or persistent cough
- Chest pain
Build-Ups and Causes to Watch For
Congestive heart failure also can be the outcome of a chronic cardiomyopathy, a general term that encompasses many specific causes of abnormal heart function. Some potential causes of cardiomyopathies are:
- Excessive alcohol use
- Long-term hypertension or high blood pressure
- Previous heart attack
- Infection or pregnancy complications
- Cocaine, anabolic steroid or amphetamine use
Untreated, cardiomyopathy, no matter what the cause, can lead to congestive heart failure, risk of a malignant arrhythmia, and even death. In addition to CHF, some cardiomyopathies can lead to blood clots, abnormal heart rhythms, and cardiac arrest. If that’s the case, see cardiac specialist immediately.
Stages of a Heart Failure
With so many varying degrees of signs and symptoms, it can be difficult to determine how high your risk is for heart failure. At the same time, according to the cardiovascular doctors at American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association, certain traits are more readily identified as high risk factors than others. Here are the four stages of heart failure:
- Stage A CHF presents no symptoms. You haven’t been diagnosed with congestive heart failure, but you may show obviously high-risk traits that include:
- A family history of cardiomyopathies
- Poor lifestyle choices that include a diet high in fat and sodium, drug or alcohol abuse and lack of exercise
- Health issues like diabetes or anemia
- A cigarette-smoking habit
- Stage B congestive heart failure candidates may not ever have had any symptoms, just like in Stage A. But tests reveal varying degrees of risk due to high blood pressure or hypertension that requires medication.
- Stage C risk level occurs when you display symptoms. For example, you may become easily tired when doing normal activities such as walking. A change of certain lifestyle habits may control the symptoms.
- Stage D patients exhibit signs of heart failure, even though they’ve undergone lifestyle changes and various treatments. These are candidates for surgical intervention.
A Big Heart Isn’t Always a Good Trait
Your cardiologist may refer to your condition as an enlarged heart or cardiomegaly when he views it on the screen following an examination. Enlarged Heart isn’t actually a disease, but the term is used to describe the state of your heart following a number of other conditions, such as:
Complications of a “Enlarged Heart” are more likely to occur when the enlargement is in certain areas of your heart. For example, congestive heart failure is most often caused when the left ventricle of your heart is affected.
Once you’ve been diagnosed with congestive heart failure, your cardiac treatment must remain ongoing to keep you well. Your cardiovascular doctor typically begins by treating the underlying cause of your heart failure, often with treatments such as:
- Medications like ACE inhibitors, beta blockers and diuretics
- Surgery, such as heart valve replacement or coronary bypass surgery
- A medical device such as a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter-defibrillators
Test Before You Rest
If you have any of the risk factors for CHF, any conditions that affect the health of your heart or a family history of heart muscle disease, it’s recommended that you maintain a regular screening routine with NYC best rated cardiologist at Manhattan Cardiovascular Associates, Dr. Ghalchi. Don’t wait until you’re in the emergency room before talking to your doctor in NYC about heart failure prevention.
The most common test is painless and non-invasive. An echocardiogram relies on high-frequency sound waves to provide a clear, real-time picture of your heart’s activity. Also called a diagnostic cardiac ultrasound, the test does not expose you to radiation. Instead, it uses a wand called a transducer to record the echoes your heart makes. The test then directs your doctor to the appropriate treatment.
While knowledge can help you make certain lifestyle decisions, information should never be used for self-diagnosis, rely on experienced cardiac specialist. Know the questions you may need to ask when you visit, but by all means, seek professional help if you have any signs or concerns about your risk for developing congestive heart failure. Get the tests you need at Manhattan Cardiovascular Associates. Make your appointment today.
Dr. Michael Ghalchi, Cardiologist (Cardiologist NYC, Midtown)
New York, NY10010
(Between Madison Ave & Park Ave)
☎ (212) 686-0066