Your heart is one of the most vital organs in your body. It keeps your blood circulating and delivers oxygen to the rest of your vital organs.
However, your heart is also prone to significant issues, like congestive heart failure. CHF is a dangerous condition that can lead to life-threatening consequences.
At the Physicians Medical Group of San Jose, located in San Jose, California, our team specializes in many areas of your body, including your heart and vascular system. Our medical specialists help determine if you're at risk for heart failure and provide customized treatments to help your heart function.
Understanding congestive heart failure
According to the CDC, about 6.2 million people in the United States have heart failure. Congestive heart failure is when your heart cannot pump blood like it usually does.
When your heart doesn't have the power to pump correctly, it causes blood to back up, which leads to fluid in your lungs and shortness of breath. Other common symptoms of congestive heart failure include:
- Shortness of breath
- Leg swelling
- Abdominal swelling
- Rapid weight gain
- Fluid buildup
- Wheezing with pink-tinged mucous
- Chronic cough
Your symptoms may start mild but often get worse as the condition progresses. You may have several of these symptoms during flares of CHF.
You must seek professional treatment if you notice any signs of heart trouble. The longer CHF goes untreated, the harder your heart has to work, causing more issues.
Are you at risk for CHF?
Knowing your risk factors for CHF is the best way to protect your health. If you're at an increased risk, make an appointment and take preventative care for your heart.
Several factors heighten your risk for heart failure, including the following:
You're over 65
As you get older, your heart muscle weakens and becomes stiff, possibly leading to issues like heart failure. While you can't change your age, you can begin to take care of your heart early on with healthy lifestyle choices.
You have a family history
Your genetics significantly influence your risk for chronic health issues like heart disease. If you have a first-degree relative, like your mom, who has congestive heart failure, you're at a much higher risk of developing it.
Certain lifestyle habits
Lifestyle habits play a significant role in your overall health and wellness. Smoking, alcohol abuse, and a sedentary lifestyle are all choices that affect your heart and health. Eating foods high in fats and sodium is also bad for your heart.
Other medical conditions
Chronic medical conditions can take a toll on your heart. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes are three primary health conditions that can lead to congestive heart failure.
Keeping your medical conditions under control can help you avoid issues with your heart in the future.
Tips to reduce your risk of heart failure
Being at risk for congestive heart failure is an eye-opener regarding your health. If you're worried about heart failure, our team gives you lifestyle tips to keep your heart healthy, including the following:
- Quit smoking
- Watch your weight
- Exercise regularly
- Take your medications
- Manage chronic conditions
- Cut back on alcohol
Changing your lifestyle to include healthy activities and meals goes a long way in protecting your heart. However, there's only so much you can do on your own, which is why our team is here to help.
If you already have congestive heart failure, our team provides personalized treatments to control it.
If you're concerned about your heart health, don't hesitate to schedule an appointment with our team; contact us at 408-937-3600 to discuss your coagulation disorder.