When the normal pumping power of the heart is affected, the condition is called congestive heart failure. This condition is generally observed in people with weak heart muscles or people with certain defects that prevent their heart from circulating blood normally. CHF or congestive heart failure decreases the heart’s ability to pump blood throughout the body. With time, this might result in the organs receiving less blood which worsens the condition. The condition progresses through four stages. Read on to know more about the different stages of CHF and how to treat them.
Different Stages of Congestive Heart Failure
The main risk factors of CHF are high cholesterol, obesity, and high blood pressure. There are basically four stages of CHF and they are as follows:
Those who suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure, and diseases of the coronary artery are at a higher risk of developing CHF. Patients at stage A of CHF do not have any issues with the heart structure or the way it works. They will also not experience the signs or symptoms of the condition.
At this stage, patients suffer from structural heart disease, which is related to congestive heart failure. The signs might include a previous incidence of heart attack or having an enlarged left ventricle. However, at this stage, too, patients do not experience any major symptoms.
At this stage, the patients of CHF might experience certain symptoms associated with structural heart disease. Patients with this stage of CHF experience difficulty in breathing or fatigue because of the contraction of the left ventricle. So, such patients will have to undergo a congestive heart failure treatment to do treat the symptoms.
At stage D, people suffer from advanced level structural heart disease and experience the symptoms of congestive heart failure even at rest. This stage is the most serious one and requires special care as well as the best congestive heart failure treatments. Treatments include cardiac transplant, hospice care, mechanical circulatory support, and continuous inotropic infusion.
Congestive Heart Failure Treatment Options
Congestive heart failure treatments, at the initial stages, pertain to reducing the amount of fluids in the body to ease the strain on the heart and improve its blood-pumping ability. Doctors might also prescribe ARBs or angiotensin receptor blockers and ACE or angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors to help the heart pump blood effectively. Beta-blockers might also be prescribed to control the heart rate.