BP Basics

Hypertension And Congestive Heart Failure

Hypertension not only damages your bones, kidneys, eyes, brain and legs, but also your heart. An example of such damage is a condition called Congestive Heart Failure (CHF). In this condition it is very difficult for the heart to pump sufficient blood to reach all the organs of the body.

Congestive Heart failure makes you very weak. You become short of breath and tired. It also incapacitates the kidneys. They are not able to dispose of sodium and water properly, thereby increasing edema.

Causes of CHF:
Though CHF is mainly caused due to hypertension, there are other factors also that can lead to this condition. These include:

a) Narrowed arteries that supply blood to the heart
b) Myocardial infarction or a heart attack
c) Diseases related to the heart valve
d) Primary disease of the heart muscle
e) Innate heart defects
f) Infection of the heart valves or the heart muscle itself

Diagnosis of CHF:
If you suffer from any of these signs, then it is time to get a medical opinion:

a) Swollen legs or ankles
b) Difficulty in breathing
c) Obesity

Treatment of CHF:
The treatment of CHF requires you to take a proper diet, adequate rest, the prescribed medicines and modify daily activities. Medicines could include beta blockers, diuretics, digitalis, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and vasodilators.

Though treating CHF is possible, it is not that easy. Therefore, do yourself a favor and make sure that your blood pressure stays under control.