CHF Is: Definition, Symptoms and Causes

CHF is Congestive Heart Failure which is a condition in which the heart cannot pump enough blood to the body’s organs and other tissues. So far, CHF has become a heart disease that has a fairly high risk for sufferers.

CHF disease is not only experienced by someone who is elderly, but can also be experienced by people who suffer from hypertension, obesity, high cholesterol levels, like to drink alcohol and smoke and someone who has a family history of heart failure. Therefore, CHF needs to be watched out for by everyone and not only the elderly. To be aware of CHF, Sinaumed’s needs to know more about CHF, see the full explanation in the following article.


CHF is Congestive Heart Failure which means congestive heart failure. Heart failure referred to as CHF is often misinterpreted by the general public as a condition in which the heart stops beating.

However, according to a research journal entitled Congestive Heart Failure, heart failure is a condition that occurs when a person’s heart can no longer pump the blood needed by the body, organs and tissues in it.

So, if there is one or even two parts of the heart that does not pump blood out, the blood will be blocked and cause a buildup in the heart which results in blockage of organs and other body tissues.

If this happens, then the body’s organs that should get blood supply will stop working.

A person with CHF will generally have limited physical activity, so they cannot do strenuous exercise and are only allowed to do light activity.

If CHF sufferers undergo strenuous activities, the body will tend to feel tired easily and even experience difficulty breathing or a disease called dyspnea.

Heart failure is a condition that can occur in all ages, both the elderly and children, especially children with congenital heart defects.

However, congestive heart failure is more common in older people, because older people are more at risk of developing causes of damage to the heart muscle and heart valves.

Changes in the heart, along with age will also cause heart contractions to become less effective.

Congestive heart failure is also known as the silent killer, because it can appear at any time without any symptoms for a long time, until finally the patient dies.

However, now, researchers reveal that congestive heart failure is not always a death sentence for patients. Many people with mild to moderate congestive heart failure are able to live long and normal lives with the help of medication and some treatments.

There are several facts about congestive heart failure that have been revealed through several studies, including the following:

  • Heart failure means that the pumping function of the heart is unable to meet the body’s basic needs.
  • CHF disease can appear together with other diseases.
  • Symptoms of CHF from one patient to another can vary.
  • CHF disease has a progressive nature or can get worse over time.
  • There are many patients from CHF who feel tired and short of breath.

Patients with congestive heart failure can be classified into 4 categories according to the patient’s ability to carry out daily activities, along with the classification:

  • No mobility problems.
  • There are only minor or minor mobility problems.
  • Have limitations to perform certain activities.
  • Not being able to complete an activity without feeling some extreme discomfort.

CHF Disease Types

As explained at the beginning of the article, that CHF needs to be watched out for by anyone and does not only affect the elderly. There are several types of CHF or heart failure to watch out for.

The heart has four chambers and the four chambers each have their respective duties. The four chambers are the right and left atria at the top and the right and left ventricles at the bottom. Based on the location of the space, CHF can be divided into three types. Here’s the full explanation.

1. CHF or Left-sided Congestive Heart Failure

The first type of CHF is left-sided congestive heart failure which will make the sufferer experience a condition where fluid accumulates in the lungs, abdominal cavity, legs and kidneys.

The accumulation of fluid will be seen from the swelling in these parts of the body. This is because the left side of the heart chamber cannot function properly as it should.

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The left ventricle of the heart has the function of being able to circulate blood throughout the body through the aortic blood vessels, then forwarded to the arteries.

2. CHF or Right-sided Congestive Heart Failure

Congestive heart failure on the right will make the sufferer experience a buildup of fluid in the stomach and other parts of the body. This fluid buildup occurs because the right ventricle of the heart has difficulty pumping blood to the lungs.

So as a result, the blood that is pumped will return to the veins. In general, patients with right-sided CHF have experienced left-sided CHF first. However, there are also some right-sided CHF sufferers who do not experience left-sided CHF.

3. CHF or Mixed Congestive Heart Failure

The third type of CHF is mixed congestive heart failure which occurs in the right and left chambers of the heart. The conditions of this mixed CHF will occur simultaneously, so the risk will be more severe and higher.

On average, patients with mixed congestive heart failure generally experience left-sided congestive heart failure first, then heart failure spreads to the right if CHF is not immediately treated and managed properly.

Symptoms of CHF (Congestive Heart Failure)

Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) or congestive heart failure is a chronic disease that can suddenly occur. Symptoms that are quite typical for sufferers are easily out of breath when doing activities, shortness of breath when sleeping on their backs so that the patient needs several extra pillows to prop his head so he can breathe freely.

Patients with CHF are people who often wake up at night, due to feeling short of breath and sometimes accompanied by swelling that occurs in the ankles.

The effects of heart failure can vary, such as loss of appetite, frequent urination at night, nausea, weight gain, but it is caused by the accumulation of dangerous fluids and swollen organs in the body.

When the left heart fails, blood flow to the lungs stagnates. This can cause fatigue, shortness of breath especially at night when lying down and coughing. Meanwhile, when the right side of the heart fails, blood stagnates in the tissues.

Therefore, as a result, the liver becomes swollen and can cause abdominal pain. The patient’s feet and soles may experience swelling caused by the right side of the heart not functioning properly.

Broadly speaking, the symptoms of congestive heart failure can be divided into three levels, namely the initial level, moderate level and bad level. For the initial stages of congestive heart failure can be the following:

  1. The calves in the legs and ankles will experience swelling.
  2. Patients tend to get tired easily, even if they only do some light activities.
  3. The patient is gaining weight.
  4. The patient often urinates at night.

Meanwhile, the symptoms of moderate congestive heart failure will be accompanied by the following symptoms:

  1. The patient’s heart rate is often irregular.
  2. Often experience coughing and shortness of breath, even though they do not have asthma.
  3. Breath sounds or wheezing.
  4. Experiencing shortness of breath, even when only doing light activities or even when lying down.
  5. The body gets tired more easily and finds it difficult to do physical activity.

Then, if the patient has entered a level that is getting worse or worse, then the symptoms felt by the patient are as follows:

  1. Often experience pain in the chest which then spreads to the upper body.
  2. The skin turns bluish in certain parts caused by a lack of oxygen.
  3. Breath becomes shorter and faster.
  4. Often faints when too tired or doing light activities.

If Sinaumed’s feels that he is experiencing some of the above symptoms at a mild, moderate or even bad level, then immediately consult a doctor to get further appropriate treatment.

Causes of CHF

The most common cause of congestive heart failure or CHF is coronary heart disease. Meanwhile, other causes of CHF are due to the phenomenon of tense heart muscle, heart attack, high blood pressure, cardiomyopathy, infection, heart valve disease, heart arrhythmia or abnormal heart rhythm, thyroid disease, anemia, lung disease and fluid too much body.

In order to more clearly understand the causes of congestive heart failure, the following is an explanation.

1. Coronary artery disease

Blood flow that has oxygen content in it is blocked due to a buildup of plaque in the arteries, hardening of the arteries or due to a tear in the lining of the arteries.

2. Heart attack

The second cause of congestive heart failure is a heart attack, which is when a coronary artery is suddenly blocked and blood is unable to flow to the heart fully.

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Therefore, as a result, the heart muscle will become permanently damaged and the muscle cells in the heart can die, while the muscle cells that are still working normally are forced to work harder.

3. Cardiomyopathy 

Cardiomyopathy is a disease that refers to damage and swelling that occurs in the heart muscle that is not triggered by problems with blood flow or coronary arteries.

4. Congenital heart disease

Abnormalities of the heart that occur during pregnancy due to problems with fetal development can be one of the causes of congestive heart failure.

5. Diabetes 

Diabetes or high blood sugar levels is one of the causes of congestive heart failure.

6. Hypertension 

Hypertension is high blood pressure.

7. Obesity 

Being overweight or obese seems to be one of the most common causes of patients experiencing CHF.

8. Arrhythmia 

Apart from congenital heart disease, CHF can also be caused by heart rhythm abnormalities or arrhythmias.

9. Unhealthy lifestyle

An unhealthy lifestyle can certainly invite various kinds of diseases, ranging from minor illnesses such as heartburn to congestive heart failure. The unhealthy lifestyle in question is the habit of smoking, using narcotic drugs, consuming unhealthy foods such as instant food and junk food and rarely exercising.

In addition to the nine causes of CHF, there are also several factors that can increase a person’s risk of experiencing congestive heart failure or CHF. Quoted from the page , the following is an explanation.

  1. The heart muscle is injured during a heart attack. When the heart muscle is injured, it will cause the strength of a person’s heart to contract and make the heart’s work less and unable to work like its normal state.
  2. Patients who have a history of diabetes will be more at risk of heart failure, because diabetes will increase the risk of hypertension and coronary artery disease which are one of the causes of CHF.
  3. Consuming certain diabetes drugs that have a function to control sugar levels, seems to be able to increase the risk of heart failure for some people. Even so, it is better for Sinaumed’s not to stop any medication without consulting this with a doctor first.
  4. Sleep apnea or sleep disorders can reduce the supply of oxygen in the blood and increase the risk of abnormal heart rhythms. Both sleep apnea and sleep disorders are a factor in a person experiencing higher CHF.
  5. Someone who has a history of heart valve disease or a condition that makes the heart unable to pump blood properly has a higher risk of developing CHF.
  6. Certain viral infections. Viral infections apparently can cause damage to the heart muscle, so that it becomes one of the triggers of congestive heart failure.
  7. Someone who has a history of hypertension or high blood pressure.
  8. Being overweight or obese can increase the risk of congestive heart failure.
  9. Have a history of abnormal heartbeat disorders, especially if the heart beats too fast to weaken the heart muscle, which can cause CHF.
  10.  Having a habit of consuming too much alcohol or bad habits like smoking is one of the factors that increase the risk of congestive heart failure.

If Sinaumed’s feels that he is experiencing several symptoms or even has several factors causing congestive heart failure, then it is better for Sinaumed’s to do an examination and if he has CHF, there are several treatment options that Sinaumed’s can treat congestive heart failure.

Treatment of CHF depends on the cause or problem of the patient, for example, a problem with the heart valve, so the treatment procedure that can be done is to replace or repair the heart valve.

There are also several treatments that aim to reduce the amount of fluid growing, so that it will help the heart contract better.

Meanwhile, patients with CHF can do treatment at home by stopping smoking, taking medication regularly and reducing consumption of foods with high salt and fat levels. Another way is to change your lifestyle to be healthier.

That’s a brief explanation about CHF is congestive heart failure. Sinaumed’s can learn about other diseases and tips on maintaining health by reading books. as #FriendsWithoutLimits always provides various kinds of quality and original books for Sinaumed’s. Reading lots of books and articles will never hurt you, because Sinaumed’s will get #MoreWithReading information and knowledge.

Author: Khansa