Congestive Heart Failure Stages and Symptoms

Congestive Heart Failure Stages and Symptoms

Congestive heart failure is a chronic condition, a progressive one as we are about to find out with its stages, that affect the pumping power of the heart muscles. When you have congestive heart failure, according to the gurus over at, this doesn’t mean that your heart has stopped working, it means that your heart is working less efficiently and is not in optimal working condition. Over time, if you have congestive heart failure, it will affect your other organs, causing them to stop functioning as they should as well, with an example being your kidneys which may react by causing the body to retain fluid and salt, causing fluid to build up in the arms, ankles, legs, feet, lungs and other organs. The body, therefore, becomes congested, hence why this condition is referred to as congestive heart failure. As per the subject matter experts over at, congestive heart failure can be life-threatening and therefore one should seek immediate medical attention if they suspect they have the condition. To help you understand this condition, even more, this article will look to take a closer look at its various stages as well as its symptoms.

Congestive heart failure has got four stages: stages A, B, C, and D as is revealed in discussions on the same over at As the condition progresses from one stage to another, the chances of the affected person surviving for 5 or more years decreases hence why you should seek treatment as soon as possible if you suggest you have the condition.

Stage A:

When you are at stage A of congestive heart failure, you won’t experience any symptoms during typical physical activity, as per the gurus over at This is because, at stage A, you don’t have the condition yet but have a high risk of developing heart failure, also known as pre-heart failure, as a result of having conditions such as chronic high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, a history of alcohol abuse, a history of cardiotoxic drug therapy, a history of rheumatic fever, a history of cardiomyopathy among others. At this stage, as covered over at, you will not have any problems with the structure of your heart or how your heart functions. You will also mostly be experiencing symptoms related to the underlying condition you have rather than symptoms of heart failure. Treatment in stage A includes treatment of your underlying condition such as treatment of high blood pressure and managing your diabetes as well as quitting smoking, drinking of alcohol as well as illegal drug use, among other treatment therapies.

Stage B:

At stage B, structural heart disease develops, leading to reduced pumping function of the heart, which, as per discussions on the same over at, can lead to an enlarged left ventricle. People with stage B heart failure remain asymptomatic which means that you will likely be comfortable at rest, although in some cases normal physical activity may result in some fatigue, palpitations, and shortness of breath. This stage can result from a previous heart attack, valve disease, or even cardiomyopathy.

Stage C:

At stage C, you will begin showing symptoms of heart failure as a result of underlying structural heart disease. As explained over at, this means that, while you are likely to be comfortable at rest, you will be experiencing noticeable limitation of physical activity, with even mild exercise causing you to experience fatigue, palpitations or shortness of breath.

Stage D:

At stage D, you will have developed advanced structural heart disease and as such will be exhibiting significant symptoms, even when at rest. As per the gurus over at, you will find that you are unable to perform any amount of physical activity without experiencing symptoms, with symptoms also being present when you are at rest as mentioned. At this stage, your situation is serious and you may require advanced specialized treatment like mechanical circulatory support among others including a cardiac transplant or even hospice care.

Next up we are going to take a look at the symptoms of congestive heart failure, which should have you seeking immediate care if you notice any of them. They include shortness of breath or difficulty breathing which is usually as a result of fluid accumulating in the lungs and may occur when lying down, with activity or even at rest depending on the stage, a persistent, unexplained cough which may be accompanied by a pink or blood-tinged mucus, swelling in the legs, ankles, abdomen or hands due to the backing up of fluid mentioned earlier on and discussed over at, and which may get worse after exercise or as the day goes on. Other symptoms include fatigue, rapid weight gain, changes in memory and thinking, nausea accompanied by reduced appetite, a rapid heart rate or palpitations due to the heart being unable to pump blood with a regular rhythm, as well as light-headedness, dizziness or even passing out. One may also experience tingling or numbness in the extremities as a result of inadequate blood supply.

It is also worth noting that it may be difficult to recognize heart failure in infants and young children and therefore you should look out for red flags such as poor feeding, excessive sweating, and difficulty breathing. Other signs include poor growth or if you feel your child’s heart rate through the chest wall when they are resting. Infants with the condition may also struggle to gain weight, which is yet another red flag.

This discussion only begins to scratch the surface as far as this topic is concerned, with there being more to be uncovered by visiting the highly-rated