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Congestive Heart Failure Legs

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What Should The Caregiver Remember When The Patient Is At The End

Edema – Fluid Retention due to Congestive Heart Failure

Various important decisions of the patients life have to be taken by the caregivers surrounding the patient. Great responsibilities come up on the caregiver as the patient gradually becomes completely dependent. The caregiver should always be on his toes because there can arise an emergency at any point of time. The patient may have to be admitted to the hospital frequently during the last stage. Symptoms can worsen overnight and the caregivers should be prepared for it.

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Symptoms Of Congestive Heart Failure

In addition to shortness of breath while resting, shortness of breath during physical exertion is a symptom of congestive heart failure. Edema in the ankles, legs or feet, and rapid or irregular heartbeat could also signal the condition. A reduced ability to exercise, persistent cough or wheezing with white or pink blood tinged phlegm are also symptoms. Other signs include the increased need to urinate at night, a swelling of the abdomen and sudden weight gain from fluid retention. Sometimes written off as a gastronomic issue, a lack of appetite or nausea could also be symptomatic of congestive heart failure. Unusual mental tendencies, such as experiencing less alertness than usual or having difficulty concentrating are also signs that congestive heart failure could be occurring.

It is very important to take sudden, severe shortness of breath and coughing up pink foamy mucus, seriously. Those issues and chest pain are also congestive heart failure symptoms.

Favorite Apps For Managing Edema

Health Storylines

This free app, produced in partnership with the Heart Failure Society of America, lets you track many important things related to edema, such as weight and symptoms like a feeling of fullness or swelling. If your weight shows a steep gain over a day or two, you get a prompt to call the doctor. Patient reviews say the medication tracker is limited to a set list, so before signing up, check to see if your drugs are listed.

HF Path

This free app from the American Heart Association lets you track vital information, such as medication schedule, symptoms, and weight. The app sends an alert if your log indicates edema serious enough to call the doctor. The app also has online courses on heart failure problems such as edema as well as the option for group chats with others who have heart failure.

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Other Causes Of Edema

Heart failure is not the only cause of swelling in the feet. Allergic reactions, burns, trauma, blood clots, or severe inflammation can cause edema as well.

Other causes can include:

  • Gravity: If youve been sitting or standing in one place for too long, gravity gradually pulls the fluid in your body down to your legs and feet.
  • Varicose veins:Veins in your legs cant get blood back up to your heart, causing blood to collect in your legs.
  • Medications: Blood pressure or pain medications can cause swelling.
  • High salt intake:You may not be aware that your sodium intake is high. Processed or packaged foods, olives, legumes, and cheese can have high amounts of sodium.
  • Pregnancy: As the baby grows, the uterus puts pressure on the blood vessels in the lower half of your body.
  • Thyroid disease: Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can cause edema.

Early Signs Of Edema And Swelling

Diagnosis and Treatment of Congestive Heart Failure, aka CHF

Swelling or edema comes about when there is excess water in the tissues. Edema most commonly occurs in the arms and legs. Although it can occur in the abdomen. There are some early signs of edema that you should be aware of.

  • Arms or legs that suddenly start to feel heavy
  • When pressing on an arm or leg leaves a dent
  • When clothes and jewelry start to feel tight
  • Pain in surrounding joints

Edema related to circulation heart, or liver problems are serious, and these conditions need emergency treatment.

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When To Get Medical Advice

See your GP if you experience persistent or gradually worsening symptoms of heart failure.

The symptoms can be caused by other, less serious conditions, so it’s a good idea to get them checked out.

Call 999 for an ambulance or go to your nearest accident and emergency department as soon as possible if you have sudden or very severe symptoms.

This is a medical emergency that may require immediate treatment in hospital.

Page last reviewed: 19 May 2022 Next review due: 19 May 2025

Treatment For Ankle Swelling In Congestive Heart Failure

  • The first line of treatment is a diuretic called Lasix. When swelling is severe, intravenous Lasix is prescribed.
  • Diuretics such as Bumex and Aldactone

People with CHF should limit processed foods and canned foods.

  • Elevate legs
  • These socks are used for compression and they increase Increase Blood Circulation, Relieve Arch Pain, Reduce Foot Swelling
  • These compression stocking sleeves Relieve Achilles Tendonitis, Joint Pain. Plantar Fasciitis Foot Sock with Arch Support Reduces Swelling & Heel Spur Pain. Injury Recovery for Sports
  • These compression stockings are used for Athletes, Runners, Nurses, Shin Splints, Flight Travel & Pregnancy Boost Stamina, Circulation & Recovery

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Heart Failure Edema Treatment Starts By Throwing Away Your Salt Shaker

Sodium is possibly the biggest dietary culprit in causing fluid retention. The first thing anyone with heart failure should do to improve their overall health is throw away their salt shaker.

In general, you should consume less than 2,000 mg of sodium a day if you have heart failure. Because sodium lurks in most pre-packaged foods, you should read food labels carefully to get a real understanding of how much salt youre taking in.

Symptoms Of Heart Failure

leg swelling and heart failure video

Symptoms of heart failure include:

  • new or worsening shortness of breath
  • difficulty lying flat at night
  • fainting or passing out
  • weight gain
  • muscular fatigue, tiredness
  • swelling of ankles or legs
  • swelling of abdomen
  • heart palpitations
  • chest pain or discomfort in parts of the upper body
  • unexplained coughing and wheezing
  • constipation.

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What To Expect At Home

When you have heart failure, your heart does not pump out enough blood. This causes fluids to build up in your body. If you drink too many fluids, you may get symptoms such as swelling, weight gain, and shortness of breath. Limiting how much you drink and how much salt you take in can help prevent these symptoms.

Your family members can help you take care of yourself. They can keep an eye on how much you drink. They can make sure you are taking your medicines the right way. And they can learn to recognize your symptoms early.

Your health care provider may ask you to lower the amount of fluids you drink:

  • When your heart failure is not very bad, you may not have to limit your fluids too much.
  • As your heart failure gets worse, you may need to limit fluids to 6 to 9 cups a day.

If Youre Wondering Whether A Heart Problem Can Cause A Cold Sensation In The Legs Your Hunch Is Dead

That cold feeling in your legs can be caused by congestive heart failure.

Heart failure can certainly cause cold peripherals, says Yaser Elnahar, MD, a cardiologist with Hunterdon Cardiovascular Associates in NJ.

That is because of not sending enough blood to the organs. As the heart gets weaker in advanced heart failure, not enough blood is being pumped, and it will back up into the lungs.

The result is poor circulation to many organs .

The term failure refers to failure of the pumping system to work efficiently.

CHF can be mild, moderate, severe or end stage.

A cold sensation in the legs has many possible causes, but what worries many people is if some kind of heart issue could be one of them.

But dont go jumping to conclusions yet, especially if you dont have the classic risk factors for congestive heart failure.

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Congestive Heart Failure Leg Cramps

A great many people would rush to say manifestations like these arent cause for concern, and theyre positively not something a warming cushion or gentle over-the-counter pain reliever cant fix.

However, assuming your side effects continue even after at-home cures, it very well may be something other than leg torment it very well may be your heart.

Fringe vein infection is a events that stands set apart by the regional bloodstream to the appendages, particularly your legs, because of plaque growth in your store routes.

Does congestive heart failure cause leg cramps?

Despite the fact that it has different indications, too, the indication of PAD is typically leg torment and squeezing and a drained inclination in your legs or hips during development, similar to practice or going all over the steps.

For patients with PAD, these side effects are available during development however normally die down during rest.

In this way, while you might be encountering torment while youre approaching your day.

you may likewise feel fine when youre plunking down or unwinding around the evening time.

This irregularity can hold individuals back from announcing their symptoms.

Since the aggravation, in the end, dies down, many individuals believe that its an aftereffect of a pulled muscle or driving themselves excessively far during exercise clarifies Matthew Levy, DO a cardiologist at Paoli Hospital, part of Main Line Health.

  • Leg deadness, shortcoming, or chilliness
  • Erectile brokenness
  • Edema Related To Circulation Heart Or Liver Problems


    A variety of diseases can cause edema. Most of the time, the edema is not a serious illness, but it may be a sign for one. Here are some examples:

    Venous insufficiency can cause edema in the feet and ankles, because the veins are having trouble transporting enough blood all the way to the feet and back to the heart. This means that it gathers in the legs, and fluid is forced out of the blood vessels into the surrounding tissue. Edema can also be caused by varicose veins.

    Congestive heart failure can cause both peripheral edema and abdominal edema . This is because the heart is too weak to pump blood around the body properly, so the blood gathers in front of the heart. Because of this, and due to the increased blood pressure in the veins, fluid seeps out into the surrounding tissue. This may cause swelling in the legs or a build-up of fluid in the abdomen. If the person spends a lot of time lying down, the edema might show up on his or her back . Congestive heart failure can also cause edema in the lungs . This is not common, but the condition is life-threatening. It means the lungs are filling with fluid because the left side of the heart is not strong enough to pump the blood returning from the lungs. The blood gathers in the blood vessels of the lung, and fluid seeps out into the lung tissue. The signs are shortness of breath and rapid, shallow breathing or coughing.

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    Are Swollen Feet A Sign Of Heart Failure

    Your heart is the hardest-working muscle, pumping an average of 2,000 gallons of blood a day. So when something goes wrong with it, your body will quickly let you know.

    Heart failure happens when it cant pump enough blood to keep your organs working normally. One major sign of heart failure is swollen feet, or edema. The swelling comes from fluid trapped inside the tissues of your body.

    Heart failure causes swelling in your feet because the kidneys arent getting enough oxygen to properly filter your blood. When that happens, your body keeps the extra fluid and waste products inside your body.

    Heart failure also causes a backup of blood, which causes the body to hold on to extra fluid outside of the arteries or veins. This results in swelling in the feet.

    New Emphasis On Healthy Lifestyle

    In decades past, physician care of heart failure tended to focus solely on drug therapy, with little attention paid to lifestyle change, observes cardiologist Ronald Scheib, MD, FACC, physician and educator at the Pritikin Longevity Center.

    The healthy lifestyle taught at Pritikin in Miami can help alleviate symptoms like swollen feet and slow the progression of heart failure. In fact, people with mild to moderate heart failure often return to nearly normal lives.

    But research is now showing that lifestyle improvements like reducing sodium intake, exercising regularly, and getting psychological support, all part of the Pritikin Program, can lessen symptoms of heart failure and greatly improve quality of life.

    A heart-healthy lifestyle can also decrease the likelihood of disease progression, thereby decreasing the need for hospitalizations.

    Echoes the American Heart Association8: Following recommendations about diet, exercise and other habits can help to alleviate symptoms of heart failure, slow your diseases progression, and improve your everyday life. In fact, people with mild to moderate heart failure often can lead nearly normal lives as a result.

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    What Procedures And Tests Diagnose Congestive Heart Failure

    Congestive heart failure CHF can be confused with other illnesses that cause breathing difficulties, such as bronchitis, pneumonia, emphysema, and asthma. Talking to a medical professional, along with receiving a physical exam and tests available only at a medical office or hospital, are necessary to make an definitive diagnosis. Some of the most useful tests are mentioned below.

    Chest X-ray: This is very helpful in identifying the buildup of fluid in the lungs. Also, the heart usually enlarges in congestive heart failure, and this may be visible on the X-ray film. In addition, other disorders may be diagnosed.

    • An electrocardiogram is a painless test that measures the electrical activity of the heart. For this test, which takes just a few minutes, one lies on a table with electrodes attached to the skin of the chest, arms, and legs. The ECG can reveal several different heart problems that can cause heart failure, including heart attacks, rhythm disorders, long-standing strain on the heart from high blood pressure, and certain valve problems.
    • However, the ECG result may be normal in heart failure.

    Blood tests: People may have blood drawn for lab tests.

    Echocardiogram : This is a type of ultrasound that shows the beating of the heart and the various cardiac structures. It is safe, painless, and one of the most important tests for diagnosing and following patients with heart failure over time.

    MRI :

    Symptom: Calf Torment During Movementconceivable Reason: Atherosclerosis

    Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) for Nursing & NCLEX

    Fair skin, and injuries on your legs or feet that dont mend well-are indications of fringe vein infection, a blockage in the bloodstream to your legs.

    The most probable reason is atherosclerosis, a hardening and restricting of the supply routes because of tacky cholesterol and fat stores called plaques.

    Assuming your legs are experiencing deficient bloodstream, possible your heart is, as well.

    Fringe corridor infection shares hazard factors with coronary illness specifically, smoking elevated cholesterol, diabetes, and hypertension.

    It builds your danger of creating coronary illness and of having a respiratory failure or stroke later on.

    To stay away from genuine entanglements, you really want to make changes to your way of life by losing abundance weight, getting more dynamic, eating a heart-sound eating regimen, and stopping smoking.

    Your primary care physician might suggest blood thinners and vasodilators .

    Indications: Pain, consuming, deadness, and shiveringConceivable reason: Diabetes

    These sentiments in your legs or feet could be indications of diabetic neuropathy-nerve harm because of steadily high glucose.

    High glucose harms not just the little veins that send oxygen and supplements to the nerves, yet, in addition, to the actual nerves, keeping them from conveying the right messages to your mind.

    Try not to smoke, additionally, cut down on hypertension and cholesterol.


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    What Makes Yale Medicines Approach To Treating Congestive Heart Failure Unique

    Yale Medicines multidisciplinary team comprises heart failure cardiologists and cardiac surgeons, dedicated advanced-practice, registered nurses and nurse coordinators, dietitians, exercise physiologists, financial counselors, immunologists specializing in transplants, psychologists, and specialists in palliative care.

    With a multidisciplinary approach, Yale Medicine physicians include the patients desires as well as input from the family to develop a comprehensive treatment plan that’s right for them.

    Moderate Stage Of Chf

    At Stage C, as the heart continues to fail, the person develops weakness and significant fatigue, shortness of breath or palpitations with the slightest physical exertion. She begins to limit activity because of these symptoms as she is only comfortable when resting. A doctor’s evaluation and testing shows moderate signs of heart dysfunction,

    Other possible symptoms might include more visible edema of the lower extremities and the hands might also swell as the fluid congestion in body tissues increases. Shoes and rings might be tighter. The pulse might become weaker because of the struggling heart.

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    Exercised Legs Are Very Important For Chronic Heart Failure Patients

    Dont assume that legs dont matter just because theyre far from the heart.

    Bad Legs = Bad Heart

    A University of Leeds study shows that the degree of leg muscle dysfunction in people with chronic heart failure is directly related to symptom severity of the heart failure.

    Its easy to cast leg muscle dysfunction off as a natural consequence stemming from the breathlessness and easy fatigue of chronic heart failure.

    But the researchers discovered that there may also be an intrinsic impairment of the leg muscles in these patients.

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