ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Heart Failure: The Silent Killer

Updated on November 24, 2019

Heart Disease

What is Congestive Heart Failure?

Congestive Heart Failure occurs when the heart muscle is no longer able to pump the adequate amount of oxygenated blood throughout the body. The blood flowing out of the heart slows down which causes the blood returning to the heart to back up into the circulatory system and congest the surrounding tissues. Failure does not mean that the heart has stopped, it just isn’t pumping as well as it should. Roughly 670,000 people are diagnosed with Heart Failure each year.

Why is it called ‘The Silent Killer’?

Your body can do an amazing job at making up for Heart Failure. So much so that many have no idea they are living with the disease. However, without treatment, at some point, the heart and body will no longer be able to keep up. While physical health can play a huge role in the health of your heart, predispositions may interfere. This is why regular check ups with your primary doctor are so important.

How is CHF diagnoses?

Tests are required to find the cause and type of CHF so that the correct treatment is diagnosed. The following tests are the steps physicans administer:

  1. Blood Tests

  2. Chest X-Ray

  3. EKG

  • This checks the hearts electrical system

  1. Echocardiogram

  • The best and easiest way to diagnose heart failuire

  • Shows the size and shape of the heart

  • See how well the heart is pumping blood

  • Also used to monitor the progress of CHF in patients

  1. Cardiac Catheterization

  • Checks the heart and blood vessels

  1. Stress Test

How does this affect my heart? What should I expect?

CHF causes the body to hold onto salt and water. This increases the amount of blood in your blood stream. A number of issues may arise from this including; fluid build up in the lungs, your heart beating faster, and your heart gets bigger. While CHF causes the heart muscle itself becomes stronger physically, the body is not meant for the heart to get bigger. This creates a ton of pressure on the chest cavity and surrounding organs.

In the early stages of Heart Disease, symptoms are minimal however, as CHF progresses, activity must be limited. Fluid will begin to build up in your body causing your to feel weak and shortness of breath. It may feel as though your heart is constantly pounding, swelling in your ankles, legs and feet, weight gain, frequent urination, bloated or sick feeling in your stomach, and finally a cough or wheeze (especially when laying down) . It gets worse over time however, treatment can slow down its progress and help the patient live a more comfortable life making it easier to manage.

Over time, CHF often leads to many other health problems;

  1. Trouble with heart rhythm (Arrythmia)

  2. Stroke

  3. Heart Attack

  4. Mitral valve Regurgitation

  5. Blood Clots

  6. Deep vein Thrombosis

  7. Pulmonary Embolism

How is CHF Treated?

A defibrillator/pacemaker is put into place if there is a problem with the rhythm of the heart. Simple lifestyle changes are also an important part of treatment as they can help slow down CHF and control other diseases that make CHF worse. By eating less salt, exercising regularly, taking more “rest breaks” throughout the day, losing excess weight, stop smoking and limiting alcohol intake. Most patients are required to take several medications to:

  1. Help keep the Heart Failure from getting worse

  2. Reduce symptoms

  3. Treat the cause

In rare cases, medicine and lifestyle changes have been found to reverse Heart Failure.

CHF can get worse suddenly and without warning. IF this does happen, seek medical attention immediately. This is a life threatening disease that leaves no room to be taken lightly.


Heart Disease and Congestive Heart Failure. (2005). In WebMD. Retrieved November 16, 2014, from

© 2014 BriannaGalapir


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)