Can congestive heart failure kill you?
Heart failure is a serious health condition that can become dire if left unchecked. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), approximately 5.7 million American adults have heart failure. Nearly half of those who are diagnosed with the condition die within five years. However, a congestive heart failure diagnosis does not have to be a death sentence. Understanding your illness can help you live longer and live better.
What is congestive heart failure?
Congestive heart failure does not mean that your heart stops beating. It is actually a chronic progressive medical condition that affects the heart’s ability to pump effectively. The heart muscles are weakened, so the pumping power is diminished. This leads to fluid building up around the heart which inhibits efficient pumping. The longer congestive heart failure goes untreated, the more likely you are to develop very serious health problems, including death.
Types of heart failure.
There are two types of congestive heart failure, systolic and diastolic. When the heart muscle cannot contract as it should, it is called systolic heart failure. When the heart contracts the way it should, but the ventricles do not expand properly when they fill with blood, it is called diastolic heart failure. It is important for the heart to be able to pump properly because that is how oxygen-rich blood is pumped through the body.
Misconceptions about heart failure.
Heart failure is a very scary term and the condition can be deadly. These traits tend to fuel many myths and misconceptions.
A few of the more common heart failure myths include:
- Heart failure can be deadly, but it isn’t necessarily a death sentence.
- If you have heart failure it is OK to exercise but avoid overly vigorous activity and don’t overexert yourself.
- You can still do many of the activities you enjoy. Your doctor can help you determine what you can do and how much you can do.
- Heart failure is treatable.
- Heart failure has symptoms and if you pay attention to them you could save your own life.
Suffice it to say, cardiac problems are no joke. But it is treatable and does not have to end your life.
Can you die from heart failure?
The short answer is, yes. You can die from heart failure, but those who take the necessary precautions and follow a self-care plan created by their doctor have a greater chance of living a healthier, happier, longer life. If you have heart disease the sooner you talk to your doctor and create a treatment plan, the better your chances are of keeping it in check.
At Tri-City Cardiology, you come first. We value our patients and are committed to helping each one live their best life possible. Call today and make an appointment to meet with one of our doctors so we can work together to create a treatment plan that is just right for your lifestyle.