Congestive heart failure, or CHF, is a health condition that occurs when the heart isn’t pumping blood as effectively as it should. CHF can be caused by several conditions, including high blood pressure and coronary artery disease. People with CHF may experience flare-ups, or abrupt worsening of symptoms. Caregivers from Dakota Home Care, a top provider of at-home senior services in Bismarck, Mandan, and Fargo, can help seniors with CHF watch for signs of a flare-up and take measures to better manage the condition. CHF exacerbation can flare up any time; recognizing the signs and responding quickly is an important part of effectively managing the condition.
If you or a loved one has CHF, watch for these changes that could signify a flare-up:
- Rapid weight gain. If you gain three or more pounds in a period of just a day or two, it could be an indicator that your body is retaining fluid. Excessive fluid can exacerbate CHF. You should measure your weight each day and keep a record of your daily weight. This way you’ll know if there are changes your physician should know about.
- Swelling of feet, legs or abdomen. This can be due to a buildup of fluid in the body. The swelling can be painful or cause queasiness or constipation. Contact your doctor right away if you see that your legs, feet or abdomen are swollen.
- Shortness of breath or coughing. These symptoms are often the result of excess fluid in the lungs, which makes it hard to breathe freely. Symptoms to look for include shortness of breath when carrying out easy tasks, such as getting dressed; shortness of breath when resting or lying down; or waking up during the night feeling as though it’s hard to breathe. At your next appointment, let your physician know if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. If they become worse or are severe, call your doctor right away.
- Rapid heartbeat. If your heart is racing or feels irregular, call your doctor. This symptom may indicate a CHF flare-up.
- Fatigue. Some tiredness is normal with CHF, but if you suddenly feel abnormally fatigued and are experiencing any other warning signs, call the doctor.
If you have CHF and start to feel faint, have chest pain that doesn’t go away with rest, feel light-headed or confused, or can’t breathe, call 911 right away.
If you have CHF, a home care expert from Dakota Home Care can help you monitor your condition and provide support with daily activities. Dakota Home Care is a leading provider of at-home senior services in Bismarck, Mandan, Fargo, and other North Dakota metropolitan areas. Call (877) 691-0015 to learn more about our in-home care services and to schedule a free in-home consultation.