Signs and Symptoms of a Congestive Heart Failure Flare-Up

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Know the signs and symptoms of a congestive heart failure flare-up.

CHF, or congestive heart failure, is a health condition that results when the heart isn’t pumping blood as effectively as it ought to. CHF can be caused by a few different conditions, including high blood pressure and coronary artery disease. People with CHF may experience flare-ups, or abrupt worsening of symptoms. Lend a Hand’s caregivers, experts in home and hospice care in Reno and the surrounding communities, can help seniors watch for signs of a congestive heart failure flare-up and take action to better manage the condition.

If you or someone you love has CHF, watch for these changes that might suggest a flare-up:

  • Sudden weight gain. If you gain three or more pounds in the period of one or two days, it may mean that your body is retaining fluid. Excess fluid can exacerbate CHF. You should weigh yourself every day and keep a record of your daily weight. That way you’ll know if you have changes your physician should know about.
  • Swelling in feet, legs or stomach. This can be caused by a buildup of fluid in the body. The swelling may be painful or cause nausea or constipation. Call your doctor immediately if you see that your legs, feet or abdomen are swollen.
  • Shortness of breath or coughing. These symptoms are often due to too much fluid in the lungs, making it difficult to breathe freely. Signs to look for are shortness of breath when performing easy tasks, such as getting dressed; shortness of breath while resting or lying down; or waking up during the night feeling like it’s hard to breathe. Let your doctor know at your next appointment if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. If they become worse or are severe, contact the doctor immediately.
  • Rapid heartbeat. If your heart feels like it is racing or feels erratic, contact the doctor. It could indicate a CHF flare-up.
  • Tiredness. Some tiredness is normal with CHF, but if you suddenly become abnormally fatigued and have any other warning signs, call your doctor.

If you have CHF and begin to feel faint, have chest pain that doesn’t go away with rest, feel light-headed or confused or are not able to breathe, call 911 immediately.

If you have CHF, a home care expert from Lend a Hand Home Care can help you monitor your condition and provide support with everyday activities. Lend a Home Care provides senior care services in Reno, NV and the neighboring areas. Email or call 775-322-8414 to find out more.