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Congestive Heart Failure (cont.)

Congestive Heart Failure Treatment and Medical Treatment

The treatment of heart failure depends on the exact cause, but it can usually be treated effectively. The overall goals are to correct underlying causes, to relieve symptoms, and to prevent worsening of the condition. Symptoms are relieved by removing excess fluid from the body, improving blood flow, improving heart muscle function, and increasing delivery of oxygen to the body tissues. This can be done by the various congestive heart failure treatments listed in the following sections.

Medical Treatment

If the underlying cause of heart failure is not correctible by surgery or catheterization procedures, medical treatment is composed of lifestyle changes and medications.

  • Lifestyle changes recommended by your health care provider can help relieve symptoms, slow the progression of heart failure, and improve one's quality of life. Lifestyle changes that may be helpful in preventing or relieving heart failure include those recommended by the American Heart Association and other organizations as part of a heart-healthy lifestyle. See Congestive Heart Failure Diet and Lifestyle Changes for more information.
  • Medications (see below) help control both the underlying causes of heart failure and the symptoms. Medications are the most critical part of therapy for heart failure. Usually, several types of medications are required to address as many of the physiologic imbalances as possible.
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Heart Failure »

Heart failure is the pathophysiologic state in which the heart, via an abnormality of cardiac function (detectable or not), fails to pump blood at a rate commensurate with the requirements of the metabolizing tissues and/or pumps only from an abnormally elevated diastolic filling pressure.

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