Congestive Heart Failure Symptoms Swollen Ankles Pictures: And “What are the 4 Stages of Congestive Heart Failure”

Heart failure can happen to anyone. Swollen legs are a sign of heart problems, including heart failure. Heart failure is a condition when the heart weakens. In this condition, the heart is unable to pump blood and oxygen effectively to all organs of the body. Swollen legs are one of the causes. Find more about Congestive Heart Failure Symptoms Swollen Ankles Pictures.

In this article, you will find a lot of information that can help you to solve your problem. You will know about early signs or even heart failure getting worse. Besides that, there are facts about congestive heart failure, that you didn’t know before.


What is Congestive Heart Failure

Congestive heart failure does not mean the heart has stopped working, but rather the failure of the heart to pump the blood supply that the body needs. This occurs due to abnormalities in the heart muscles, so the heart cannot work normally.

So far, congestive heart failure (CHF) is described as a condition when the heart stops beating. Heart failure indicates the inability of the heart to pump blood or the inability of the heart to meet the normal blood quota that the body needs.

Congestive heart failure can occur suddenly (acute) or develop slowly due to a weakened (chronic) heart condition. Both are serious conditions that require emergency medical treatment.


The Process of Congestive Heart Failure

The heart has four chambers that have their respective duties, namely the right and left atrium which are at the top, and the right and left ventricles which are at the bottom.

Based on the location of the heart chambers, congestive heart failure can be divided into three types, namely:


Congestive heart failure on the left

In patients with left-sided congestive heart failure, the left ventricle of the heart does not function properly. This section is supposed to drain blood throughout the body through the aorta, then forward to the arteries.

Because the function of the left ventricle does not run optimally, there is an increase in pressure in the left atrium and the surrounding blood vessels. This condition creates a buildup of fluid in the lungs, abdominal cavity, and legs, and even affects the function of the kidneys in removing sodium and water.

In some cases, the inability of the left ventricle of the heart to relax can also be the cause of left-sided congestive heart failure. Because it is unable to relax, there is a buildup of blood when the heart exerts back pressure to fill the heart chambers.


Right side congestive heart failure

This type of congestive heart failure occurs when the right ventricle of the heart has difficulty pumping blood to the lungs. As a result, blood returns to the veins or veins, causing fluid to build up in the abdomen and other body parts, such as the legs.

Right congestive heart failure often begins with left congestive heart failure, in which there is excess pressure in the lungs. This excess pressure interferes with the ability of the right side of the heart to pump blood to the lungs. However, right congestive heart failure can also occur due to pulmonary hypertension that is not accompanied by left heart failure.


Mixed congestive heart failure

This condition occurs when a person experiences left and right congestive heart failure simultaneously. Usually, congestive heart failure starts on the left, then spreads to the right if not treated.


Symptoms of Congestive Heart Failure

There are several symptoms that can be experienced by someone suffering from congestive heart failure. In the early stages, the symptoms may not have an impact on general health conditions. However, as the condition worsens, the symptoms will become more pronounced.

There are at least three stages of symptoms that can be experienced by a patient with congestive heart failure, namely:


Early stage symptoms

At this stage, the patient experiences the following symptoms:

  • Swelling of the feet and ankles
  • Easily tired, especially after doing physical activity
  • Significant weight gain
  • Frequent urination, especially at night


Symptoms as conditions get worse

If the patient’s condition continues to worsen, the following symptoms will appear:

  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Cough due to swelling of the lungs
  • Breath sounds or wheezing
  • Shortness of breath when doing light physical activity or when lying down
  • Difficult to do activities because the body will quickly feel tired


Symptoms of severe congestive heart failure

If treatment is not immediately carried out, congestive heart failure can become severe. If it is severe, there are several symptoms that the sufferer can experience, namely:

  • Pain in the chest that radiates to the upper body. This condition can also indicate a heart attack
  • Cyanosis or bluish skin, because the lungs are deprived of oxygen
  • Inhale becomes short and fast
  • Faint

In conditions of severe congestive heart failure, symptoms will be felt when the body is at rest. At this stage, people with congestive heart failure will have difficulty in carrying out daily activities.


Conditions That Can Cause Congestive Heart Failure

A person who has congestive heart failure needs to be aware of the safety of his life. Patients must immediately undergo treatment or will be faced with several risks of complications, namely:


Failure of other organs

One of the organs that will malfunction when congestive heart failure occurs is the kidney. This occurs due to reduced blood flow to the kidneys. If not treated, the sufferer will experience kidney damage or kidney failure.

In addition to the kidneys, another organ that can experience impaired function due to congestive kidney failure is the liver.


Heart valve disorders

Congestive heart failure can cause the heart to enlarge or increase the heart’s blood flow pressure. This condition over time can cause heart valve disorders.



Arrhythmias occur due to disturbances in the heart’s electrical flow, which regulates the rhythm and beat of the heart. When people with congestive heart failure suffer from arrhythmias, they are at high risk of stroke. Patients are also prone to blockage of blood vessels due to the formation of blood clots.


Sudden cardiac arrest

One of the dangerous complications to watch out for in congestive heart failure is sudden cardiac arrest. When heart function is disturbed and not treated immediately, the heart’s performance will experience a drastic decline and are at risk of sudden cardiac arrest.

In fact, patients with congestive heart failure are 6–9 times more likely to experience sudden cardiac arrest than patients with arrhythmias.

There is no specific treatment that can be done to treat congestive heart failure. However, some types of medication can help sufferers go about their daily activities with fewer symptoms.

The treatment will be adjusted by the doctor based on the severity of congestive heart failure experienced. In addition, a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise and eating a balanced nutritious diet also needs to be done to maintain your heart health.

If you feel symptoms of heart problems, especially those that lead to congestive heart failure, immediately consult a doctor so that they can be treated immediately and prevent further complications.


Warning Signs of Heart Failure

Other than edema there are other signs of heart disease, such as:

  • Wheezing or shortness of breath can occur during exercise or while lying down. You should seek immediate medical attention if you feel short of breath or unable to sleep.
  • Stomach upset: This can be caused by a bloated stomach, nausea, or a loss of appetite.
  • Confusion: This is because your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen-rich blood.
  • Swelling: Your feet, ankles, or stomach may become swollen. Sudden weight gain is also possible.

Congestive Heart Failure Symptoms Swollen Ankles Pictures: And "What are the 4 Stages of Congestive Heart Failure"

What are the 4 Stages of Congestive Heart Failure

Heart Failure is a long-term illness that becomes more severe over time. Heart failure is characterized by four different stages (Stage A B, C, as well as D). The stages vary between “high likelihood of developing heart failure” through “advanced heart failure” and will provide treatment options. Consult your physician about the state of the heart you’re in. The stages differ in comparison to New York Heart Association (NYHA) classifications for the heart (Class I-II-III-IV) which reflect the severity of the symptoms or functional limitations caused by heart failure.

As the condition becomes more severe as the condition gets worse, your heart muscle pumps less blood to organs and you are able to move towards another stage of failing. You are not able to go back through the stages. For instance, when you are currently in Stage B you can’t return to Stage A. The aim of treatment is either to prevent you from progressing through stages or to slow the progress.

Treatment for every phase of heart disease can include changes in medications lifestyle habits, medications, and devices for the heart. You may examine your treatment plans against the guidelines to treat each of these stages of heart disease. The treatment options described are based on current guidelines for treatment. The table offers a simple program of care that may be applicable to you. If you have questions about any aspect of your treatment plan consult a member of your medical team.


Heart Failure Stages

Stage A

Stage A is referred to as pre-heart failure. This means that you are at a high chance of suffering from heart failure because of a history of family members with heart failure or one or more of these medical conditions:

  • Hypertension.
  • Diabetes.
  • Coronary arterial disease.
  • Metabolic syndrome.
  • The history of alcohol use.
  • The history of rheumatic fever.
  • A family medical history of the condition.
  • The history of taking medications that could damage muscles in the heart for example certain cancer drugs.


The Stage A Treatment

The typical treatment regimen for patients suffering from stage A heart failure is:

  • Regular exercise, active, walking daily.
  • Quitting smoking.
  • The treatment for hypertension (medication or diet with low sodium, active lifestyle).
  • Treatment to lower cholesterol.
  • Do not drink alcohol or use recreational substances.
  • The effects of medication:

Angiotensin converts enzyme inhibitor (ACE-I) or an angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB) in the event of coronary artery disease and diabetes or high blood pressure and other cardiac or vascular ailments.

Beta-blocker for those with excessive blood pressure.


Stage B

Stage B is thought to be an indication of a pre-heart condition. It is when you’ve been diagnosed with left systolic ventricle dysfunction but hasn’t suffered from any symptoms that suggest heart problems. The majority of people suffering from Stage B heart failure have an echocardiogram (echo) which shows an Ejection Fraction (EF) in the range of 40 percent or less. This includes those who suffer from heart failure and decreased EEF (HF rEF) because of any cause.


The Stage B Treatment

The standard treatment for patients suffering from stage B of heart failure comprises:

  • The treatments listed at Stage A.
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (ACE-I) or angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB) (if you’re not using one in your treatment strategy).
  • Beta-blocker medication if you’ve had a heart attack in the past and the EF has been reduced to 40% or less (if you’re not using one in your stage A program).
  • Aldosterone antagonists if you’ve suffered a heart attack, or if you suffer from diabetes and have an EF of 35 percent or less (to lower the chance for your heart’s muscles becoming larger and not pumping properly).
  • The possibility of surgery or intervention could be an option to treat coronary blockage in the artery and heart attack and valve diseases (you might require valve replacement or repair procedure) and congenital heart diseases.


Stage C

Patients suffering from Stage C heart failure have been diagnosed as having heart failure. They have (currently) or have (previously) symptoms and signs of the disease.

There are a variety of possible signs that indicate heart disease. The most common are:

  • Breathing shortness.
  • Tiredness (fatigue).
  • Not capable of exercising.
  • Legs that are weak.
  • Urinating in the morning.
  • Ankles, feet, lower legs, and abdomen (edema).


Stage C Therapy

The typical treatment for patients suffering from Stage C HF-rEF consists of:

  • The treatments are listed in stages A and B.
  • Beta-blocker (if you’re not taking any) to make your heart muscle pump harder.
  • Aldosterone antagonist (if you’re not taking one) in the event that vasodilators (ACE-I ARB, ACE-I, and angiotensin-receptor/neprilysin inhibition mixture) and beta-blocker do not alleviate your symptoms.
  • Hydralazine/nitrate mixture when other treatments aren’t able to alleviate your symptoms. Patients of African descent are advised to take this medicine (even when they are taking other vasodilator medicines) in the event of moderate to severe symptoms.
  • The use of medicines that slow down the heart rate when you have a heartbeat greater than 70 beats/minute and you have not resolved the symptoms.
  • The diuretic (“water pill”) is a medication that can be prescribed in the event of persistent symptoms.
  • Restrict sodium (salt) in your diet. Consult your physician or nurse about your daily allowance is.
  • Track your weight daily. Inform your doctor when you lose or gain over 4 pounds of the “dry” body weight.
  • Possible fluid restriction. Talk to your doctor or nurse about the amount of fluid you should be taking in daily. is.
  • Possible therapy for cardiac synchronization (biventricular pacemaker).
  • Potential implantable cardio defibrillator (lCD) treatment.

In the event that the treatment results in your symptoms getting better or cease the symptoms, you should keep undergoing treatment to slow the progress into stage D.


Stage D and E with reduced

Patients suffering from Stage D HF-rEF suffer from advanced symptoms that cannot improve with treatment. This is the last stage of heart failure.


Treatment for Stage D

The standard treatment regimen for patients suffering from Stage D heart failure includes:

  • Treatments are listed in Stages A, B, and C.
  • Evaluation to determine advanced treatment options which include:
  • Heart transplant.
  • Ventricular assist devices.
  • Heart surgery.
  • Continuous infusion of intravenous nitropin drugs.
  • Hospice or palliative treatment.
  • Research treatments.


A and D, with preserved EF

The treatment for those suffering from stage C or Stage D heart failure and preserved EF (HF-pEF) includes:

  • Treatments included in Stages A as well as B.
  • Treatment with medications for medical conditions that may cause heart problems or make the problem worse, like atrial fibrillation and high blood pressure obesity, diabetes coronary artery disease chronic lung disease and high cholesterol, as well as kidney disease.
  • Diuretic (“water pill”) to lessen or ease symptoms.


Heart Failure Treatment

There’s typically no solution for this issue, however, it is treatable. The typical treatment plan will consist of activities like exercising and a diet with lower sodium content. Your doctor might suggest weighing yourself every day to ensure that you’re not storing excess fluid.

It’s also important to track the amount of fluid that you consume or drink throughout the day. There will be medications to take. Additionally, you’ll likely have to reduce stress and stay away from caffeine. Your physician may also suggest surgical procedures to insert devices that can help your heart.


Living with Heart Failure

It doesn’t have to be the defining factor in your life. Concentrate on what you can do with the limitations you have instead of what you are unable to do. It may be necessary to pick the most important thing and leave out certain other activities. It’s possible that you’ll need to relax, too.


Edema and Heart Failure

Water gets trapped in the tissues of your body and causes edema. Edema is a condition that causes swelling. It usually affects your feet and ankles but can also affect your whole body.

The heart slows down, and the blood returning to it through the veins backs up, which causes fluid to build up in the tissues. Fluid retention is also caused by the kidneys’ inability to remove sodium and water from the body.


Congestive Heart Failure Symptoms Swollen Ankles Pictures

Causes of swelling in the legs and ankles during congestive heart failure

Both peripheral and abdominal edema can be caused by congestive heart disease (ascites). Because the heart is too weak and cannot pump blood properly, the blood builds up in front of it. Fluid seeps into surrounding tissue due to this increased blood pressure.

It can cause swelling of the legs and fluid buildup in the abdomen. Sacral edema can occur if the person is often lying down.

Edema in the lungs can also be caused by congestive heart disease (pulmonary edema). Although this is rare, it can be life-threatening. This is because the left side (or heart) of the heart isn’t strong enough to pump blood back from the lungs.

The fluid seeps into the lung tissue from the blood vessels in the lung. These symptoms include shortness of breath, rapid, shallow breathing, or coughing.

Also read about Swollen Feet Causes In Men. This information will help you complete your knowledge.


What is Edema

Edema Definition

Edema is the swelling caused by excessive fluid that has accumulated in the tissues of your body. While edema may be affecting any part within your body it is possible to feel it more prominently on your arms, hands as well as your ankles, feet, and legs.


Early Signs of Edema and Swelling

Swelling Meaning

Swelling refers to an increase in size or the form of an aspect within the body. Swelling could be caused by the accumulation of body fluids or tissue growth. It can also be caused by an abnormal position or movement of tissues.

Swelling or edema comes about when there is excess water in the tissues. Edema most commonly occurs in the arms and legs. Although it can occur in the abdomen.  There are some early signs of edema that you should be aware of.

  • Arms or legs that suddenly start to feel heavy
  • When pressing on an arm or leg leaves a “dent”
  • When clothes and jewelry start to feel tight
  • Pain in surrounding joints


Causes of Edema

  • Edema could be benign and it may simply go away by itself
  • It could be a symptom of heart disease that needs treatment right away
  • Sometimes edema is caused by cancer treatments (lymphedema)
  • Sometimes medications can cause swelling or edema

Edema related to circulation heart, or liver problems are serious, and these conditions need emergency treatment.


Edema can also be caused by other factors

Not only is swelling common in the feet due to heart failure but it can also be caused by other factors. Edema can also be caused by allergic reactions, burns or trauma, blood clots, or severe inflammation.

You might also be affected by:

  • Gravity: If you stand or sit too long, gravity pulls the fluid from your body to your feet and legs.
  • Varicose Veins: Veins in your legs can’t return blood to your heart and cause blood to build up in your legs.
  • Medications Blood pressure and pain medication can cause swelling.
  • Consume high amounts of salt: Your sodium intake may be high, but you might not know it. High amounts of sodium can be found in processed or packaged foods like olives, legumes, and cheese.
  • Pregnancy: The baby’s growth puts pressure on your lower body blood vessels.
  • Thyroid disease: Edema can be caused by hypothyroidism (your gland isn’t making enough thyroid hormone) or hyperthyroidism, (your thyroid gland makes too many thyroid hormones)


When should you see a doctor?

Swollen feet can be caused by many different factors. It is important to seek medical attention if the symptom does not sufficient. You may also experience temporary or permanent swelling. When deciding whether to call your doctor, consider the following:

Medical history

Patients with chronic heart disease or lung disease might experience exacerbations. These are periods where symptoms get worse and can cause edema. Edema could also be caused by medications you take for chronic illnesses. Before you stop taking any medication, always consult your doctor.


Sudden onset symptoms

Call your doctor immediately if you feel a sudden pain, redness, or swelling in any part of your body, or if your breathing becomes difficult to breathe.


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