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The heart is our vital organ, which is a part of thecardiovascular system. Its main role is to pump the fresh oxygenated blood richin nutrients through the blood vessels throughout the body. It is comprised offour chambers: left atrium, right atrium, left ventricle and right ventricle.These chambers are separated with heart valves.

Sometimes the heart cannot functionproperly due to various reasons. One of the heart disorders is congestive heartfailure. It is condition marked by the significantly weakened heart, whichcannot pump enough blood to the cells and tissues in the body. Furthermore, theblood tends to accumulate in some areas in the body, which causes swelling. Therefore,many people with congestive heart failure have swollen hands and legs. Congestiveheart failure also disables the kidneys to normally dispose water and sodium. Sometimes,it also happens that the fluid collects in the lungs causing shortness ofbreath.

Stages of congestive heart failure

In the beginning, the heart enlarges itself andbegins to pump faster in order to increase the output of blood. Thus, the bodyreceives enough amounts of blood. Gradually, the heart weakens and its pumpingbecomes slow. Congestive heart failure progresses over time andaffects the other organs in the body, such as the lungs and the kidneys. There are three stages of congestive heart failure.

In the first stage, there are hardly any symptomsof this disorder except for mild tiredness and fatigue. In this stage, theheart meets the needs of the body by speeding up its pumping and by enlargingitself.

In the second stage, the people who suffer fromcongestive heart failure cannot perform any exercises since they require more oxygenand the heart cannot provide it. Therefore, when one performs an activity,abnormal heartbeats occur.

In the third stage, the people with thiscardiovascular problem cannot perform any daily activity. Shortness of breath,swollen hands and feet and constant cough are the symptoms that appear in thisphase of congestive heart failure.

Causes of congestive heart failure

Congestive heart failure may be induced by several reasons.Usually other medical condition leads to the occurrence of this disorder, suchas hypertension (or high blood pressure) and coronary artery disease (or blockedarteries). Furthermore, diabetes, as well as anemia may also bepotential causes for the incidence of congestive heart failure.

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