If you’re one of the five million American adults dealing with congestive heart failure, you need the experience of a board-certified physician like Matthew J. Markey, MD, PA. At his Cumming, Georgia, internal medicine practice, Dr. Markey offers advanced diagnosis and treatment for congestive heart failure. Call or book an appointment online to learn more about treating or preventing congestive heart failure.
Congestive heart failure is a condition that occurs when your heart can’t pump a sufficient amount of blood to keep you healthy. As a result, blood and fluid can back up in your lungs and you may feel persistent fatigue and shortness of breath. You may also develop edema, a condition where fluid builds up in your feet, ankles, and legs.
Any condition that damages the muscles of your heart can lead to congestive heart failure. These conditions may include:
As your heart muscles continue to weaken, your body may produce certain proteins that can cause additional damage to your heart and interfere with blood flow in the arteries.
The common symptoms of congestive heart failure are the result of fluid building up in your ankles, legs, and other parts of your body, which can make breathing difficult. You may feel short of breath during any physical activity, or even when lying still.
Dr. Markey first reviews your symptoms and medical history, then performs a physical exam, listening to your heart and lungs, to identify any abnormalities.
There is no one specific test to confirm heart failure, and Dr. Markey may request multiple tests, including a chest X-ray, blood work, and an electrocardiogram. He may also recommend a Holter monitor, which is a test that records your heart activity for up to 48 hours while you go about your normal activities.
Depending on the cause of your heart failure, Dr. Markey creates a custom treatment plan to address any underlying medical issue and alleviate your symptoms. Initially, he may recommend lifestyle and dietary changes to improve your overall health.
Medications are also available to reduce your blood pressure and improve your heart’s efficiency. Dr. Markey may also recommend a flu shot or other immunizations to protect you from respiratory infections.
If your heart failure doesn’t respond to treatment, Dr. Markey may refer you to a heart specialist for further treatment.
To learn more about treating or preventing congestive heart failure, book an appointment with Dr. Markey online or by calling the office directly.