Congestive Heart Failure

Heart failure does not mean the heart has stopped working. Rather, it means that the heart’s pumping power is weaker than normal leading to a slower rate of blood flow throughout the body. As the heart gets weaker, it cannot pump enough blood which carries oxygen and nutrients to meet the body’s needs. As a result, the kidneys may respond by causing the body to retain fluid (water) and salt. If fluid builds up in the arms, legs, ankles, feet, lungs, or other organs, the body becomes congested, leading to “congestive heart failure.”


Atrial Fibrillation?

Atrial fibrillation originates in various areas of the 2 upper chambers of the heart (the atria), begins in multiple sites in a chaotic pattern, and causes them to contract irregularly and quickly.  Instead of beating in a productive, regular rhythm, a heart in Atrial fibrillation beats very rapidly, irregularly, and ineffectively. During atrial fibrillation, the atria do not pump blood as effectively as they normally should. In some cases, blood in the atria, which is not being pumped out effectively, can stagnate and clot. If these clots break up or break off, they may pass into the left ventricle, travel through the blood stream and block a smaller artery. If this happens in the brain, it can cause a stroke. Therefore, diagnosis, careful monitoring and treatment are all important aspects of managing atrial fibrillation.


Chest Pain

Which chest pain may be caused by problems in the muscles, lungs, esophagus, ribs, or nerves the most concerning cause of chest pain is from underlying heart disease.  Chest pain, also known as angina, originating from the heart could cause pain anywhere from the abdomen to the neck.  It sometimes radiates to the arms or jaw.  Sometimes people describe a squeezing or tightness in the chest that may be accompanied by sweating or shortness of breath.



Palpitations are abnormality of heartbeat that ranges from skipped beats to rapid or accelerated heart rates. They can cause a more noticeable heart beat to feeling of dizziness, chest pain, or shortness of breath.


Shortness Of Breath

Difficulty in breathing, also known as shortness of breath or dyspnea, could be a marker of significant cardiovascular or pulmonary disease. People usually describes a sensation of not being able to get enough air, or sometimes as a feeling of suffocation, or chest tightness. This could be exacerbated by activities such as exercise.  Although shortness of breath could be due to a variety of causes, some common cardiac conditions include possible heart failure, coronary artery disease, arrhythmias, mitral regurgitation or aortic stenosis.  It is important to see a cardiologist to workup the possibility of structural heart abnormalities that might be the cause of these symptoms.


Mitral Valve Prolapse & Mitral Regurgitation

Mitral Valve Prolapse (MVP) occurs when the valve between the heart’s left upper chamber (left atrium) and the left lower chamber (left ventricle) doesn’t close properly. During mitral valve prolapse, that valve bulges (prolapses) upward, or back into the atrium. Mitral valve prolapse sometimes leads to blood leaking backward into the left atrium, a condition called mitral valve regurgitation.

In most people, mitral valve prolapse isn’t life-threatening and doesn’t require treatment or changes in lifestyle. However, some people with mitral valve prolapse, require treatment. Your cardiologist can determine the severity of your symptoms and condition and provide you with a detailed treatment plan.

Carolina Heart & Leg Center, PA
3637 Cape Center Drive
Fayetteville, NC  28304

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