Difference between congestive heart failure and congenital heart disease

Abhikriti Suyal

What are your first thoughts when you hear someone say ‘heart failure’? That the heart isn’t working at all. This isn’t true, thankfully. What a heart failure really means is that your heart is not pumping enough blood to the rest of the body. Also, heart failure is often interchangeably used with congestive heart failure. Speaking of heart failure, let’s dive deeper into it.    

Congestive heart failure: Explained

As surprising as it might sound, congestive heart failure is a progressive long-term condition and develops over a period of time. While your heart is still doing its job, this condition does not allow the heart to pump enough blood. This eventually results in a lack of oxygen in other parts of the body, because your heart is unable to handle as much blood as it should. Blood and other fluids usually leak out in the lungs, feet or legs.

Symptoms of congestive heart failure

Despite knowing that heart diseases are prolonged medical conditions, being aware of their signs could play a crucial role in preventing the damage. Some of the most common types of symptoms of congestive heart failure include – 

  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue 
  • Swelling in the legs, ankles and feet
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Swelling of the belly area
  • Rapid weight gain from fluid buildup
  • Lack of appetite
  • Chest pain 
congenital heart disease symptoms

Types of congenital heart disease

Congenital heart disease (CHD) is primarily a birth defect or abnormality that happens when the heart, or blood vessels near it do not develop properly. CHD can range from mild to severe and there is typically no known reason behind this defect. Broadly, there are 2 types of heart congenital disease-

Types of congenital heart disease
Asian infant baby with line of heart organ for heart health of children concept, Coronary Artery Disease, Congenital Heart Defect awareness week in 7-14 February campaign

Cyanotic congenital heart disease

When there is a defect in the circulatory system at the time of the birth of an individual, it is known as cyanotic congenital heart disease. The term cyanotic implies the presence of a bluish tint on the skin of the infant, known as cyanosis. This is a result of the abnormal movement of blood from one side of the heart to the other.

Acyanotic congenital heart disease

It happens when the blood in your body contains adequate oxygen levels but is pumped around abnormally by your heart. There are no apparent symptoms of the same but the infants may soon face health problems. A significant elevation in blood pressure can put the heart under additional strain, resulting in an increased risk of heart failure.

Did you know? 

Congestive heart failure and congenital heart disease are related. Both can be related in terms of one leading to another. CHD can be said to be one of the causes of congestive heart failure in some cases. To put it simply, congestive heart failure is one of the complications caused because of congenital heart disease.

Treating these conditions timely can help avoid any serious or life-threatening issues. You can make use of a combination of medication, surgery, and positive lifestyle choices to maintain a healthy heart. However, trusted heart supplements like TrueBasics Heart Omega-3 can work as a great preventive measure for your heart health as it helps improve good cholesterol levels. Additionally, it also reduces oxidative stress and inflammation, both of which are major risk factors for heart failure.

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Abhikriti Suyal