Congestive Heart Failure Therapy Specialist

Craig R. Peterson, MD -  - Cardiologist

Eastern Shore Heart Center

Craig R. Peterson, MD

Cardiologist located in Fairhope, AL

Almost five million Americans live with congestive heart failure, and over half a million new cases are diagnosed every year. The good news is that deaths caused by heart failure have steadily decreased by 12% per decade over the past 50 years, in large part due to medical intervention. Cardiologist Dr. Craig Peterson at Eastern Shore Heart Center has extensive experience in treating congestive heart failure, helping his patients in Fairhope, Alabama maintain a better quality of life. To learn how you can best manage your congestive heart failure, call or book an appointment online.

Congestive Heart Failure Therapy Q & A

What is congestive heart failure?

At its core, your heart is a muscle, and when that muscle isn’t functioning correctly or is weak, your heart can't pump blood through your body sufficiently. This condition is known as congestive heart failure, which causes your blood to back up, often congesting in your abdomen or lower extremities.

Congestive heart failure is a chronic condition that needs to be vigilantly monitored by a cardiologist. Dr. Peterson can help you live with the condition and in some cases even relieve it.

What are the symptoms of congestive heart failure?

The most common symptoms of heart failure include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Swelling in your lower extremities (feet, ankles, and lower legs)
  • Coughing or wheezing
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat

This list is by no means comprehensive, but it highlights some of the more prevalent symptoms.

What causes heart failure?

Congestive heart failure is often the result of cardiovascular issues that weaken or damage your heart, including:

  • Coronary artery disease
  • Heart attack
  • High blood pressure
  • Arrhythmias
  • Congenital issues

Any disease or condition that taxes your heart beyond its capabilities can lead to heart failure.

A weakened or damaged heart doesn't always cause congestive heart failure; some cases of heart failure arise when your heart becomes too stiff. When the heart muscle stiffens, it’s unable to pump blood sufficiently.

How is heart failure treated?

When you first visit Dr. Peterson, you undergo a thorough examination, which includes:

  • Blood work
  • Imaging
  • Stress tests
  • Heart rate monitoring

Dr. Peterson’s practice is equipped with the latest diagnostic tools to accurately measure your heart’s functions to see where the problem underlying your heart failure may lie. With this information, Dr. Peterson can manage your congestive heart failure, and may even improve it through one, or a combination, of the following treatments:

  • Medications
  • Medical procedures
  • Lifestyle changes, such as weight loss
  • Nutrition

When it comes to congestive heart failure, there are many steps you and Dr. Peterson can take to improve your quality of life and to avoid further complications.

If you’re suffering from congestive heart failure, contact Eastern Shore Heart Center to get started on a program to improve your health. Call or use the online booking tool to schedule an appointment.