Joshua wrote and illustrated a pretty neat book discussing Congestive Heart Failure and how it affects the respiratory system. Congestive heart failure (CHF) occurs when the heart is no longer able to adequately pump blood, which can cause several issues for the body and even result in death. Some symptoms of CHF may include shortness of breath, fatigue, arrhythmias, and edema in legs and lungs. CHF can be caused by coronary artery disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, stress, and obesity. Joshua does a great job of illustrating the functions of the heart and the respiratory system as well as how their co-dependence is vital. When the heart is no longer able to pump blood throughout the body, the “hydrostatic pressure forces fluid from the capillaries into the interstitial spaces” and there will be a reduced ability for carbon dioxide and oxygen to diffuse between the capillaries and the alveoli, posing a great threat to the lungs’ ability to ventilate. While it is generally important to live a healthy lifestyle, it is suggested to maintain a heart healthy diet, get plenty of exercise, and to avoid smoking in attempts to prevent congestive heart failure.
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