Causes Of Congestive Heart Failure
Congestive heart failure can often develop in a person when their heart has been weakened or damaged by some other conditions.
Though, it is not always the case. Sometimes it can occur if the heart of a person becomes too stiff.
When a persons heart begins to fail, the ventricles of the heart becomes too stiff, which causes them to not fill properly. Or the heart muscles become so weak and damaged that the ventricles dilate and stretch to an extent that the efficiency of blood circulation throughout the body is affected.
There are certain other conditions that contribute towards congestive heart failure in a person. They are:
Can You Cure Congestive Heart Failure
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Managing Congestive Heart Failure: How To Live Longer And Better With Congestive Heart Failure
The term heart failure is something of a misnomer. It makes it sound like the heart has stopped working, but that isnt really the case. What congestive heart failure means is that the heart isnt pumping efficiently enough to keep up with the bodys needs. Heart inefficiency might be a better term. With the proper treatment and lifestyle changes, many people with congestive heart failure can lead active lives for many years.
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How To Treat Heart Failure
CHF is a serious heart condition. If you feel the symptoms of CHF such as trouble breathing while lying down or bending over, extreme tiredness, or bloating in your legs or abdomen, go to the emergency room.
If you have been diagnosed with CHF, you will need to be followed by a cardiologist . The first step is for your doctor to figure out the cause of your CHF and treat that.
Your cardiologist may send you to a CHF specialista cardiologist who only treats CHFif you may need a left ventricular assist device or a heart transplant.
What Foods Should Be Avoided With Congestive Heart Failure
You should avoid foods that are high in sodium, including many cheeses, deli meats, smoked meats and fish. You should also avoid foods that are high in fat and cholesterol, such as rich desserts and processed foods. Also, avoid alcoholic beverages if your heart condition is associated with heavy drinking.
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A Drug To Treat Cancer And Heart Disease
In a recent New York Times article, physician-author Siddhartha Mukherjee wrote about a clinical trial that he characterized as beautiful, for potentially illuminating a surprising connection between heart disease and cancer. Mukherjee is a justifiably acclaimed writer, who publishes regularly in The New Yorker and The New York Times, and who won a Pulitzer for his bestselling book The Emperor of All Maladies. But I wonder whether the demands of popular writing have caused him to hype a treatment that, while promising, is far from proven.
The treatment targets inflammation by inhibiting an interleukin molecule. Researchers conducted a huge clinical trial to see whether the treatment would reduce the kind of inflammation that damages arteries. But Mukherjee didnt write about the drug because of its ability to prevent heart attacks or strokes. Instead, he was excited about the trial because a secondary analysis of the data showed a drop in all cancer mortality and a stark decrease in deaths from lung cancer.
Holy moly, thatâs a misleading sentence! Consider some equally true sentences I could excite readers with:
- If the keeps up their winning ways, they will go undefeated for the next three seasons.
- If my three-year-old son keeps growing at this rate for the next 25 years, hell soon be ten feet tall.
The anti-inflammatory medication Mukherjee wrote about doesnt qualify as a miracle yet, and might never do so.
Heart Damage Can Be Reversed
An echocardiogram is a noninvasive ultrasound study that allows a physician to assess heart function, the size of the heart, and the condition of the heart valves. Depending on the findings, there may be further tests, such as a heart catheterization or coronary angiogram to look at the blood vessels supplying the heart. Once a diagnosis is made, your physician will be able to assess the cause of the condition and start treatment.
Early diagnosis and treatment are very important. There have been dramatic strides over the last three decades in the treatment of congestive heart failure. It was once thought that heart damage could not be reversed. We now know that this is not true.
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Surgical Options To Treat Underlying Causes Of Heart Failure
- Coronary artery bypass graft to prevent and treat heart failure caused by blocked arteries. During bypass surgery, blood vessels taken from another part of the body usually the leg are attached to the clogged artery to create a detour around the blockage. This is conventionally done through open-heart surgery, but some patients may be candidates for minimally invasive CABG, an alternative offered at UCSF.
- Angioplasty, another treatment for blocked arteries. A thin flexible tube called a catheter is inserted through a small incision in the groin or neck into a blood vessel. In one procedure, a balloon is introduced through the catheter into the center of a blocked blood vessel. When the balloon is inflated, the blockage material is compressed back against the walls of the artery. A small metal device, called a stent, may be inserted through the catheter to serve as a permanent barrier to keep the plaque compressed. In another type of procedure, instruments are introduced through the catheter to remove the plaque.
- Implantation of pacemakers and other devices such as artificial heart valves
- Repairing congenital heart defects
Surgical treatments for heart failure itself include:
Causes Of A Weakening Heart
Despite the ominous-sounding name, congestive heart failure doesnt mean sudden death or that the heart suddenly stops working. CHF can be a gradual disease. As the heart muscle weakens, the heart has to work harder to adequately meet the demands of the body.
The heart generally weakens in response to:
- An injury such as a heart attack
- Abnormal heart values
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What Procedures And Tests Diagnose Congestive Heart Failure
Congestive heart failure can be a medical emergency, especially if it acutely decompensates and the patient can present extremely ill with the inability to breathe adequately. In this situation, the ABCs of resuscitation need to be addressed while at the same time, the diagnosis of congestive heart failure is made.
Common tests that are done to help with the diagnosis of congestive heart failure include the following:
- Electrocardiogram to help assess heart rate, rhythm, and indirectly, the size of the ventricles and blood flow to the heart muscle.
- Blood tests may include a complete blood count , electrolytes, glucose, BUN, and creatinine .
- B-type natriuretic peptide may help decide if a patient has shortness of breath from congestive heart failure or a different cause. It is a chemical that is located in the heart ventricles and may be released when these muscles are overloaded.
- Echocardiography or ultrasound testing of the heart is often recommended to assess the anatomy and the function of the heart. In addition to being able to evaluate the heart valves and muscle, the test can look at blood flow within the heart, watch the chambers of the heart contract, and measure the ejection fraction .
Other tests may be considered to evaluate and monitor a patient with suspected congestive heart failure, depending upon the clinical situation.
Congestive Heart Failure In Dogs
MA, VetMB, CertSAC, DECVIM-CA , MRCVS
After qualifying from Cambridge University, Dr. Swift spent 2 years in mixed practice before moving to a specialist small animal practice in the Northwest of England. He developed an interest in cardiology, taking the RCVS cardiology certificate in 1990. He became a partner in a large emergency and referral hospital building up the cardiology referral service until he left in 2005 to follow an alternative residency program at Liverpool University. Since becoming a European Diplomate in cardiology, he worked in a private referral hospital before moving to Florida to join the College of Veterinary Medicine as Clinical Associate Professor. He is service chief for cardiology and has recently been appointed medical director. He has been involved in breeding programs and the treatment of degenerative valvular disease especially in the cavalier King Charles spaniel having been adviser to the UK CKCS club for 20 years and more recently has helped develop advanced interventional techniques at the University of Florida.
A: A dog at risk of heart disease
B1: Signs of heart disease . The dog is asymptomatic.
B2: Signs of heart disease . The dog is asymptomatic.
C: Congestive heart failure is present or has been present and the dog is receiving treatment.
D: Congestive heart failure is present and refractory to standard therapies. The patient requires hospitalization.
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Heart Failure And My Future
There is no cure for heart failure. This can be upsetting and raise concerns about your life expectancy. If this is something youre worried about, talk to your GP or a specialist heart failure team. They will explain what to expect during your treatment and give you the advice and support you need.
Conversations about life expectancy and death are difficult. You may need to discuss things like care, finances and wills. Sorting these things out when you feel well enough to do so can help give you and your loved ones peace of mind. Take the first steps with our short guide to talking about death and dying.
Myocytes And Myocardial Remodeling
In the failing heart, increased myocardial volume is characterized by larger myocytes approaching the end of their life cycle. As more myocytes drop out, an increased load is placed on the remaining myocardium, and this unfavorable environment is transmitted to the progenitor cells responsible for replacing lost myocytes.
Progenitor cells become progressively less effective as the underlying pathologic process worsens and myocardial failure accelerates. These featuresnamely, the increased myocardial volume and mass, along with a net loss of myocytesare the hallmark of myocardial remodeling. This remodeling process leads to early adaptive mechanisms, such as augmentation of stroke volume and decreased wall stress and, later, to maladaptive mechanisms such as increased myocardial oxygen demand, myocardial ischemia, impaired contractility, and arrhythmogenesis.
As heart failure advances, there is a relative decline in the counterregulatory effects of endogenous vasodilators, including nitric oxide , prostaglandins , bradykinin , atrial natriuretic peptide , and B-type natriuretic peptide . This decline occurs simultaneously with the increase in vasoconstrictor substances from the RAAS and the adrenergic system, which fosters further increases in vasoconstriction and thus preload and afterload. This results in cellular proliferation, adverse myocardial remodeling, and antinatriuresis, with total body fluid excess and worsening of heart failure symptoms.
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Prognosis By Ejection Fraction
Ejection fraction is a measure of how much blood is pumped out of your heart each time it contracts. A healthy heart has an EF of between about 55 percent to 75 percent.
Some people with CHF have a reduced EF. This means their heart is pumping less blood out to the rest of their body than a healthy heart. Studies have shown that people who have CHF and a reduced EF have a more challenging outlook than people with CHF who do not have a reduced EF.
The exact survival rates varied among studies, but have shown that EF has an impact on prognosis. Your doctor will have the best information about how your ejection fraction can affect your prognosis.
What Causes Congestive Heart Failure
CHF is related to health issues a person already has, which are called existing or underlying medical conditions. Youre more likely to have CHF if you have coronary artery disease or if you have had a heart attack. A heart attack starves the heart of oxygen, and that makes it less able to pump blood properly.
Youre also more likely to have CHF if you have high blood pressure, which makes the heart work harder and become harder and stiffer. That makes the heart less able to properly relax and can tire out the muscle over time.
In patients with known congestive heart failure, there are typically specific instances of dietary indiscretion, such as eating a salty meal at a restaurant, family gathering, or sporting event, that occurred prior to the development of symptoms. Dr. Anubodh Varshney
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Quality Of Patient Care
Brigham and Womens Hospital is committed to providing all of our patients with the safest, highest-quality, most-satisfying care possible and follow established protocols that have been shown to improve patient outcomes. Our inpatient satisfaction survey, sent to patients to assess their total care experience, helps us to monitor what we are doing well and areas for improvement. We pride ourselves in the quality of patient care we provide and how we are measured compared with other hospitals.
What Medications Should I Avoid If I Have Heart Failure
There are several different types of medications that are best avoided in those with heart failure including:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as Motrin or Aleve. For relief of aches, pains, or fever take Tylenol instead.
- Most calcium channel blockers
- Some nutritional supplements, such as salt substitutes, and growth hormone therapies
- Antacids that contain sodium
If youâre taking any of these drugs, discuss them with your doctor.
Itâs important to know the names of your medications, what theyâre used for, and how often and at what times you take them. Keep a list of your medications and bring them with you to each of your doctor visits. Never stop taking your medications without discussing it with your doctor. Even if you have no symptoms, your medications decrease the work of your heart so that it can pump more effectively.
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How Do I Manage My Heart Failure
Its important to follow the advice from your doctor and take the medicines youre prescribed. Making changes to your lifestyle is another way to improve your health. Changes you could try are:
- keeping active which has been proven to boost energy and improve sleep and quality of life
- keeping to a healthy weight and diet this will help your overall health and prevent extra strain on your heart
- limiting how much alcohol you drink – lowering your chance of getting abnormal heart rhythms, high blood pressure and diseases such as stroke, liver problems and some cancers
- stopping smoking and using other tobacco products – reducing your risk of developing heart and circulatory diseases
- watching the amount of fluid you have each day if advised by your medical team
- weighing yourself regularly sudden weight gain may mean too much fluid is building up in your body and will need treated.
Living a healthier lifestyle can be hard at first, but its important for your overall quality of life. Visit our healthy living hub to start eating healthier and manage things like smoking and stress today.
How Is Heart Failure Treated
Your treatment will depend on the type of heart failure you have and, in part, what caused it. Medications and lifestyle behaviors are part of every treatment plan. Your healthcare provider will talk to you about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment is the same, regardless of gender.
As heart failure gets worse, your heart muscle pumps less blood to your organs, and you move toward the next stage of heart failure. Since you cant move backward through the heart failure stages, the goal of treatment is to keep you from moving forward through the stages or to slow down the progression of your heart failure.
Stage A treatment
The usual treatment plan for people with Stage A heart failure includes:
- Regular exercise, being active, walking every day.
- Stopping the use of tobacco products.
- Treatment for high blood pressure .
- Treatment for high cholesterol.
- Not drinking alcohol or using recreational drugs.
- Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor or an angiotensin II receptor blocker if you have coronary artery disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, or other vascular or cardiac conditions.
- Beta-blocker if you have high blood pressure.
Stage B treatment
The usual treatment plan for people with Stage B heart failure includes:
Stage C treatment
The usual treatment plan for people with Stage C HF-rEF includes:
If the treatment causes your symptoms to get better or stop, you still need to continue treatment to slow the progression to Stage D.
Stage D treatment
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What Are The Stages Of Heart Failure
Heart failure is a chronic long-term condition that gets worse with time. There are four stages of heart failure . The stages range from high risk of developing heart failure to advanced heart failure, and provide treatment plans. Ask your healthcare provider what stage of heart failure you are in. These stages are different from the New York Heart Association clinical classifications of heart failure that reflect the severity of symptoms or functional limits due to heart failure.
As the condition gets worse, your heart muscle pumps less blood to your organs, and you move toward the next stage of heart failure. You cannot go backwards through the stages. For example, if you are in Stage B, you cannot be in Stage A again. The goal of treatment is to keep you from progressing through the stages or to slow down the progression.
Treatment at each stage of heart failure may involve changes to medications, lifestyle behaviors and cardiac devices. You can compare your treatment plan with those listed for each stage of heart failure. The treatments listed are based on current treatment guidelines. The table outlines a basic plan of care that may apply to you. If you have any questions about any part of your treatment plan, ask a member of your healthcare team.