What Are The 4 Stages Of Congestive Heart Failure
Years ago, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology identified the stages of congestive heart failure. Those stages were updated and revised in 2005. Understanding these stages can help you recognize that congestive heart failure is a progressive disease that can worsen over time.
Here is a description of the 4 Stages of Congestive Heart Failure:
How To Prepare For Open
Tell your doctor about any drugs you are taking, even over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and herbs. Inform them of any illnesses you have, including herpes outbreak, cold, flu, or fever.
Its important to talk to your doctor about your alcohol consumption before you prepare for the surgery. If you typically have three or more drinks a day and stop right before you go into surgery, you may go into alcohol withdrawal. This may cause life-threatening complications after open-heart surgery, including seizures or tremors. Your doctor can help you with alcohol withdrawal to reduce the likelihood of these complications.
The day before the surgery, you may be asked to wash yourself with a special soap. This soap is used to kill bacteria on your skin and will lessen the chance of an infection after surgery. You may also be asked not to eat or drink anything after midnight.
Your healthcare provider will give you more detailed instructions when you arrive at the hospital for surgery.
Mental And Behavioral Home Health Services
A congestive heart failure diagnosis comes with a high emotional cost. Its life-changing, and its never easy. Living with congestive heart failure takes a toll on your physical health and your mental health. Centric Healthcare offers compassionate professional services to help as you learn to cope with your new normal. Its important to remember as you live with your disease that you dont need to do it alone. We can help.
To schedule a free consultation and learn more about these and other services offered by Centric Healthcare, call us at 224-5535 in the Twin Cities, or call us at 205-7322 in Rochester.
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How Can I Improve My Quality Of Life With Heart Failure
There are several things you can do to improve your quality of life if you have heart failure. Among them:
- Eat a healthy diet. Limit your consumption of sodium to less than 1,500 milligrams each day. Eat foods high in fiber. Limit foods high in trans fat, cholesterol, and sugar. Reduce total daily intake of calories to lose weight if necessary.
- Exercise regularly. A regular cardiovascular exercise program, prescribed by your doctor, will help improve your strength and make you feel better. It may also decrease heart failure progression.
- Don’t overdo it. Plan your activities and include rest periods during the day. Certain activities, such as pushing or pulling heavy objects and shoveling may worsen heart failure and its symptoms.
- Prevent respiratory infections. Ask your doctor about flu and pneumonia vaccines.
- Take your medications as prescribed. Do not stop taking them without first contacting your doctor.
- Get emotional or psychological support if needed. Heart failure can be difficult for your whole family. If you have questions, ask your doctor or nurse. If you need emotional support, social workers, psychologists, clergy, and heart failure support groups are a phone call away. Ask your doctor or nurse to point you in the right direction.
What Makes Yale Medicines Approach To Treating Congestive Heart Failure Unique
We have a very patient-focused team at Yale Medicine, says Dr. Jacoby.;Every person seen here, we treat as an individual, rather than offering a simple cookie-cutter treatment plan.
Yale Medicines multidisciplinary team comprises;of heart failure cardiologists and cardiac surgeons, dedicated advanced-practice, registered nurses and nurse coordinators, dietitians, exercise physiologists, financial counselors, immunologists specializing in transplants, psychologists, and specialists in palliative care.
In our multidisciplinary approach, we include the patients desires;as well as input from the family, Dr. Jacoby says. We develop a plan for social work support and take into account all of their financial and emotional stresses;in addition to their physical treatment needs.
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What Are The Options For Heart Failure Surgery
If the patients heart failure has an underlying cause, doctors first consider treating that. That may mean coronary bypass surgery to unblock clogged arteries or, if the condition has been caused by a faulty valve, heart valve repair or replacement.
Other surgical options include:
Left ventricular assist device . LVADs are mechanical devices that supplement the work of the heart. They take over the work of the left ventricle, assuming the responsibility of pumping blood around the body.
An LVAD can be an effective long-term solution for cases of heart failure, or it can be a way to stabilize and improve a patients cardiac health while she waits for a heart transplant to become available.
Some patients come in with late stages of heart disease, and theyre the ones who can benefit from LVAD and transplant, says Pramod Bonde, MD, surgical director of Mechanical Circulatory Support.
Heart transplant. Heart transplantation is a solution that can radically improve a patients heart function and quality of life, but receiving a transplant depends on availability. Donations are tightly regulated, and to be on the list, a patient must be relatively young, have excellent organ function in the rest of the body, and document strong family and social support.
A few years ago, people were dying while waiting for the heart to come, Dr. Bonde says. “Now, thanks to LVADs, they have an option that will help them survive.”
How Is Heart Failure Treated
Early diagnosis and treatment can help people with heart failure live longer, more active lives. How heart failure is treated will depend on your type and stage of heart failure .
The goals of treatment for all stages of heart failure are to:
- Treat the underlying cause of your heart failure, such as coronary artery disease , high blood pressure or diabetes
- Reduce your symptoms
- Stop your heart failure from getting worse
- Increase your lifespan and improve your quality of life
For people with any stage of heart failure, treatment will include lifestyle measures, medicines and ongoing care. People who have more severe heart failure also may need medical procedures and surgery.
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Congestive Heart Failure Treatments
Currently, there is no cure for congestive heart failure. Treatments are designed to reduce symptoms and slow the progression of the disease. However, early diagnosis and treatment can help you lead a long and active life. The good news is that more congestive heart failure treatment options exist today than ever before. The specific treatment plan prescribed for you will depend largely upon the type of heart failure you have and on its underlying causes. All treatment options will have the same four basic goals:
1. Treat the underlying diseases and conditions causing your heart failure.
2. Reduce the symptoms of heart failure.
3. Stop your heart failure from getting worse.
4. Maximize the quality and length of your life after diagnosis.
Treatment options for congestive heart failure will fall under one of four categories:
Get The Right Amount Of Physical Activity
Exercise helps most people with HF, and some patients who follow an exercise plan may see improvements in their EF. Research shows that being active can help people living with heart failure by reducing symptoms, improving mood and even increasing the hearts ability to pump blood. If your heart failure is stable, and you have your doctors okay, do what moves you.
Here are some exercise tips to keep in mind.
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Fluid Retention: What It Can Mean For Your Heart
Fluid buildup indicates worsening heart failure. Learn how to spot it and treat it early.
The buildup of excess fluid in your body can take a variety of forms from belly bloating and swollen ankles to nausea, persistent coughing and fatigue. You may be tempted initially to dismiss this hodgepodge of problems as having little to do with your heart. However, they all signal water retention, which can mean trouble for people with a history of heart failure.
“Fluid buildup can quickly escalate into a life-threatening situation,” says Dr. Eldrin Lewis, a heart failure specialist at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Heart failure may start with injury from a heart attack or develop as a result of damaged valves, infection or disease of the heart muscle cells. Many times, it is the product of years of toil against high blood pressure and clogged arteries. Regardless of what triggers the decline, heart failure culminates in a progressive weakening of your heart’s power to pump.
Consequently, blood circulates through your heart and body more slowly; your cells thirst for fresh oxygen and nutrients. To compensate for its weakened state, the heart undergoes a series of structural transformations. Other physical processes also come into play. When the kidneys detect the diminished blood flow, they activate hormones that prompt the body to retain fluid and sodium in an effort to boost the volume of blood in circulation.
Heart Failure Boosts Risk Of Death Following Surgery
Patients with heart failure are more likely to die after surgery than patients without heart failure, a study led by surgeon;Sherry Wren, MD, has found. The higher mortality rate held even when the researchers considered that heart failure patients are generally in poor health and are more likely to undergo complex surgeries.
We adjusted for the level of surgery complexity, said Ben Lerman, a fourth-year medical student who was the lead author on the study. We also split up patients by the degree of heart failure, comparing like to like. That effect, the higher mortality, remains.
In other words, if you take two 80-year-old male patients with the same health problems, except that one has heart failure and the other doesnt, and perform the same surgery on them, the one with heart failure is more likely to die.
Even patients with the least severe heart failure a group that Wren said has never been studied suffered higher mortality after surgery.
The study;appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Heart failure, a condition in which the heart is unable to adequately pump blood throughout the body, is relatively common: 5.7 million people in the U.S.;live with heart failure. It is also progressive: About half will die within five years of diagnosis.
While all heart failure patients showed higher death rates, Wren said, the worse the heart failure, the greater the mortality.
Nausea Or Lack Of Appetite
Nausea or lack of appetite can result from the accumulation of fluids in your abdomen.
Several of the signs and symptoms of congestive heart failure can also be associated with other diseases and medical conditions. Therefore, it is important that you see your doctor when any of them present themselves and persist.
If you are being treated for congestive heart failure and any of these signs and symptoms get worse, or if you begin to experience additional signs and symptoms, you should inform your doctor immediately. This can indicate that your heart failure is progressing and that your treatment is not working.
Air Travel Is Generally Safe For Heart Patients With Appropriate Precautions
If you have heart disease, you can fly safely as a passenger on an airplane, but you need to be aware of your risks and take necessary precautions.
Heart conditions that can lead to health emergencies when flying include coronary artery disease , cardiac arrhythmia , recent heart surgery, an implanted heart device, heart failure, and pulmonary arterial disease.
When planning air travel, anxiety about the prevention and treatment of a heart attack on a plane or worrying about questions such as “can flying cause heart attacks” may give you the jitters. You can shrink your concern about things like fear of having a heart attack after flying by planning ahead.
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How Can I Improve My Low Ejection Fraction
Good news! Many people with a low ejection fraction; have successfully improved it.
Better heart failure management can lead to a better ejection fraction. By managing your heart failure carefully and following your treatment plan, you may be able to help yourself experience fewer symptoms and achieve a greater sense of well-being. As an added bonus, you may also see an improvement or even a recovery of your hearts ejection fraction.
People with improved or recovered ejection fractions, as a whole, tend to have fewer hospitalizations and better overall outcomes.
How Is Heart Failure Diagnosed
Your doctor will ask you many questions about your symptoms and medical history. Youâll be asked about any conditions you have that may cause heart failure . Youâll be asked if you smoke, take drugs, drink alcohol , and about what drugs you take.
Youâll also get a complete physical exam. Your doctor will listen to your heart and look for signs of heart failure as well as other illnesses that may have caused your heart muscle to weaken or stiffen.
Your doctor may also order other tests to determine the cause and severity of your heart failure. These include:
Other tests may be ordered, depending on your condition.
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Procedures And Surgery To Improve Blood Supply To The Heart
The most common cause of heart failure is coronary artery disease , which is a narrowing of the small blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart. CAD may become worse and make it harder to manage your symptoms.
After performing certain tests your health care provider may feel that opening a narrowed or blocked blood vessel will improve your heart failure symptoms. Suggested procedures may include:
Is There A Treatment For Heart Failure
There are more treatment options available for heart failure than ever before. Tight control over your medications and lifestyle, coupled with careful monitoring, are the first steps. As the condition progresses, doctors specializing in the treatment of heart failure can offer more advanced treatment options.
The goals of treating heart failure are to try to keep it from getting worse , to ease symptoms, and to improve quality of life.
Some common types of medicines used to treat it are:
- ACE inhibitors
- Aldosterone antagonists
- Selective sinus node inhibitors
- Soluble guanylate cyclase stimulator
Your doctor may also recommend a program called cardiac rehabilitation to help you exercise safely and keep up a heart-healthy lifestyle. It usually includes workouts that are designed just for you, education, and tips to lower your chance of heart trouble, like quitting smoking or changing your diet.
Cardiac rehab also offers emotional support. You can meet people like you who can help you stay on track.
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What Risks Or Side Effects Come With Heart Failure Surgery
Surgery carries some risks, though outcomes are typically good. Risks include bleeding and infection, and some short-term reactions to anesthetics, such as confusion.
LVADs tend to last five to 10 years, so having a device put in does run the risk of failure eventually. Other complications include bleeding, clotting, and infection, mainly as a result of blood coming into contact with a foreign object.
Its also important to note that having an LVAD requires a new approach to caring for the body. The LVAD is powered by batteries and is attached to monitors outside the body. Patients will have a cord that runs through the chest and out her side. That means that patients and caretakers must be ready for a certain amount of maintenance: Patients must care for a wound by showering carefully and sleeping on their back or side, for example. They also must keep track of equipment.
In addition, the LVAD does not prevent problems of the right ventricle, which can still lead to heart failure.
Follow Your Treatment Plan
Treatment can relieve your symptoms and make daily activities easier. It also can reduce the chance that you’ll have to go to the hospital. For these reasons, it’s vital that you follow your treatment plan.
- Take all of your medicines as your doctor prescribes. If you have side effects from a medicine, tell your doctor. You should never stop taking medicine without asking your doctor first.
- Make all of the lifestyle changes that your doctor recommends.
- Get advice from your doctor about how active you can/should be. This includes advice on daily activities, work, leisure time, sex and exercise. Your level of activity will depend on the stage of your heart failure . Studies show that aerobic exercise improves heart function; other types of exercise don’t.
- Keep all of your medical appointments, including visits to the doctor and appointments to get tests and lab work. Your doctor needs the results of these tests to adjust your medicine doses and help you avoid any harmful side effects.
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What Causes Heart Failure
Heart failure is caused by many conditions that damage the heart muscle, including:
- Coronary artery disease.Coronary artery disease , a disease of the arteries that supply blood and oxygen to the heart, causes decreased blood flow to the heart muscle. If the arteries become blocked or severely narrowed, the heart becomes starved for oxygen and nutrients.
- Heart attack. A heart attack happens when a coronary artery becomes suddenly blocked, stopping the flow of blood to the heart muscle. A heart attack damages the heart muscle, resulting in a scarred area that doesnât work the way it should.
- Cardiomyopathy. Damage to the heart muscle from causes other than artery or blood flow problems, such as from infections or alcohol or drug abuse.
- Conditions that overwork the heart. Conditions including high blood pressure, valve disease, thyroid disease, kidney disease, diabetes, or heart defects present at birth can all cause heart failure. In addition, heart failure can happen when several diseases or conditions are present at once.