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.
Regular Reviews And Monitoring
You’ll have regular contact with your GP or care team to monitor your condition at least every 6 months.
These appointments may involve:
- talking about your symptoms, such as whether they’re affecting your normal activities or are getting worse
- a discussion about your medication, including any side effects
- tests to monitor your health
It’s also a good opportunity to ask any questions you have or raise any other issues you’d like to discuss with your care team.
You may be asked to help monitor your condition between appointments.
For example, your care team may suggest weighing yourself regularly so any changes in your weight, which could be a sign of a problem, are picked up quickly.
Contact your GP or care team if your symptoms are getting worse or you develop new symptoms.
Your care team will advise you about when and where to seek advice if there’s a potential problem.
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.
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Risk Factors For Heart Failure
Health conditions that left unrecognized or untreated will increase the lifetime risk of developing heart failure. Some of these diseases include:
- Coronary heart disease and heart attacks
- High blood pressure
Unhealthy behaviors can also increase your risk for heart failure, especially for people who have one of the diseases listed above. Unhealthy behaviors include:
- Smoking or using tobacco
- Use of illegal drugs, like methamphetamines or even excessive alcohol intake
- Eating foods high in fat, cholesterol, and sodium
- Not getting enough physical activity
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 You Can Do
Some risk factors of heart failure, like age, cant be modified. Still, people with CHF can take steps to improve the long-term prognosis. The first thing to do is to be familiar with any family history of heart disease. You’ll also want to learn about all the possible symptoms. Don’t ignore any symptom that you think is cause for concern. Tell your healthcare provider about them right away.
Regular exercise, along with managing any other health issues you may have, can also help to keep CHF under control.
Treatments For Heart Failure
Treatment for heart failure usually aims to control the symptoms for as long as possible and slow down the progression of the condition.
How you’re treated will depend on what is causing your heart failure.
Common treatments include:
- lifestyle changes including eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly and stopping smoking
- medicine a range of medicines can help many people need to take 2 or 3 different types
- devices implanted in your chest these can help control your heart rhythm
- surgery such as a or a heart transplant
Treatment will usually be needed for life.
A cure may be possible when heart failure has a treatable cause. For example, if your heart valves are damaged, replacing or repairing them may cure the condition.
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When Should I Get Emergency Care
Go to the ER or call 911 if you have:
- New, unexplained, and severe chest pain that comes with shortness of breath, sweating, nausea, or weakness
- Fast heart rate , especially if you are short of breath
- Shortness of breath that doesn’t get better if you rest
- Sudden weakness, or you can’t move your arms or legs
- Sudden, severe headache
- Fainting spells
Left Ventricular Assist Devices
These may be implanted in the chest to increase heart pumping action. Until recently, LVADs required that the patient be hooked up to a large, hospital-based console while awaiting a transplant. Miniaturized battery-powered LVAD units, however, are allowing many patients to leave the hospital. The devices may be used as a primary treatment or as a bridge to heart transplant in adults.
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.
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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What Makes Yale Medicines Approach To Treating Congestive Heart Failure Unique
Yale Medicines multidisciplinary team comprises 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.
With a multidisciplinary approach, Yale Medicine physicians include the patients desires as well as input from the family to develop a comprehensive treatment plan that’s right for them.
Stage 4 Of Congestive Heart Failure
Stage four of congestive heart failure produces severe symptoms such as rapid breathing, chest pain, skin that appears blue, or fainting. These symptoms may occur whether you are exercising or at rest. In this stage, your doctor will discuss if surgery is beneficial. Although there is no cure for CHF, you can avoid this condition by eating right, exercising, avoiding alcohol and illegal drugs, and maintaining a healthy weight.
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Should I Still Call 999 Or Go To Hospital If I’m Worried About My Health
Whether or not you have coronavirus symptoms, it’s essential to dial 999 if you have symptoms that could be a heart attack, or if your heart symptoms get worse.
Dont delay because you think hospitals are too busy the NHS still has systems in place to treat people who need urgent heart treatment. If you delay, you are more likely to suffer serious heart damage and more likely to need intensive care and to spend longer in hospital.
You should dial 999 if you have possible heart attack symptoms or if you are having severe difficulty breathing, such as gasping for breath, choking, lips turning blue, or not being able to get words out. If you feel like youre struggling to manage your condition at home, contact your doctor or NHS 111.
Stage 1 Of Congestive Heart Failure
If youve been diagnosed with stage one of congestive heart failure, it is because a doctor has noticed a weakness in your heart. This news may be surprising, as stage one of CHF does not exhibit any symptoms. Although CHF cannot be cured, you can make healthy lifestyle changes and take certain medication to manage this condition.
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Can I Continue Working
If you’re well enough, you can keep working for as long as you feel able. With the right support, staying in work can make you feel better and give you financial security.
Talk to your employer as soon as you feel your heart failure is affecting your ability to do your job so you can find a solution that suits both of you. For example, it may be possible for you to work part-time.
The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 requires employers to make reasonable adjustments to working practices or premises to help a person with a disability.
Where possible, this might include changing or modifying tasks, altering work patterns, installing special equipment, allowing time off to attend appointments, or helping with travel to work.
How Is Congestive Heart Failure Treated
Doctors will assess the current health status of the patient to establish a baseline, and develop a long-term health plan with the goal of improving the patients health. This may involve the optimization of medicines and therapies, adding new medication, or possibly enrollment in a clinical trial.
Stabilizing and/or reversing a patients condition often involves long-term, collaborative follow-up with a referring cardiologist or physician.
In serious situations, advanced therapies, which include mechanical solutions, a heart transplant, or hospice, may be offered.
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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.
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.
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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:
What Is Heart Failure
Heart failure doesnât mean the heart has stopped working. Rather, it means that the heart works less efficiently than normal. Due to various possible causes, blood moves through the heart and body at a slower rate, and pressure in the heart increases. As a result, the heart canât pump enough oxygen and nutrients to meet the body’s needs.
The chambers of the heart may respond by stretching to hold more blood to pump through the body or by becoming stiff and thickened. This helps to keep the blood moving, but the heart muscle walls may eventually weaken and become unable to pump as efficiently. The kidneys may respond by causing the body to retain fluid and salt. If fluid builds up in the arms, legs, ankles, feet, lungs, or other organs, the body becomes congested. Congestive heart failure is the term used to describe the condition.
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Mood And Heart Failure
Its normal to feel low or sad from time to time. You may feel down about your symptoms and new limitations, or feel that you have a lack of control over your life.Some people find it very difficult to live with the uncertainty of having heart failure. But learning about your condition and being involved in making decisions about your treatment will all help you to feel more in control and may help to relieve anxiety. Its also important to discuss your worries with your family and close friends so they can support you.
Stress affects different people in different ways. People who dont manage their stress well may turn to unhealthy habits such as smoking, drinking alcohol, or snacking on unhealthy foods. Knowing what triggers the stress can help you to tackle the problem. Finding healthy ways of coping with stress and learning to relax can help you manage your heart failure. Read more about coping with stress.
How To Live Longer With Heart Failure
Everything you need to know about the various stages of heart failure to live longer with the condition.
A congestive heart failure diagnosis doesnt mean your heart has stopped working, it means that your heart is unable to pump enough blood throughout your body.
Heart failure is a scary term, says , a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. The condition can worsen if the proper steps arent taken to slow or halt the problem, but it does not mean your life is over.
Congestive heart failure, more simply known as heart failure, occurs when there’s a reduction in blood flow throughout the body because blood flow from the heart slows down. That means blood returning to the heart through the veins backs up, causing congestion in the body’s tissues. That congestion may cause swelling in the ankles, legs, or stomach, as well as fluid in the lungs that causes trouble breathing.
Life expectancy with congestive heart failure varies depending on the severity of the condition, genetics, age, and other factors. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , around one-half of all people diagnosed with congestive heart failure will survive beyond five years. Only around 10 percent of people diagnosed with the condition survive at least 10 years, according to a study published in August 2013 in the journal Circulation Research.
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