Monitor Your Health With Modern Heart And Vascular
Catching cardiac conditions in the earliest stages gives you the greatest chance of living a long and healthy life. At Modern Heart and Vascular, we provide advanced testing with state-of-the-art diagnostic tools. We focus on prevention to avoid unnecessary surgeries and procedures.
Our compassionate staff is dedicated to providing the highest quality patient care. Well answer all your questions and fully explain your treatment options, so you feel in control of your heart health.
We provide modern cardiovascular care for modern patients using modern technology. For more information about Modern Heart and Vascular Institute or to schedule an appointment, contact us today. If youd like to learn more about our practice, read our providers bios.
This article does not provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you need cardiovascular care, please call us at 832-644-8930.
How Is Congestive Heart Failure Diagnosed
Early symptoms of congestive heart failure are often mistaken by patients for other medical problems. Physicians diagnose congestive heart failure with the aid of images and other tests. These include chest x rays, electrocardiogram, blood tests, echocardiogram, stress tests, MRIs, and cardiac catheterization.
Early Signs Of Heart Disease
So, what are some of the early signs of heart disease? And what should you do if you experience them? My advice, is to recommend that you seek medical attention, if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Chest Pain often described as tightness, pressure, squeezing or aching beneath the breastbone Dont assume that you are experiencing this due to stress.
- Shortness of Breath with or without exertion Dont assume you are just out of shape.
- Extreme or unusual fatigue Dont assume you are just busy with work and lifes demands.
- Discomfort in the arms, legs, back, neck, jaw or stomach Dont assume that you worked out too hard or you caught a bug these symptoms can occur when your heart isnt getting enough oxygen.
Symptoms often come and go for some time, but dont assume because they come and go, that they are not important.
Some people report that they just dont feel right they cant pin point it but they know their own body. If this is your situation, get checked out.
Other symptoms, which in some cases, may be quite prominent, include nausea, vomiting, indigestion, cold sweat, or lightheadedness.
Having a family history of early heart disease, defined as a cardiac event occurring in males under the age of 55 or in females under the age of 65 is an important risk factor. Family history is important not only because of a shared environment but more importantly, especially in the case of familial hypercholesterolemia , shared genetics.
Recommended Reading: How Long Does Heart Bypass Surgery Take
When Should You Suspect Heart Failure
If you are at risk for heart failureand even if you are notits important to know the early signs of heart failure and be on the alert for them. Let your doctor know about any heart failure symptoms you are experiencing and treatment. The best way to prevent complications of heart failure is early diagnosis and treatment.
Here are symptoms and early signs of heart failure to watch for:
If you notice these symptoms, let your doctor know right away. Early treatment can help you live a longer and more active life with heart failure.
Swelling And Weight Gain
Your feet, ankles, and abdomen are all areas of the body that can swell. Its possible to have some swelling after a workout or on a very hot day. When swelling occurs, its called edema.
Edema happens in heart failure because your kidneys arent able to properly filter sodium. Your heart then releases chemicals that cause the body to hold onto fluid. You might notice that your clothes or shoes no longer fit right, or that youve gained weight unexpectedly or quickly.
Read Also: How To Lower My Resting Heart Rate
Breathing Problems Or Inability To Get Enough Air:
This could indicate that your loved ones lungs are congested and full of fluid. Seek medical help right away if your loved one develops shortness of breath while sitting or lying down.
Even when these symptoms are recognized, heart failure can be difficult to diagnose because it frequently occurs in conjunction with other major health issues, such as:
- Blood pressure that is too high
- Valve disease- a condition that affects the valves
There are a slew of other illnesses that could be linked to heart failure. You will need to call in reinforcements to guarantee that your loved one is being watched for probable heart troubles that may arise from pre-existing medical conditions.
Recap On the Signs of Congestive Heart Failure:
- Rapid heart rate
- Swelling of the legs, ankles, or feet
- Significant weight gain or loss
- Breathing problems or inability to get enough air
Care At Heart is honored to work alongside you to keep your loved one safe, happy, and heart-healthy.
Our empathetic, skilled caregivers are all educated to look for major health conditions and indicators of life-threatening diseases including congestive heart failure. We can assist you in ensuring that your loved one is frequently examined for indicators of heart disease so that their health and well-being can be preserved for as long as feasible.
If you or a loved one needs in-home nursing, or other types of home care in Philadelphia, please contact 765-0497 or send us a message.
What Causes Congestive Heart Failure In Cats
A variety of factors can cause congestive heart failure in cats. It is most commonly caused by a condition in which the walls of the heart thicken , but it can also be caused by thyroid disease, high blood pressure, or birth defects, among other things. Congestive heart failure can occur in cats of any age, breed , or gender, but it is most common in middle-aged to older cats.
CHF can also develop in a heart that’s been weakened by other heart conditions, so it’s essential to do what you can to prevent heart disease from occurring in your pet, including preventing obesity and providing heartworm prevention.
Also Check: Scars From Heart Surgery
Final Thoughts On Catching The Signs Of Congestive Heart Failure Early
Congestive heart failure stems from several different conditions. Fortunately, you can control many of these conditions, changes, like hypertension and diabetes, by improving your lifestyle. The primary approach to treating both of these conditions is dietary changes. A heart-friendly diet combined with medication and controlled exercise can keep hypertension and diabetes in check, preventing the associated heart failure from progressing.
It is crucial to diagnose heart failure as early as possible because the early-stage disease is treatable. Unfortunately, the signs and symptoms of early-stage disease are vague and non-specific. Unfortunately, doctors sometimes only diagnose congestive heart failure after trauma to this vital organ. Thus, if you notice you or a loved one has one or more of the symptoms listed in this article, seek medical care from your physician.
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.
You May Like: Does Acetylcholine Increase Heart Rate
Does Heart Failure Show Up On Ecg
An electrocardiogram is often abnormal in patients with heart failure, although up to 10% of patients may have a normal ECG. Natriuretic peptides are a useful biomarker for heart failure and a negative result can rule out the diagnosis. This can be helpful in determining who should be referred for echocardiogram.
Heart Failuresigns And Symptoms
Heart failure is a condition in which the heart fails to function properly. The terms “heart failure” and “congestive heart failure ” don’t mean that the heart has actually “failed” or stopped but mean one or more chambers of the heart “fail” to keep up with the volume of blood flowing through them.
Heart failure is brought on by a variety of underlying diseases and health problems.
Your condition may involve the left side, the right side or both sides of the heart. Each side has two chambers:
- An atrium or upper chamber
- A ventricle or lower chamber
Any one of these four chambers may not be able to keep up with the volume of blood flowing through it.
Two types of heart dysfunction can lead to heart failure, including:
- Systolic Heart Failure This is the most common cause of heart failure and occurs when the heart is weak and enlarged. The muscle of the left ventricle loses some of its ability to contract or shorten. In turn, it may not have the muscle power to pump the amount of oxygenated and nutrient-filled blood the body needs.
- Diastolic Failure The muscle becomes stiff and loses some of its ability to relax. As a result, the affected chamber has trouble filling with blood during the rest period that occurs between each heartbeat. Often the walls of the heart thicken, and the size of the left chamber may be normal or reduced.
What Are The Treatments For Heart Failure
Your treatment will depend on the type of heart failure you have and how serious it is. There’s no cure for heart failure. But treatment can help you live longer with fewer symptoms.
Even with treatment, heart failure usually gets worse over time, so you’ll likely need treatment for the rest of your life.
Most treatment plans include:
You may need heart surgery if:
- You have a congenital heart defect or damage to your heart that can be fixed.
- The left side of your heart is getting weaker and putting a device in your chest could help. Devices include:
- A biventricular pacemaker .
- A mechanical heart pump or a total artificial heart).
As part of your treatment, you’ll need to pay close attention to your symptoms, because heart failure can worsen suddenly. Your provider may suggest a cardiac rehabilitation program to help you learn how to manage your condition.
What To Do If You Notice Worsening Heart Failure Symptoms
Heart failure can lead to serious complications, such as kidney or liver damage, other heart conditions, pulmonary hypertension and stroke. If youre experiencing worsening symptoms of heart failure, keep track of them and talk to your doctor.
Seek immediate medical attention or call 911 if you experience:
- Cough that brings up a white or pink foamy substance
- Fainting, dizziness or confusion
Read Also: Congested Heart Failure Symptoms
What Can I Do To Recover After A Heart Attack
Take our quiz to see how much you know about cardiac rehabilitation.
If youve had a heart attack, your heart may be damaged. This could affect your hearts rhythm and its ability to pump blood to the rest of the body. You may also be at risk for another heart attack or conditions such as stroke, kidney disorders, and peripheral arterial disease .
You can lower your chances of having future health problems following a heart attack with these steps:
- Physical activityTalk with your health care team about the things you do each day in your life and work. Your doctor may want you to limit work, travel, or sexual activity for some time after a heart attack.
- Lifestyle changesEating a healthier diet, increasing physical activity, quitting smoking, and managing stressin addition to taking prescribed medicinescan help improve your heart health and quality of life. Ask your health care team about attending a program called cardiac rehabilitation to help you make these lifestyle changes.
- Cardiac rehabilitationCardiac rehabilitation is an important program for anyone recovering from a heart attack, heart failure, or other heart problem that required surgery or medical care. Cardiac rehab is a supervised program that includes
- Physical activity
- Education about healthy living, including healthy eating, taking medicine as prescribed, and ways to help you quit smoking
- Counseling to find ways to relieve stress and improve mental health
Congestive Heart Failure: Prevention Treatment And Research
Congestive heart failure is a serious condition in which the heart doesnt pump blood as efficiently as it should. Despite its name, heart failure doesnt mean that the heart has literally failed or is about to stop working. Rather, it means that the heart muscle has become less able to contract over time or has a mechanical problem that limits its ability to fill with blood. As a result, it cant keep up with the bodys demand, and blood returns to the heart faster than it can be pumped outit becomes congested, or backed up. This pumping problem means that not enough oxygen-rich blood can get to the bodys other organs.
The body tries to compensate in different ways. The heart beats faster to take less time for refilling after it contractsbut over the long run, less blood circulates, and the extra effort can cause heart palpitations. The heart also enlarges a bit to make room for the blood. The lungs fill with fluid, causing shortness of breath. The kidneys, when they dont receive enough blood, begin to retain water and sodium, which can lead to kidney failure. With or without treatment, heart failure is often and typically progressive, meaning it gradually gets worse.
More than 5 million people in the United States have congestive heart failure. Its the most common diagnosis in hospitalized patients over age 65. One in nine deaths has heart failure as a contributing cause.
You May Like: Aha Heart Failure Stages
What Are The Five Early Signs Of Congestive Heart Failure
Congestive heart failure may progress overtime and thus, its early diagnosis is essential for speedy treatment. In order to help the doctors to spot the probable presence of congestive heart failure, the Heart Failure Society of America has mentioned five early signs to suspect the presence of the disease in the patient. These signs can be collectively named as FACES which is an acronym of the symptoms. They include-
Fatigue- The patient may complain about feeling excessively tired while doing any strenuous activity even for short period of time. This usually occurs because the heart in the patient is unable to pump proper amount of oxygenated blood to all parts of the body.
Activity Limitation- Patients with congestive heart failure seems to have limited activities throughout the day because of extreme fatigue they experience after doing any kind of work.
Congestion- There may be fluid retention in the lungs due to improper functioning of heart. This is often noticed when the patient has difficulty in breathing and cough constantly.
Edema- Due to the inability of the heart to pump blood throughout the body, there can be water retention in the legs and ankles along with abdomen and thighs too. This takes a more pronounced form with excess weight gain in short amount of time.
What Is Heart Failure Exactly
While heart failure sounds like your heart has stopped working entirely, that isnt the case. Instead, heart failure means your heart cant pump enough oxygen-rich blood to effectively support the other vital organs in your body, according to the CDC.
A quick refresher on how your heart functions under normal circumstances: Your heart has four chambers, two on the right and two on the left, per the U.S. National Library of Medicine. The two upper chambers of your heart are called the atria and the two lower chambers are called ventricles. Your right atrium takes in blood from your body and sends it to the right ventricle, where it gets oxygenated in your lungs. From there, blood thats now rich in oxygen travels from your lungs to the left atrium and then the left ventricle, which delivers the blood to the aorta. This is your hearts main artery , and its responsible for getting blood to the rest of your body.
Read Also: Fitbit Heart Rate Too High
How To Treat And Prevent Congestive Heart Failure
Treatment for heart failure varies depending on the severity of your condition. Adopting a healthy lifestyle tends to significantly impact treating and preventing congestive heart failure. If you form these habits early, you can lower your risk of developing heart failure in the first place. Consider the following strategies to prevent heart failure:
- Avoid smoking: People who smoke are 2-4 times more likely to develop coronary heart disease that can lead to heart failure.
- Eat healthy foods: Eating primarily fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, healthy fats and lean protein promotes your heart health and overall well-being.
- Stay active: Exercising regularly is great for your heart, and it helps control your weight. Maintaining a healthy weight lowers your risk of heart failure.
- Take care of yourself: Many types of heart disease can lead to heart failure. If you have an existing cardiovascular condition, monitor and manage it carefully. Take your medications as prescribed to maintain your heart health.
For most people, heart failure is a lifelong condition. Fortunately, treatment can reduce your symptoms and increase your chances of enjoying a long and healthy life. Here are some treatment options to slow the progression of congestive heart failure:
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
Read Also: Medicines For Heart Failure