What Is Congestive Heart Failure
CHF usually develops over a long period of time. The course and symptoms of heart failure depend on which regions of the heart are affected.
CHF can lead to severe complications, and the condition requires ongoing medical treatment.
Types of CHF include:
- Right-sided heart failure: The heart does not sufficiently accommodate blood returning from the rest of the body.
- Left-sided heart failure: The heart cannot efficiently pump oxygenated blood throughout the body,
CHF can also be caused by heart failure with preserved ejection fraction. Heart failure on one side of the heart predisposes to heart failure on the other side, so it is common to have both types.
What Is An Exacerbation Of Congestive Heart Failure
An exacerbation of CHF is a sudden and prolonged worsening of a patients CHF symptoms, such as an in-creased shortness of breath, mental confusion, leg swelling, fatigue, and weight gain. In severe cases, an exacerbation of CHF can be complicated by extreme shortness of breath. The patient even may report a feeling of drowning. The patient may cough up pink frothy sputum or may even become confused or unconscious.
A CHF exacerbation is a medical emergency and re-quires the immediate attention of a doctor. Exacerbations of CHF occur when there is an in-creased demand placed on the heart that the weakened heart cannot compensate for by beating harder or faster. These increased demands may be the result of cardiac or noncardiac changes. These exacerbations often are life threatening and can lead to hospitalization. The number of CHF exacerbations per year and the severity of exacerbations can increase as the disease progresses and the heart becomes less able to handle increased loads. Heart failure exacerbations are very common reasons for hospitalization in the United States and Canada. In severe cases, the patient needs the mechanical support of a ventilator until the acute symptoms have resolved.
Some other causes of CHF exacerbation are:
- Excessive alcohol intake
- Irregular heartbeats
- Coronary artery disease
- Side effects of medications
- Increased high blood pressure
- Heart valve infections
What Makes Yale Medicines Approach To Treating Congestive Heart Failure Unique
Yale Medicines 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.
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Atrial Natriuretic Peptide And B
ANP and BNP are endogenously generated peptides activated in response to atrial and ventricular volume/pressure expansion. ANP and BNP are released from the atria and ventricles, respectively, and both promote vasodilation and natriuresis. Their hemodynamic effects are mediated by decreases in ventricular filling pressures, owing to reductions in cardiac preload and afterload. BNP, in particular, produces selective afferent arteriolar vasodilation and inhibits sodium reabsorption in the proximal convoluted tubule. It also inhibits renin and aldosterone release and, therefore, adrenergic activation. ANP and BNP are elevated in chronic heart failure. BNP especially has potentially important diagnostic, therapeutic, and prognostic implications.
For more information, see the Medscape Drugs & Diseases article Natriuretic Peptides in Congestive Heart Failure.
Prevention Of Chronic Heart Failure
A number of measures can be taken to help lessen the risk of developing chronic heart failure. These include:
- Taking regular exercise, such as walking or swimming
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Maintaining a healthy and nutritious diet with plenty of vegetables and lean meats
- Limiting alcohol intake
- Stopping smoking
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What Is The Final Stage Of Congestive Heart Failure
The final stage of congestive heart failure is characterized by complete inactivity and severe chest pain with fatigue. With increase of progression in the final state the general prognosis starts to deteriorate. The illness becomes more severe as the patient becomes unable to carry out almost any physical activity.
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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.
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What Are The 2 Types Of Congestive Heart Failure
There are two kinds of left-sided heart failure:
- Systolic heart failure occurs when the left ventricle fails to contract normally. This reduces the level of force available to push blood into circulation.
- Diastolic failure, or diastolic dysfunction, happens when the muscle in the left ventricle becomes stiff.
What Is The Outlook For People With Heart Failure
With the right care, heart failure may not stop you from doing the things you enjoy. Your prognosis or outlook for the future will depend on how well your heart muscle is functioning, your symptoms, and how well you respond to and follow your treatment plan.
Everyone with a long-term illness, such as heart failure, should discuss their desires for extended medical care with their doctor and family. An “advance directive” or “living will” is one way to let everyone know your wishes. A living will expresses your desires about the use of medical treatments to prolong your life. This document is prepared while you are fully competent in case you are unable to make these decisions at a later time.
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Diagnostic Tests And Procedures
This animation discusses some of the tests used to diagnose heart failure. These tests may include an electrocardiogram to look at your hearts electrical activity, an echocardiogram to measure how well your heart is working and look at the structure, and a chest X-ray to see if your heart is enlarged or there is fluid in your lungs. Other tests may include blood tests and an exercise, or stress test. .
Your doctor may order to check the levels of certain molecules, such as brain natriuretic peptide . These levels rise during heart failure. Blood tests can also show how well your liver and your kidneys are working.
Tests to measure your ejection fraction
Your doctor may order an echocardiography or other imaging tests to measure your ejection fraction. Your ejection fraction is the percent of the blood in the lower left chamber of your heart that is pumped out of your heart with each heartbeat. Ejection fraction tells your doctor how well your heart pumps. This helps your doctor diagnose the type of heart failure you have and guide your treatment.
- If 40% or less of the blood in your left ventricle is pumped out in one beat, you have heart failure with reduced ejection fraction.
- If 50% or more of the blood in your left ventricle is pumped out in one beat, you have heart failure with preserved ejection fraction.
If your ejection fraction is somewhere in between , you may be diagnosed with heart failure with borderline ejection fraction.
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.
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How Is Heart Failure Diagnosed
To find out if you have heart failure, your doctor will:
- Ask about your medical history, including your symptoms
- Ask about your family health history, including relatives who have had heart failure
- Do a physical exam
In some cases, your doctor may refer you to a cardiologist for tests, diagnosis, and care.
Senior Independent Living: Basic Home Care Service
If you are an older adult with congestive heart failure, Centric Healthcare offers services that will help you to follow your treatment plan, manage your medications and make all dietary and lifestyle changes while you continue to live at home. We can provide the extra medical attention you need in the comfort and privacy of your own space. Were also able to provide assistance with tasks that you may no longer be able to do on your own. We can help you keep up with things around the house, allowing you to focus on getting healthy and feeling better.
What Are The Common Types Of Pediatric Congenital Heart Defects
A septal defect is a hole in the septum, the wall that divides the heart. There are 2 types of septal defects: atrial septal defects are holes in the septum between the left and the right atria ventricular septal defects are holes in the septum between the left and right ventricles. Because of this hole, oxygenated blood mixes with non-oxygenated blood.
A septal defect means that blood flows from one chamber of the heart to the other, instead of taking its normal path. For instance, with an atrial septal defect, blood flows from one atrium to the other, instead of going to the ventricle.
Similarly, with a VSD, the blood flows from the left ventricle to the right ventricle, rather than through its normal path to the aorta and the rest of the body. As a result, blood that has picked up oxygen from the lungs mixes with oxygen-poor blood. This can mean that parts of the body arent getting enough oxygenated blood.
ASDs and VSDs can be small or large. Some ASDs close up on their own as the child grows older. Others may be repaired using catheters or with open heart surgery.
Although some small VSDs may close on their own, some are so large that the left side of the heart is forced to work much harder. If it is not treated, a VSD can lead to heart failure. These defects have to be repaired with open heart surgery.
Another type of defect involves the heart valves. Defective valves may be caused by:
Other types of congenital heart defects
When Should I See My Healthcare Provider
Your healthcare provider will set up a schedule of visits after your procedure, especially within the first three months. Those visits are critical to making sure you are recovering and arent experiencing any complications or problems related to your new heart.
Your provider will also tell you what signs and symptoms to watch for that mean you need emergency medical attention. Most commonly, the signs and symptoms involve the rejection of your new heart or infections. These symptoms include:
- Drainage or oozing from the incision in your chest.
- Redness or warmth around the incision.
- If your breastbone moves, shifts or causes any kind of cracking or popping sound/feeling when you move.
Your healthcare provider will also recommend and help you do the following:
- Make sure you get preventive dental care .
- Stay current on all your vaccinations .
- Get routine health screenings as needed .
A note from Cleveland Clinic
A heart transplant can be a life-saving medical procedure. However, not everyone can receive a transplant because donor hearts are in limited supply. Healthcare providers can help determine if you’re a good candidate for a transplant, and if so, help you prepare for the next steps. Thanks to advances in medicine, most people feel better and have improved quality of life after their transplant. In the long term, it’s possible to live years or even decades after you get a transplanted heart, giving you a chance to make new memories and experiences with your loved ones.
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Stage 3 Of Congestive Heart Failure
Its not uncommon for congestive heart failure to be accompanied by other heart conditions. If you are diagnosed with stage three CHF, along with another heart condition, its likely that youll have difficulty performing regular tasks. Small bouts of exercise or minimal doses of physical activity will cause the same symptoms mentioned in stage two fatigue, shortness of breath, and heart palpitations. In stage three, lifestyle changes are not as effective, and a surgical procedure may be necessary. However, its never too late to talk to a doctor about your heart condition and what the future may look like.
What Are The Types Of Heart Failure
There are many causes of heart failure, but the condition is generally broken down into these types:
Left-sided heart failure
Heart failure with reduced left ventricular function The lower left chamber of your heart gets bigger and cannot squeeze hard enough to pump the right amount of oxygen-rich blood to the rest of your body.
Heart failure with preserved left ventricular function Your heart contracts and pumps normally, but the bottom chambers of your heart are thicker and stiffer than normal. Because of this, your ventricles can’t relax properly and fill up all the way. Because there’s less blood in your ventricles, your heart pumps out less blood to the rest of your body when it contracts.
Right-sided heart failure
Heart failure can also affect the right side of your heart. Left-sided heart failure is the most common cause of this. Other causes include certain lung problems and issues in other organs.
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You Don’t Have To Face Hf Alone
The term heart failure makes it sound like the heart is no longer working at all and theres nothing that can be done. Actually, heart failure means that the heart isnt pumping as well as it should be. Congestive heart failure is a type of heart failure that requires seeking timely medical attention, although sometimes the two terms are used interchangeably.
Your body depends on the hearts pumping action to deliver oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood to the bodys cells. When the cells are nourished properly, the body can function normally.With heart failure, the weakened heart cant supply the cells with enough blood. This results in fatigue and shortness of breath and some people have coughing. Everyday activities such as walking, climbing stairs or carrying groceries can become very difficult.
Heart failure is a term used to describe a heart that cannot keep up with its workload. The body may not get the oxygen it needs.
Heart failure is a serious condition, and usually theres no cure. But many people with heart failure lead a full, enjoyable life when the condition is managed with heart failure medications and healthy lifestyle changes. Its also helpful to have the support of family and friends who understand your condition.
Facts About Heart Failure In The United States
- About 6.2 million adults in the United States have heart failure.1
- In 2018, heart failure was mentioned on 379,800 death certificates .1
- Heart failure costs the nation an estimated $30.7 billion in 2012.2 This total includes the cost of health care services, medicines to treat heart failure, and missed days of work.
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What Causes Pediatric Congenital Heart Defects
In most cases, the reasons defects happen are not known, but some connections have been identified:
- Women who get German measles during their first trimester of pregnancy have a higher risk of having a baby with a congenital heart defect.
- The risk may also be higher if the woman has some types of viral infections, is exposed to industrial solvents, takes certain kinds of medications, drinks alcohol, or uses cocaine while pregnant.
- Women who have given birth to a child with a congenital heart defect are at higher risk of giving birth to another child with a heart defect.
Heart defects can also occur along with other types of birth defects.
Lifestyle And Home Remedies
Making lifestyle changes can often help relieve signs and symptoms of heart failure and prevent the disease from worsening. These changes may be among the most important and beneficial you can make. Lifestyle changes your doctor may recommend include:
- Stop smoking. Smoking damages your blood vessels, raises blood pressure, reduces the amount of oxygen in your blood and makes your heart beat faster.
If you smoke, ask your doctor to recommend a program to help you quit. You cant be considered for a heart transplant if you continue to smoke. Avoid secondhand smoke, too.
- Discuss weight monitoring with your doctor. Discuss with your doctor how often you should weigh yourself. Ask your doctor how much weight gain you should notify him or her about. Weight gain may mean that youre retaining fluids and need a change in your treatment plan.
- Check your legs, ankles and feet for swelling daily. Check for any changes in swelling in your legs, ankles or feet daily. Check with your doctor if the swelling worsens.
- Eat a healthy diet. Aim to eat a diet that includes fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat dairy products, and lean proteins.
- Restrict salt in your diet. Too much sodium contributes to water retention, which makes your heart work harder and causes shortness of breath and swollen legs, ankles and feet.
If you have severe heart failure, your doctor may also suggest you limit the amount of fluids you drink.
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