Living With Heart Failure
Heart failure has no cure. You will have to follow a treatment plan for the rest of your life. This treatment plan can include medicines, lifestyle changes, guides on activity levels, and keeping your appointments. Your restrictions will depend on how severe your heart failure is.
The following tips can help you manage your heart failure at home.
- Follow a diet thats healthy for your heart. Many doctors recommend the DASH diet. Avoid eating too much salt or too many salty foods . Salty and high-sodium foods can cause your body to retain water.
- Talk to your doctor before using salt substitutes. They often contain potassium and may not be good for your health. This will depend on your kidney function and what medicines youre taking. Some people need extra potassium, but others dont.
- Keep your blood pressure under control. High blood pressure strains your heart and further weakens it.
- Ask your doctor to recommend an exercise program for you. Try to reduce the stress in your life and get plenty of sleep. If you smoke, quit! If youre overweight, talk to your doctor about how to lose weight safely.
- Talk to your doctor before you take any over-the-counter medicines. Common arthritis medicines such as naproxen and ibuprofen can cause fluid retention.
- Weigh yourself daily at the same time of day. Report any unexplained changes to your doctor. Fluid retention and weight gain are signals that your CHF may not be in control.
Talk to your doctor if you have any of the following:
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. 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.
Symptom: Swelling And Weight Gain
Fluid can back up in tissues, too. This can cause your feet, ankles, legs or belly to swell. The kidneys, since they have less blood to work with, may not get rid of sodium as well. That would cause more fluid to stay in your tissues. Talk with your doctor right away if you have persistent swelling or sudden weight gain.
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What To Expect During The Final Stages Of Congestive Heart Failure
Heart failure refers to when the heart cant or doesnt work well enough to provide oxygen and nutrients to the parts of the body and brain that need them. This decrease in cardiac output means the heart isnt strong enough to move blood from the body and lungs back to the heart. This causes fluid to leak from capillary blood vessels.
Shortness of breath, weakness, and swelling are some things that might happen because of this. Before we dive into the depths of the heart failure signs of death, lets understand what goes on in the body.
What Is Congestive Heart Failure
Heart failure describes the inability or failure of the heart to meet the needs of organs and tissues for oxygen and nutrients. This decrease in cardiac output, the amount of blood that the heart pumps, is not adequate to circulate the blood returning to the heart from the body and lungs, causing the fluid to leak from capillary blood vessels. This leads to symptoms that may include shortness of breath, weakness, and swelling.
Understanding blood flow in the heart and body
The right side of the heart pumps blood to the lungs while the left side pumps blood to the rest of the body. Blood from the body enters the right atrium through the vena cava. It then flows into the right ventricle where it is pumped to the lungs through the pulmonary artery, which carries deoxygenated blood to the lungs. In the lungs, oxygen is loaded onto red blood cells and returns to the left atrium of the heart via the pulmonary veins. Blood then flows into the left ventricle where it is pumped to the organs and tissues of the body. Oxygen is downloaded from red blood cells into the various organs while carbon dioxide, a waste product of metabolism, is added to be removed from the lungs. Blood then returns to the right atrium to start the cycle again. The pulmonary veins are unusual in that they carry oxygenated blood, while the pulmonary artery carries deoxygenated blood. This is a reversal of duties versus the roles of veins and arteries in the rest of the body.
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What Do Symptoms Of End Stage Congestive Heart Failure Look Like
Dyspnea or shortness of breath can occur both during activity and rest. This is the symptom that often sends patients racing to the hospital late at night. Work with your hospice or palliative care team to manage symptoms at home and avoid these stressful hospital trips.
When the heart cannot keep up with the supply of blood moving between it and the lungs, fluid can build up in the lungs. This results in a chronic cough or wheezing that can produce white or pink mucus.
As the hearts ability to pump slows down, fluid can build up in the body. This creates swelling in the extremities particularly the feet, ankles, legs, or abdomen.
Lack of Appetite
As the digestive system receives less blood, patients may feel full or nauseous. Not wanting to eat is a natural part of the body shutting down, but families often find this distressing. Learn more about why it is okay for your loved one to stop eating and drinking at end of life.
High Heart Rate
In response to a loss in pumping capacity, the heart begins to beat faster. The patient experiences this as a racing or throbbing heartbeat.
When the heart stops working effectively, it can change sodium levels in the blood. This leads to memory loss, confusion, and a general feeling of disorientation.
Surprising Physical Signs Of Heart Disease
Many people associate heart disease with obvious symptoms, like chest pain. But there are some not-so-obvious connections, like swollen feet or bleeding gums, that should also merit a heart check from your doctor.
The classic red flags for a heart attack are familiar to anyone who has watched medical dramas on television. The patient, usually an older man, starts wheezing and gasping for breath. Then he clutches his chest, staggers, and eventually falls over. In real life, the signs and symptoms of heart disease are much more varied and subtle.
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Because The Heart Is Too Weak And
Because the heart is too weak and Congestive heart failure can cause both peripheral edema and abdominal edema . 8 rows · congestive heart failure is a type of heart failure which requires seeking timely medical Pictures of swollen ankles due to congestive heart failure. This is known as heart failure edema and often involves swollen feet and ankles. Pin on foot and ankle swelling. It can also cause swelling of your hands. Jan 29, 2021 · when symptoms grow worse , heart failure can cause swelling in the ankles and legs, as well as swollen feet. Jun 09, 2020 · causes of swelling in legs and ankles in congestive heart failure. Aug 06, 2020 · unfortunately, the heart can become weakened and gradually fail to pump as well as it should. Oct 25, 2021 · 12 causes of swollen ankles feet why are my ankles swollen. 13 reasons you have swollen feet according to doctors health com. When this happens, doctors call it heart failure. one of the more noticeable features of heart failure is swelling.
13 reasons you have swollen feet according to doctors health com. Find this pin and more on health by marla flanagan. It can also cause swelling of your hands. Swelling in the legs and ankles is caused by fluid accumulation in the body, which can be a sign of worsening heart failure. Pictures of swollen ankles due to congestive heart failure.
How Is Heart Failure Diagnosed
Your doctor will ask about your medical history, symptoms and examine you. You may then be sent for tests such as:
- an echocardiogram
- breathing tests to see if a lung problem is causing your breathlessness
- a chest x-ray to check if theres fluid in your lungs or if a lung condition is causing the symptoms.
Your doctor may talk about the ejection fraction of your heart. This refers to the amount of blood that is squeezed out of your left ventricle every time your heart beats. Its usually measured as a percentage over 50% is considered normal. Your ejection fraction is measured from an echocardiogram.Some people with heart failure can have a normal ejection fraction, so ejection fraction is used alongside other tests to diagnose heart failure.
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What Procedures And Tests Diagnose Congestive Heart Failure
Congestive heart failure CHF can be confused with other illnesses that cause breathing difficulties, such as bronchitis, pneumonia, emphysema, and asthma. Talking to a medical professional, along with receiving a physical exam and tests available only at a medical office or hospital, are necessary to make an definitive diagnosis. Some of the most useful tests are mentioned below.
Chest X-ray: This is very helpful in identifying the buildup of fluid in the lungs. Also, the heart usually enlarges in congestive heart failure, and this may be visible on the X-ray film. In addition, other disorders may be diagnosed.
- An electrocardiogram is a painless test that measures the electrical activity of the heart. For this test, which takes just a few minutes, one lies on a table with electrodes attached to the skin of the chest, arms, and legs. The ECG can reveal several different heart problems that can cause heart failure, including heart attacks, rhythm disorders, long-standing strain on the heart from high blood pressure, and certain valve problems.
- However, the ECG result may be normal in heart failure.
Blood tests: People may have blood drawn for lab tests.
Echocardiogram : This is a type of ultrasound that shows the beating of the heart and the various cardiac structures. It is safe, painless, and one of the most important tests for diagnosing and following patients with heart failure over time.
What Should The Caregiver Remember When The Patient Is At The End
Various important decisions of the patients life have to be taken by the caregivers surrounding the patient. Great responsibilities come up on the caregiver as the patient gradually becomes completely dependent. The caregiver should always be on his toes because there can arise an emergency at any point of time. The patient may have to be admitted to the hospital frequently during the last stage. Symptoms can worsen overnight and the caregivers should be prepared for it.
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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.
Heart Failure Edema Treatment Starts By Throwing Away Your Salt Shaker
Sodium is possibly the biggest dietary culprit in causing fluid retention. The first thing anyone with heart failure should do to improve their overall health is throw away their salt shaker.
In general, you should consume less than 2,000 mg of sodium a day if you have heart failure. Because sodium lurks in most pre-packaged foods, you should read food labels carefully to get a real understanding of how much salt youre taking in.
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What Diet Plans Lifestyle Changes And Management Tips Help Treat Congestive Heart Failure Naturally
Lifestyle changes recommended by your doctor or other health care professional can help relieve symptoms, slow the progression of heart failure, and improve one’s quality of life. Lifestyle changes that may be helpful in preventing or relieving heart failure include those recommended by the American Heart Association and other organizations as part of a heart-healthy lifestyle.
- Once diagnosed and under the care of a qualified medical professional, patients can and should do several things at home to increase their comfort and reduce the chance of the condition getting worse.
- In fact, the more active role patients take in managing heart failure, the more likely they are to do well.
- Making the lifestyle changes described here will make a real difference. Not only will patients feel better, but they will increase their chances of a longer, healthier life.
Treat swelling with the following measures:
- Elevate the feet and legs if they are swollen.
- Eat a reduced-salt diet.
- Weigh in every morning before breakfast and record it in a diary that can be shown to a health care provider.
Avoid the following:
- Excessive emotional stress and/or depression
- Herbal or other complementary medicine without first consulting a doctor to see if they are safe
Patients with congestive heart failure should know the following information that may apply to their disease:
Assessment Of Myocardial Viability
For patients with angina, known coronary artery disease , previous infarction, and LV dysfunction, a reliable method for assessing the presence, extent, and location of viable myocardium is of considerable clinical importance. It is well established that global or regional ischemic LV dysfunction is not always an irreversible condition. Approximately 25-40% of patients may experience improved function after adequate revascularization.
Two important practical issues must be addressed when patients with presumed ischemic dysfunction are evaluated: assessment of relative regional myocardial uptake of thallium-201 , 99mTc-sestamibi, or 99mTc-tetrofosmin and assessment of the presence of demonstrable ischemia in a myocardial segment with decreased uptake .
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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.
Heart Disease: 12 Warning Signs That Appear On Your Skin
Warning signs can appear on your skin and nails, which is why your dermatologist may be the first doctor to notice that you have heart disease. If you know what to look for, you can also find warning signs of heart disease on your skin and nails. The following pictures show you what to look for.
Swelling in your feet and lower legsWhat it may be telling you: Your heart isnt working properly.Many diseases of the heart cause fluid to build up in your feet and lower legs. As the fluid builds up, you may see swelling, which can extend as far as the upper legs and groin.Medical name: Edema
Blue or purple color on your skinWhat it may be telling you: You have a blockage in a blood vessel.When youre extremely cold, your skin can turn blue . If an area of your skin is blue when youre warm, thats can be a sign your blood isnt getting enough oxygen. The patient in this photo has a condition known as blue toe syndrome, which happens when one or more blood vessels are blocked.Without treatment, the lack of oxygen can cause the skin and underlying tissue to eventually die.Medical name: Cyanosis
Nails curve downward and the ends of your fingers are swollenWhat it may be telling you: You may have a heart infection, heart disease, or lung problem.For many people, these signs are harmless. That said, if your fingers and nails look like this, its best to find out if you may have a medical condition, such as lung disease or a heart problem.Medical name: Clubbing
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