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How Is Heart Failure Treated

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Causes Of Systolic Heart Failure

Treatment of Heart Failure â Cardiology | Lecturio

Systolic heart failure is usually caused by another cardiovascular condition that weakens the heart muscle. For example:

  • Aortic stenosis, a narrowing of the valve in the large blood vessel that branches off the heart
  • Arrhythmia, an irregular heart rhythm
  • Cardiomyopathy, any condition affecting the heart muscle
  • Coronary artery disease, narrowing of the blood vessels that bring blood to the heart
  • Heart attack, which occurs when the heart doesnt get enough blood
  • High blood pressure , the force of blood pushing against arteries
  • Mitral regurgitation, when a valve in the heart doesnt close tightly, allowing blood to flow backward in the heart
  • Myocarditis, inflammation of the heart muscle

Medications For Heart Failure

Certain medications can help treat heart failure and its underlying cause:

  • Aldosterone blockers block the effects of the hormone aldosterone, encouraging the body to release sodium and water. They also help prevent scarring in the heart.
  • Angiotensin receptor-neprilysin inhibitor : Treatment with sacubitril-valsartan reduces excess fluid in the body and relaxes blood vessels. This makes it easier for your heart to pump blood. Alternatives to ARNIs include angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors andangiotensin receptor blockers .
  • Beta blockers make the heart beat more slowly and with less force. They also help keep heart rhythm regular.
  • Sodium-glucose transport protein 2 inhibitors are diabetes drugs that have recently been found to be very beneficial in heart failure. They help remove glucose via the kidneys into the urine.

Other medications can relieve the heart failure symptoms:

  • Diuretics reduce the amount of fluid in the body.
  • Vasodilators dilate the blood vessels and reduce the hearts workload.
  • Digoxin helps the heart beat stronger with a more regular rhythm.
  • Anti-arrhythmics control arrhythmia and maintain normal heart rhythm.

Diagnosis Of Heart Failure In Children

Your child’s healthcare provider will obtain a complete medical history and physical examination, asking questions about your child’s appetite, breathing patterns, and energy level. Other diagnostic procedures for heart failure may include:

  • Blood and urine tests

  • Chest X-ray. A diagnostic test which uses invisible X-ray beams to produce images of internal tissues, bones, and organs onto film.

  • Electrocardiogram . A test that records the electrical activity of the heart, shows abnormal rhythms , and may detect problems with the heart muscle.

  • Echocardiogram . A noninvasive test that uses sound waves to evaluate a study of the motion of the heart’s chambers and valves. The echo sound waves create an image on the monitor as an ultrasound transducer is passed over the heart.

  • Cardiac catheterization . An invasive test that introduces a small catheter into the heart from the groin or arm. This allows the measurement of various pressures inside the heart to aid in the diagnosis of heart failure. In addition, biopsies of the heart tissue may be obtained in order to determine the underlying cause of heart failure.

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Mood And Heart Failure

Some people find it very difficult to live with the uncertainty of having heart failure. Learning about your condition and getting involved in making decisions about your treatment will help you feel more in control and may help to relieve anxiety. Its also important to discuss your worries with your family and close friends and your heart failure team 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.

Be The Star Of Your Team

Algorithm for Treatment of Heart Failure

It takes a team to manage heart failure, and you are the key player. Your heart doctor will prescribe your medications and manage other medical problems. Other team members, including nurses, dietitians, pharmacists, exercise specialists, and social workers, will also lend a hand. But it’s up to you to take your medicine, change your diet, live a healthy lifestyle, keep your follow-up appointments, and be an active member of the team.

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Other Guidelines For Heart Failure Patients

  • Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory so your response to this medication can be monitored.
  • Be sure that you always have enough infusion bags of your medication. Check your supply before vacations, holidays, or other occasions when you may be unable to obtain it.
  • Never administer other intravenous drugs through the same intravenous line.
  • Take precaution to prevent infection while you are taking this drug. Your doctor will give you information on how to prevent infection.

Can Surgery Be Used To Treat Heart Failure

In heart failure, surgery may sometimes prevent further damage to the heart and improve the heart’s function. Procedures used include:

  • Coronary artery bypass grafting surgery. The most common surgery for heart failure caused by coronary artery disease is . Although surgery is more risky for people with heart failure, new strategies before, during, and after surgery have reduced the risks and improved outcomes.
  • Heart valve surgery. Diseased heart valves can be treated both surgically and non-surgically .
  • Implantable left ventricular assist device . The LVAD is known as the “bridge to transplantation” for patients who haven’t responded to other treatments and are hospitalized with severe systolic heart failure. This device helps your heart pump blood throughout your body. It allows you to be mobile, sometimes returning home to await a heart transplant. It may also be used as destination therapy for long-term support in patients who are not eligible for transplant.
  • Heart transplant. A heart transplant is considered when heart failure is so severe that it doesn’t respond to all other therapies, but the person’s health is otherwise good.

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The Ticker Tapes Podcast

Anne Dixon’s life changed after discovering she had a problem with her heart when she was a student. After an operation, she went back to her normal life, but there was more in store for her. Hear her story and other real experiences from people living with her and circulatory diseases.

Have A Heart Failure Action Plan

Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) Pathophysiology, Nursing, Treatment, Symptoms | Heart Failure Part 1

A heart failure action plan provides you with instructions and information on how to manage your heart failure on a daily basis and also how to recognise and cope with worsening symptoms, such as flare-ups . You can develop your heart failure action plan with your healthcare provider and fit the plan to suit how severe your heart failure is and your wishes. At each visit with your healthcare provider, you can review the plan and make adjustments as needed.

Here’s an example of a heart failure action plan by the Heart Foundation NZ.

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What Are The Risk Factors For Heart Failure

Heart failure can happen to anyone. However, certain factors may increase your risk of developing this condition.

There is a higher incidence of heart failure in men compared with women, though the prevalence is about the same for all sexes.

People with diseases that damage the heart are also at an increased risk. These conditions include:

  • ivabradine in some cases
  • verquvo in some cases

Always speak with your doctor before taking new medications. Some medications are completely off-limits to people with heart failure, including naproxen and ibuprofen .

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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Acute Systolic Heart Failure Versus Chronic Systolic Heart Failure

Systolic heart failure can be classified as acute or chronic:

  • Acute: You have active symptoms of heart failure with a new diagnosis or a long-term condition.
  • Chronic: You have a history of heart failure, but are relatively stable.

Acute systolic heart failure is a medical emergency. Depending on the cause, some cases can be reversed with prompt treatment. Chronic systolic heart failure is a lifelong condition, and treatment aims to slow the disease and minimize symptoms.

Changes In The Body Systems Caused By Congestive Heart Failure

Heart Failure (HFrEF) Treatment

The inability of heart muscles to pump the blood properly leads to the significant negative changes in body systems caused by decreased blood flow to the vital organs and fluid retention:

  • The respiratory body system is usually affected first Congestive heart failure due to the congestion of the lungs. The fluid starts to backup in the lungs and obstructs the normal functioning of the system such changes result in shortness of breath, cough, wheezing, etc.
  • Muscular body system is also directly influenced by Congestive heart failure as less blood delivered to the muscles leads to persons feelings of weakness and tiredness
  • Nervous body system can also be harmed by the consequences of Congestive heart failure, and less blood delivered to the brain leads to problems with its functioning resulting in confusion, dizziness, etc.

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What Causes Heart Failure

Although the risk of heart failure doesnt change as you get older, youre more likely to have heart failure when youre older.

Many medical conditions that damage the heart muscle can cause heart failure. Common conditions include:

  • Tobacco and recreational drug use.
  • Medications. Some drugs used to fight cancer can lead to heart failure.

Heart Failure Treatment Is A Team Effort

Heart failure management is a team effort, and you are the key player on the team. Your heart doctor will prescribe your medications and manage other medical problems. Other team members — including nurses, dietitians, pharmacists, exercise specialists, and social workers — will help you achieve success. But it is up to YOU to take your medications, make dietary changes, live a healthy lifestyle, keep your follow-up appointments, and be an active member of the team.

If you notice anything unusual, don’t wait until your next appointment to discuss it with your doctor. Call them right away if you have:

  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Swelling in your ankles, feet, legs, or belly that gets worse
  • Shortness of breath that gets worse or happens more often, especially if you wake up feeling that way
  • Bloating with a loss of appetite or nausea
  • Extreme fatigue or more trouble finishing your daily activities
  • A lung infection or a cough that gets worse
  • Fast heart rate
  • New irregular heartbeat

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How Can I Reduce My Risk Of Systolic Heart Failure

You can reduce the chance of getting heart failure by taking good care of yourself:

  • Eat a well-balanced, nutritious diet.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Get enough rest.
  • Limit or eliminate unhealthy things such as alcohol, illegal drugs, smoking and foods high in fat or salt.
  • Maintain a weight thats healthy for you.

What Is The Outlook With Heart Failure

Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) Treatment, Management, Nursing Interventions & Medications Part 2

With the right care, congestive heart failure wont stop you from doing the things you enjoy. Your prognosis, or outlook for the future, will depend on:

  • How well your heart muscle is working.
  • How well you respond to your treatment plan.
  • How well you follow your treatment plan.

One study says that people with heart failure have a life span 10 years shorter than those who dont have heart failure. Another study showed that the survival rates of people with chronic heart failure were 80% to 90% for one year, but that dropped to 50% to 60% for year five and down to 30% for 10 years.

A different study found that people who had heart failure and were discharged from the hospital had expected life spans ranging from three to 20 years, depending on various factors like age and gender. Its important to look at your specific situation when considering your prognosis.

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Medications To Lessen Symptoms Of Systolic Heart Failure

Many of the symptoms of systolic heart failure are uncomfortable, and may limit the amount and type of activities you can participate in. Your doctor may recommend medications that treat the symptoms of systolic heart failure to make you more comfortable. Some of these options include:

  • Diuretics reduce the amount of fluid in the body.
  • Vasodilators dilate the blood vessels and reduce the hearts workload.
  • Digoxin helps the heart beat stronger with a more regular rhythm.
  • Anti-arrhythmics control arrhythmia and maintain normal heart rhythm.

What Are The Complications Of Heart Failure

Some of the complications from heart failure include:

  • Irregular heartbeat.
  • History of taking drugs that can damage your heart muscle, such as some cancer drugs.

Stage B

Stage B is considered pre-heart failure. It means your healthcare provider has given you a diagnosis of systolic left ventricular dysfunction but youve never had symptoms of heart failure. Most people with Stage B heart failure have an echocardiogram that shows an ejection fraction of 40% or less. This category includes people who have heart failure and reduced EF due to any cause.

Stage C

People with Stage C heart failure have a heart failure diagnosis and currently have or previously had signs and symptoms of the condition.

There are many possible symptoms of heart failure. The most common are:

  • Shortness of breath.
  • Need to urinate while resting at night.
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeats .
  • A dry, hacking cough.
  • A full or hard stomach, loss of appetite or upset stomach .

There may be times that your symptoms are mild or you may not have any symptoms at all. This doesn’t mean you no longer have heart failure. Symptoms of heart failure can range from mild to severe and may come and go.

Unfortunately, heart failure usually gets worse over time. As it worsens, you may have more or different signs or symptoms.Its important to let your doctor know if you have new symptoms or if your symptoms get worse.

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Symptoms Of Heart Failure

Symptoms of heart failure include:

  • new or worsening shortness of breath
  • difficulty lying flat at night
  • fainting or passing out
  • muscular fatigue, tiredness
  • swelling of ankles or legs
  • swelling of abdomen
  • heart palpitations
  • chest pain or discomfort in parts of the upper body
  • unexplained coughing and wheezing

How Do I Manage My Heart Failure

Prevention of Heart Failure

Its important to follow the advice from your doctor and take the medicines youre prescribed. Making changes to your lifestyle is another way to improve your health. Changes you could try are:

  • keeping active which has been proven to boost energy and improve sleep and quality of life
  • keeping to a healthy weight and diet this will help your overall health and prevent extra strain on your heart
  • limiting how much alcohol you drink – lowering your chance of getting abnormal heart rhythms, high blood pressure and diseases such as stroke, liver problems and some cancers
  • stopping smoking and using other tobacco products – reducing your risk of developing heart and circulatory diseases
  • watching the amount of fluid you have each day if advised by your medical team
  • weighing yourself regularly sudden weight gain may mean too much fluid is building up in your body and will need treated.

Living a healthier lifestyle can be hard at first, but its important for your overall quality of life. Visit our healthy living hub to start eating healthier and manage things like smoking and stress today.

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Articles On Heart Failure Types & Stages

The ”Stages of Heart Failure,” developed by the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology , will help you understand that heart failure is often a progressive condition and can worsen over time. The stages will also help you understand why a new medication was added to your treatment plan and why lifestyle changes and other treatments are needed.

Note: The stages classified by the AHA and ACC are different from the New York Heart Association clinical classifications of heart failure. NYHA ranks patients as class I-II-III-IV, according to the degree of symptoms or functional limits. Ask your health care provider what stage of heart failure you are in.

Check the table below to see if your therapy matches what the AHA and ACC recommend. The table below outlines a basic plan of care that may or may not apply to you. Ask your doctor or nurse to explain the therapies that are listed if you do not understand why you are or are not receiving them.

People at high risk of developing heart failure , including people with:

  • High blood pressure
  • History of cardiotoxic drug therapy
  • History of alcohol abuse

Nyha Functional Classification System

The New York Heart Association functional classification considers heart failure symptoms that happen during exercise to determine stage. Patients can go back and forth between stages depending on how well-controlled symptoms are on a given day.

  • Stage 1: The person has heart disease, but it isnt yet causing symptoms or limiting activities.
  • Stage 2: The person has mild symptoms that only slightly limit activity.
  • Stage 3: The person has significant limitations to activities. He or she is only comfortable when resting.
  • Stage 4: The person has major limitations and experiences symptoms when at rest.

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