What Procedures And Tests Diagnose Congestive Heart Failure
Congestive heart failure can be a medical emergency, especially if it acutely decompensates and the patient can present extremely ill with the inability to breathe adequately. In this situation, the ABCs of resuscitation need to be addressed while at the same time, the diagnosis of congestive heart failure is made.
Common tests that are done to help with the diagnosis of congestive heart failure include the following:
- Electrocardiogram to help assess heart rate, rhythm, and indirectly, the size of the ventricles and blood flow to the heart muscle.
- Blood tests may include a complete blood count , electrolytes, glucose, BUN, and creatinine .
- B-type natriuretic peptide may help decide if a patient has shortness of breath from congestive heart failure or a different cause. It is a chemical that is located in the heart ventricles and may be released when these muscles are overloaded.
- Echocardiography or ultrasound testing of the heart is often recommended to assess the anatomy and the function of the heart. In addition to being able to evaluate the heart valves and muscle, the test can look at blood flow within the heart, watch the chambers of the heart contract, and measure the ejection fraction .
Other tests may be considered to evaluate and monitor a patient with suspected congestive heart failure, depending upon the clinical situation.
How Is Heart Failure Treated
Your treatment will depend on the type of heart failure you have and, in part, what caused it. Medications and lifestyle behaviors are part of every treatment plan. Your healthcare provider will talk to you about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment is the same, regardless of gender.
As heart failure gets worse, your heart muscle pumps less blood to your organs, and you move toward the next stage of heart failure. Since you cant move backward through the heart failure stages, the goal of treatment is to keep you from moving forward through the stages or to slow down the progression of your heart failure.
Stage A treatment
The usual treatment plan for people with Stage A heart failure includes:
- Regular exercise, being active, walking every day.
- Stopping the use of tobacco products.
- Treatment for high blood pressure .
- Treatment for high cholesterol.
- Not drinking alcohol or using recreational drugs.
- Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor or an angiotensin II receptor blocker if you have coronary artery disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, or other vascular or cardiac conditions.
- Beta-blocker if you have high blood pressure.
Stage B treatment
The usual treatment plan for people with Stage B heart failure includes:
Stage C treatment
The usual treatment plan for people with Stage C HF-rEF includes:
If the treatment causes your symptoms to get better or stop, you still need to continue treatment to slow the progression to Stage D.
Stage D treatment
Prognosis At Different Ages
In general, younger people diagnosed with CHF tend to have a better outlook than older people.
A report averaging several smaller studies found that people under age 65 generally had a 5-year survival rate of 78.8 percent following CHF diagnosis. The same report found that people over age 75 had an average 5-year survival rate of 49.5 percent following diagnosis.
Older people diagnosed with CHF may already have other chronic health conditions. This can make it difficult to manage CHF and create a more challenging outlook for them.
for congestive heart failure. The treatment thats best for you will depend on:
- your overall health
- any other health conditions you have
- how you respond to any medications
- what stage of CHF you have
Common options include:
There are lifestyle changes a person with CHF can make that have been shown to help slow the conditions progression. Talk with your doctor before making changes to your diet or starting an exercise routine.
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Can I Improve My Heart Failure Naturally
If your doctor prescribes you medication its important to take it. But making changes to your lifestyle is also going to have a big impact on improving your health.
Changes may include:
- weighing yourself regularly sudden weight gain may mean too much fluid is building up in your body
- watching the amount of fluid you have each day
- limiting how much alcohol you drink
- keeping active this can help improve your energy, stamina and fitness
- keeping to a healthy weight, which will help to prevent your heart from working too hard.
Diet changes are also essential when managing your weight and keeping your heart healthy.
You could feel healthier by eating:
- one or two portions of fruit or veg with every meal
- sunflower oil, olive oil, nuts and avocados instead of saturated fat options like crisps and butter
- one or two portions of beans or pulses everyday with a meal
- your protein in the form of fish, eggs and lean meats
- less salt and sugar.
Prognosis At Each Stage
The outlook for CHF varies greatly between people, as there are many contributing factors for every individuals situation. However, generally speaking, if CHF is discovered in its earlier stages and properly managed, you can expect a far better outlook than if its discovered much later.
Some people whose CHF is discovered early and treated promptly and effectively can hope to have a nearly standard life expectancy.
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About Congestive Heart Failure
Heart failure, sometimes called congestive cardiac failure , is a condition in which the heart muscle is weakened and cant pump as well as it usually does. The main pumping chambers of the heart can change size and thickness, and either cant contract or cant relax as well as they should. This triggers fluid retention, particularly in the lungs, legs and abdomen.
The major causes of heart failure include coronary heart disease and heart attack, high blood pressure, damage to the heart muscle , heart valve problems and abnormal heart rhythms. Of these, coronary heart disease and heart attack are the most common causes.
The major factors that contribute to coronary heart disease include:
- reduced emotional and social wellbeing
- physical inactivity.
Heart failure is more common in elderly people. The survival rate for people with this disorder depends on the severity of their condition.
What Are The Stages Of Congestive Heart Failure
The New York Heart Association has developed a scale that commonly is used to determine the functional capabilities of heart failure.
New York Heart Association Functional Classification of Heart Failure
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.
What Is Heart Failure
Heart failure, or congestive heart failure, is a long-term condition that gets worse over time. Although the name sounds like your heart has stopped working, heart failure means your heart isnt able to pump blood as well as it should. When your heart has less pumping power, that can damage your organs and fluid can collect in your lungs.
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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.
Living With Congestive Heart Failure
Heart failure is a progressive disease, so early diagnosis is important. If we identify congestive heart failure, we can take some important steps to improve your health through:
- Lifestyle changes
- Dietary counseling
If heart rhythm problems develop, we may recommend installing a cardioverter defibrillator or pacemaker. In advanced stages of heart failure, you may benefit from a left ventricular assist device , which helps your heart pump blood more effectively.
The most important step you can take when you have congestive heart failure is to have our cardiovascular team closely monitor your health. To get started, contact our office in Mountain View, California, to set up a consultation.
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Complications Of Congestive Heart Failure
To call your heart hard-working is a big understatement. Each day, your heart pumps about 100,000 times, circulating the 5.6 quarts of blood throughout your body three times every minute. When you have congestive heart failure, your heart isnt pumping blood as efficiently as it should, which can lead to some serious complications.
If youre one of the six million people living with congestive heart failure, the team of cardiology experts here at Advanced Cardiovascular Specialists feels that education is a great start for avoiding these serious complications.
Though our goal here isnt to unnecessarily scare you, its important that you appreciate the far-reaching impact that congestive heart failure can have on your health.
What Can Be Done To Prevent Pediatric Congenital Heart Defects
In most cases, there is no way to prevent heart defects. However, certain precautions can be taken:
- A pregnant woman should not drink alcohol or take drugs that have not been prescribed to her.
- Women with certain chronic conditions should ask their doctors for advice on medications or special diets before they become pregnant.
- A woman who is able to become pregnant should get 400 micrograms of folate or folic acid per day to prevent birth defects.
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How Long Will I Live With Heart Failure
The congestive heart failure lifespan depends on many variables, such as the cause of heart failure, its severity, and other comorbidities.The survival rates for those affected in the general population are:
- 1-year: 81.3%
- 5-years: 51.5% and
- 10-years: 29.5%.
There are 6 million people alive in the US that suffer from this disease, and almost 1 million in the UK. The data shown above tells us that only a half of these people will survive the next 5 years.
A heart transplant, being the ultimate treatment for such a disease, prolongs the estimated survival. 20 years after a transplant, around 21% of patients are still alive.
There’s a special tool for assessing the mortality rate of heart failure patients admitted to the ICU.
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 Does Congestive Heart Failure Do To Your Body
Congestive heart failure can cause:
- Shortness of breath: This happens when fluid collects in your lungs. It’s also called pulmonary edema. It may be worse when you’re lying down or when you’re active. If you’re having a hard time breathing, call your doctor or 911 right away.
- Coughing: Like shortness of breath, this is usually caused by extra fluid in your lungs.
- Tiredness: With heart failure, your body doesn’t pump out enough blood to keep your cells healthy. That can make you tired. You might find it hard to do everyday things like climb stairs.
- Swelling : This happens when there’s too much fluid in your tissues. Your legs and ankles are the most likely places to swell. But other areas of your body, like your arms or belly, can also swell.
- Weight gain: This is caused by extra fluid that doesn’t get flushed from your body the way it should.
- A need to pee more often.
Congestive Heart Failure Drugs
There are several medications that can be used to treat CHF, including ACE inhibitors, beta-blockers, and more.
Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors open up narrowed blood vessels to improve blood flow. Vasodilators are another option if you cant tolerate ACE inhibitors.
You may be prescribed one of the following:
voluntary recall of 5 lots of the drug Accupril due to the presence of nitrosamine. Nitrosamine, a known carcinogen with the potential to cause cancer, was found to exist in the drug at levels greater than the Acceptable Daily Intake as determined by the FDA. This recall is specific only to a handful of lot numbers and does not affect all Accupril tablets made by Pfizer. If you take Accupril tablets, talk with your pharmacist or doctor and they will help you determine if your medication has been impacted by the recall.
ACE inhibitors shouldnt be taken with the following medications without consulting a doctor, because they may cause an adverse reaction:
- Potassium-sparing diuretics and potassium supplements. These diuretics can cause potassium buildup in the blood, which may lead to abnormal heart rhythms. Examples include: riamterene , eplerenone , and spironolactone .
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs .NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen, can cause sodium and water retention. This may reduce the ACE inhibitors effect on your blood pressure.
This may be achieved with:
Your doctor may recommend:
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What’s The Systolic Heart Failure Life Expectancy
Systolic heart failure is an insufficiency of a heart caused by the malfunction of its left ventricle. This kind of HF is characterized by a low ejection fraction , also taken into account in this heart failure life expectancy calculator.
EF is given in percent, and should be equal to around 50-70%. Mortality increases as the ejection fraction value . The smaller the EF, the shorter the estimated survival.
Unfortunately, plenty of studies proved that the mortality in patients with systolic heart failure and low EF is higher than in those with preserved EF.
For example: 1 year mortality rate for low EF = 26%, and for the high EF = 22%.
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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What Medications Should I Avoid If I Have Heart Failure
There are several different types of medications that are best avoided in those with heart failure including:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as Motrin or Aleve. For relief of aches, pains, or fever take Tylenol instead.
- Most calcium channel blockers
- Some nutritional supplements, such as salt substitutes, and growth hormone therapies
- Antacids that contain sodium
If youâre taking any of these drugs, discuss them with your doctor.
Itâs important to know the names of your medications, what theyâre used for, and how often and at what times you take them. Keep a list of your medications and bring them with you to each of your doctor visits. Never stop taking your medications without discussing it with your doctor. Even if you have no symptoms, your medications decrease the work of your heart so that it can pump more effectively.