Possible Causes Of Congestive Heart Failure
WebMD says there are a number of possible reasons why one would develop CHF, largely due to sustained damage. For example, it says that a heart attack that blocks your coronary artery can cease the blood flow to your heart muscle. Meanwhile, other factors that can damage the heart include infections and substance abuse.
The source explains that diseases such as thyroid disease and diabetes can be causes of heart failure. Coronary artery disease in particular can limit the supply of blood to the heart muscle due to an issue with the arteries . Other health conditions such as high blood pressure can also contribute to CHF.
Halt The Progression Of Coronary Heart Disease
A healthy lifestyle like the Pritikin Program is successful in halting the progression of coronary heart disease because it covers all bases. It heals essentially every modifiable risk factor that breeds plaque build-up, and it does so not just in one tiny section of one artery, as angioplasty does, but all over.
To address the cause of heart disease, and help eliminate it, our best option is adopting a heart-healthy diet and exercise program, sums up Dr. Danine Fruge, MD, ABFP, Medical Director at the Pritikin Longevity Center.
In the short run, she explains, a heart-healthy lifestyle and, if needed, medications, can reduce inflammation and clotting, and stabilize plaques so that they are much less likely to rupture. In the long run, they can gradually shrink the atherosclerotic plaques and improve blood flow to the heart, and dramatically reduce the risk of dying from cardiovascular diseases.
Alternative Therapies For Treating Congestive Heart Failure
Here are my top alternative therapies for treating congestive heart failure. They are listed in the order in which they should be tried. You often need a four-to-six-week trial to determine whether they are doing any good. It is a good idea to tell your physician what you are up to.
Remember, it’s safe to use natural remedies with medication but not as an immediate substitute for a medication. Eventually, you may be able to cut back on your prescription drugs by as much as 50 percent.
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Supplementation Helps Prevent Revolving
Depending on the individual, supplementation with any or all of the awesome foursome may be the key to maintaining energy and supporting overall health.
At around age forty, endogenous production of CoQ10 and L-carnitine generally starts to decrease, explaining why people commonly associate lack of energy with middle age.
People suffering from coronary artery disease often cant keep up with the hearts energy demands.
With CAD, the heart continually overworks to pump blood through inflamed and congested blood vessels and ultimately expends energy must faster than the mitochondria can produce it.
If you take pharmaceutical drugs for CVD, you should also supplement with some or all of the awesome foursome to prevent nutrient deficiency.
Beta blockers, for example, which prove effective in stabilizing people during emergency situations and improving symptoms, inhibit the production of enzymes necessary for CoQ10 synthesis.
Since their long-term use can impair your ability to make ATP, adjunctive supplementation with CoQ10 can counteract pharmaceutical side effects associated with energy depletion.
Most cardiologists want to avoid practicing revolving-door medicine, or repeatedly seeing the same patients come in with the same life-endangering problems. To make this happen, physicians and patients need to do something which moves beyond symptoms of the disease and gets to the heart of the matter.
What Are The 4 Stages Of Heart Failure
There are four stages of heart failure – stage A, B, C and D – which range from high risk of developing heart failure to advanced heart failure.
The four stages of heart failure are different to the four classes of heart failure symptoms also described in New York Heart Association , which illustrates the severity of symptoms, ranging from class one to the most severe, which is class four .
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Monitoring Your Blood Pressure
Monitoring blood pressure at home, in addition to regular monitoring in a doctors office, can help control high blood pressure.
Chart your blood pressure readings over time. This can reveal trends and help to eliminate false readings.
Find out more about how healthy eating can lower your blood pressure with the DASH eating plan.
What Is The Long
Yes, heart failure can be fatal when its not treated. Healthline explains that about 50-percent of patients with CHF live beyond 5-years following diagnosis, and points to a study that estimates around 20-years for those diagnosed under age 50 with lower risk factors.
The source also notes age and gender can affect these outcomes. Women with CHF tend to live a bit longer than men with this condition but may experience more symptoms.
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Healthiest Hearts On Earth
Scientists recently investigated a tribe in South America that has the lowest reported rates of heart disease in the world. Theyre called the Tsimane. Their arteries are amazingly clean. CT scanning revealed that plaque is virtually non-existent.
What do they eat? Like the Pritikin Eating Plan, their diet is carbohydrate-rich, but its good carbs theyre eating, rich in fiber and straight from the earth not the hyper-processed, refined carbohydrates typical in American society.
The average LDL cholesterol level of middle-aged and older Tsimane men and women is within the highly desirable range of 70 to 90. Their average blood pressure is about 116/73, and remains normal even in Tsimane 75 years and older.
Q: What Tests Should I Get To Monitor My Heart Disease What Numbers Should I Keep Track Of
Dr. Tam: Understanding the severity of your heart disease starts with knowing your numbers, which are key indicators of your heart health. These numbers include:
- Blood pressure
- Blood sugar
- Body mass index
You should make a point to review these numbers every year with your doctor, or more often if they are abnormal. A healthy range for these numbers will vary depending on your age and overall health. If needed, you and your doctor can develop a strategy to get any abnormal numbers to a healthy range.
Your doctor may also consider doing a coronary calcium scan to see how much calcified or hardened plaque is in your hearts arteries. This test can show whether you are at a higher risk for a heart attack or stroke and help your doctor determine whether you need a more aggressive plan to manage your risk factors.
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What Is The Prognosis And Life Expectancy For Congestive Heart Failure
- The degree to which other organ systems are involved and the severity of other accompanying conditions
- The person’s symptoms and degree of impairment
- Other factors that remain poorly understood
With the availability of newer drugs to potentially favorably affect the progression of the disease, the prognosis in congestive heart failure is generally more favorable than that observed just 10 years ago. In some cases, especially when the heart muscle dysfunction has recently developed, a significant spontaneous improvement is not uncommonly observed, even to the point where heart function becomes normal.
Heart failure is often graded on a scale of I to IV based on the patient’s ability to function.
The prognosis of heart failure patients is very closely associated with the functional class.
An important issue in congestive heart failure is the risk of heart rhythm disturbances . Of those deaths that occur in individuals with congestive heart failure, approximately 50% are related to progressive heart failure. Importantly, the other half are thought to be related to serious arrhythmias.
Ejection Fraction And Its Importance
Ejection Fraction is a key indicator of a healthy heart and is frequently used by physicians to determine how well your heart is functioning as a pump. Ejection fraction is the percentage of blood that is pumped out of the heart during each beat. In a healthy heart, 50-75 percent of the blood is pumped out during each beat. Many people with heart disease pump out less than 50% and many people with Heart Failure pump out less than 40%.
Ejection Fraction is one of the many ways doctors classify the type and severity of Heart Failure and damage to the heart muscle.
Ejection Fraction ranges
- An Ejection Fraction above 50% indicates that your heart is pumping normally and is able to deliver an adequate supply of blood to your body and brain.
- An Ejection Fraction that falls below 50% could indicate that the heart is no longer pumping efficiently and is not able to meet the bodys needs.
- An Ejection Fraction of 35% or less indicates a weakened heart muscle. The heart is pumping poorly, which can significantly increase a persons risk for sudden cardiac arrest.
Measuring your Ejection Fraction
For Heart Failure patients, knowing your ejection fraction is just as important as knowing your blood pressure and your cholesterol. Ejection fraction is often measured using an echocardiogram, a simple and painless test often performed right in the doctors office. Ejection faction can also be measured with other tests including:
- Nuclear stress testing
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How Chf Is Diagnosed
There are several ways a doctor can diagnose heart failure aside from considering your own medical history as well as your family history, as well as administering a physical exam. You might be asked to take a stress test to see how your heart responds to physical demands, for example.
The doctor can also turn to an electrocardiogram to monitor your hearts electrical activity, as well as a chest X-ray to pinpoint an enlarged heart or damaged lungs. It can also use a B-type natriuretic peptide blood test to determine how severe the heart failure is.
Changes In Urination And Bowel Movements
Although not as common, changes in urination can be symptoms of heart failure. Some people experience an increased urge to urinate at night, while others will urinate more often during the day. Constipation can also develop due to heart failure, and straining or pushing to pass a bowel movement will further aggravate the symptoms. Both symptoms are indicative of the body’s inability to properly function due to the inconsistent blood supply.
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Can You Reverse The Effects Of Congestive Heart Failure
Making simple changes to the lifestyle as well as in the diet can help put brakes on congestive heart failure. Additional changes include bringing down the weight and how well you can manage stress. Apart from slowing the process, it is now possible to reverse the effects of congestive heart failure. You can only do a few of the symptoms, but not all. You can just feel the lasting effects only when you make changes to the lifestyle and adhere to the same.
What Happens With Heart Failure
The term Heart Failure suggests that the heart has stopped working or has failed. This is not the case. What it actually means is that the heart is not working as well as it should, and cannot pump enough blood to meet the bodys needs.
This happens because the heart is weakened by conditions or diseases that damage the heart muscle. Most of these conditions weaken the heart little by little, over a period of time.
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Treatment Options For Stage C And D
In Stage C, there can be ACE inhibitors, beta-blockers, as well as several other medications prescribed such as Hydralazine or diuretics. An ICD or biventricular pacemaker may also be an option. Lifestyle adjustments including reducing salt and losing weight can be other approaches to managing CHF.
In Stage D youll likely need ventricular assistance devices or a heart transplant. Continuous infusion of intravenous inotropic drugs may also be an approach at this advanced stage, explains WebMD.
The Danger Of Inactivity
According to the American Heart Association journal Circulation, as many as 250,000 deaths per year in the United States can be attributed to a lack of regular exercise. Living a sedentary, or inactive, lifestyle has consistently been one of the top five risk factors for heart disease. Other risk factors include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, and obesity. Those with low levels of physical fitness also experience a higher rate of cardiovascular events, like heart attack and death.
According to research from the University of South Carolina, men who reported more than 23 hours a week of sedentary activity had a 64 percent greater risk of dying from heart disease than those who reported less than 11 hours. Inactivity also affects other risk factors for heart disease. For example, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, sedentary people have a 35 percent greater risk of developing high blood pressure than physically active people do.
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How To Prevent Congestive Heart Failure
This article was medically reviewed by Victor Catania, MD. Dr. Catania is a board certified Family Medicine Physician in Pennsylvania. He received his MD from the Medical University of the Americas in 2012 and completed his residency in Family Medicine at the Robert Packer Hospital. He is a member of the American Board of Family Medicine.There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 23,657 times.
Researchers agree that congestive heart failure is a serious health condition that occurs when your heart isnt pumping blood efficiently throughout your body.XTrustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world’s leading hospitalsGo to source People who suffer from certain health conditions, such as coronary artery disease or high blood pressure, are at risk for developing CHF.XTrustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world’s leading hospitalsGo to source Experts note that although not all heart conditions can be reversed, making changes to your diet and your lifestyle will help to improve the symptoms and allow you to live a longer, fuller life.XTrustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world’s leading hospitalsGo to source
Symptoms Of Congestive Heart Failure
The symptoms of congestive heart failure are also associated with other diseases and ailments.
In the early stages of congestive heart failure, there is a possibility that you might not feel any changes or symptoms. But as the disease progresses, symptoms appear.
Following symptoms would indicate a person has congestive heart failure:
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What Causes Heart Failure
Cardiomyopathy is the general term for a heart that is enlarged or damaged by one of several diseases. Cardiomyopathy can be caused by coronary artery disease, valvular heart disease, viral or bacterial infections that attack the heart, drugs that damage the heart muscle, prolonged alcohol abuse, some metabolic diseases, as well as other causes.
Coronary Artery Disease is the most common cause of Heart Failure. CAD is a narrowing of the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle. Cholesterol deposits clog the arteries, decreasing the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart. This can weaken the heart muscle. Opening the arteries may improve Heart Failure. CAD can result in a myocardial infarction or heart attack. A heart attack occurs when plaque and clotting cause a complete blockage in a coronary artery. The heart muscle that was receiving blood from the blocked artery dies, causing permanent muscle damage. An enlarged heart from CAD or from a prior heart attack may be referred to as ischemic cardiomyopathy. Six out of every seven patients hospitalized with Heart Failure have a history of coronary artery disease, and three out of four have a history of high blood pressure.
Other conditions some of which are temporary and treatable, can cause Heart Failure. These include:
- Thyroid disease
- Unknown causes
Signs Of Congestive Heart Failure: How Cardiac Monitoring Helps
Congestive heart failure affects millions of people across the globe. Most of the people even go undiagnosed for heart failure, leading to an increase in hospitalization at critical stage. Before moving onto congestive heart failure, it is crucial to begin from the base of the iceberg.
What exactly is heart failure?
As per the understanding from movies, heart failure is when the heart stops working. Well, thats not how it works. Heart failure in simple term means when the efficiency of the heart is less than normal. Which leads to slow pumping rate of oxygen to the parts of body as per their need.
Moving forward, the kidney might respond, causing the body to keep water and salt. If the fluid builds up in arms, feet, lungs, or other organs, the body gets congested because of excessive liquid, and the term congestive heart failure comes into play.
Congestive heart failure
When heart fails to meet the needs of organ and tissues for oxygen and nutrients, it decreases the cardiac output leading to drop in the amount of blood heart pumped. This leads to shortness of breath, weakness, and swelling.
Benefits of cardiac index monitoring
Cardiac index monitoring is the observation of your heart through a monitor which help discover cardiac arrhythmias and other heart conditions for congestive heart failure management. If a patient requires urgent intervention, then the cardiac monitoring will display the situation.
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Congestive Heart Failure: The 4 Stages Symptoms And Causes
Heart failure on its own without context just sounds dire. And while its obviously serious, there is a lot more to know about it. For example, there are various stages of congestive heart failure, and they mean different things in terms of treatment and outlook.
To help clear up any misconceptions from this scary-sounding medical term, lets take a closer look at what congestive heart failure is, its main symptoms, and what to expect if a doctor has diagnosed you. Well also give you some tips on how to manage it to maximize your quality of life