When Should I Call An Ambulance
If you have any of the symptoms below, call triple zero immediately and ask for an ambulance. If calling triple zero does not work on your mobile phone, try calling 112.
- chest pain thats severe or worsening, or has lasted longer than 10 minutes
- chest pain that feels heavy, crushing or tight
- other symptoms, such as breathlessness, nausea, dizziness or a cold sweat
- pain in your jaw or down your left arm
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Risk Factors And Diagnosis
Common risk factors for developing congestive heart failure include:
- Coronary artery disease
The first step in diagnosing CHF is to see your provider for a careful health history and a physical exam. Physicians have a number of tests that they may order to diagnose this condition. The most common are blood tests, electrocardiogram , chest X-rays, stress tests, and, most importantly, an echocardiogram.
When To Call 911
Some heart failure symptoms warrant emergency care. Call 911 immediately if you or someone around you:
- Has chest pain that is sharp or radiates throughout the upper body
- Has bluish skin resulting from a lack of oxygen
- Is breathing rapidly
- Experiences sudden or severe shortness of breath
- Loses consciousness
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What Is The Importance Of Ejection Fraction
Your ejection fraction is one way to measure the severity of your condition. If its below normal, it can mean that you have heart failure. Your ejection fraction tells your healthcare provider how good of a job your left or right ventricle is doing at pumping blood. Usually, your EF number is talking about how much blood your left ventricle is pumping out because its your heart’s main pumping chamber.
Several non-invasive tests can measure your EF. With this information, your healthcare provider can decide how to treat you or find out if a treatment is working as it should.
A normal left ventricular ejection fraction is 53% to 70%. An LVEF of 65%, for example, means that 65% of the total amount of blood in your left ventricle is pumped out with each heartbeat. Your EF can go up and down, based on your heart condition and how well your treatment works.
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This article is not medical advice. It is intended for general informational purposes and is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your physician or dial 911.
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What Are The Signs Of Congestive Heart Failure
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 6.2 million Americans have heart failure, and heart failure was mentioned on more than 13% of death certificates in 2018. Knowing the signs of CHF and promptly seeking medical care can save lives. Be sure to speak with a medical professional if youre experiencing:
- Sudden weight gain
- Shortness of breath during routine activities
- A frequent urge to urinate, especially at night
- Irregular heartbeat
- Chronic cough or wheezing
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, its 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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Injured Hearts Favor Scarring To Regeneration
At present, the best treatment for heart failure is a heart transplant. However, the number of heart failure patients far exceeds the number of hearts available for transplant. Having a ventricular assist device implanted is also an option, but it is a much less favorable one.
One of the curious things about heart muscle is that it does not regenerate when it dies after being starved of oxygen, such as after a heart attack.
Instead of generating new beating muscle cells, or cardiomyocytes, the heart replaces the dead tissue with scar tissue made from fibroblast cells.
Unlike cardiomyocytes, fibroblasts have no pumping ability, so the heart gradually gets weaker and weaker, with the result that the majority of severe heart attack patients develop heart failure.
Prof. Martin says that he and his laboratory team are studying biological pathways that are active during heart development and regeneration in order to find ways to heal heart muscle.
Biological pathways are series of molecular events inside cells that lead to changes in the cell or result in particular products. For example, they can turn genes on and off and they can trigger cells to make fats, proteins, hormones, and other molecules. They can also carry signals and cause cells to move.
What Are The Common Side Effects Of Congestive Heart Failure Medications
Most heart failure patients will be prescribed a diuretic and one or more blood pressure medications, so the most common side effects experienced will be low blood pressure, dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting. Other heart failure medications have different side effects, so consult with a healthcare professional if you have any questions or concerns about side effects.
Diuretics reduce the amount of water and salt in the body, so the most common side effects are dehydration and low blood pressure.
Both ACE inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers are blood pressure medications, so the most common side effects are low blood pressure and its results, such as dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting. The most serious side effects of ACE inhibitors and ARBs are high potassium levels and kidney damage. Patients who are unable to handle ACE inhibitors will be moved to angiotensin receptor blockers.
Beta-blockers block epinephrine , so side effects include slow heartbeat, low blood pressure, cold hands, weakness, and fatigue.
The neprilysin inhibitor sacubitril is always combined with an angiotensin receptor blocker, valsartan, so side effects are similar to ARB side effects: low blood pressure, high blood potassium, and kidney problems.
Vasodilators rapidly lower blood pressure by widening blood vessels. As a result, both nitrates and hydralazine are well-known for causing severe headaches, flushing, and low blood pressure.
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What Does Congestive Heart Failure Treatment Involve
Each persons ideal course of
CHF treatment will vary according to the conditions underlying cause, his or her overall health, and many other individualized factors. A cardiologist may recommend a combination of the following treatment approaches:
- Engaging in daily, low-impact exercise
- Reducing sodium intake
- Drinking less liquid
- Taking medications to improve heart function and control symptoms
- Undergoing heart surgery, such as heart valve repair or replacement, stent placement, coronary bypass, pacemaker or ventricular assist device implantation, or heart transplant
Its also important to avoid behaviors that can worsen CHF and negatively impact overall health, such as smoking tobacco, drinking alcohol excessively, and eating foods that are high in fat and cholesterol.
Long-term disease management is recommended for everyone with heart failure, even people who are able to successfully reverse CHF. For those living with any type of heart disease, carefully adhering to treatment and implementing heart-friendly habits are key to living a longer, healthier life.
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.
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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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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 bodys inability to properly function due to the inconsistent blood supply.
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Silencing The Hippo Pathway
In this study, we investigated the Hippo pathway, which is known from my labs previous studies to prevent adult heart muscle cell proliferation and regeneration, Prof. Martin notes.
In their study paper, he and his colleagues explain that the Hippo pathway a kinase cascade that prevents adult cardiomyocyte proliferation and regeneration is more active in patients with heart failure.
This, says first author John Leach, a graduate student of molecular physiology and biophysics in Prof. Martins group, led us to think that if we could turn Hippo off, then we might be able to induce improvement in heart function.
So, the team silenced the Hippo pathway in a mouse model that mimics the type of advanced heart failure that occurs in humans after a heart attack. They compared the results with those of a group of healthy mice .
After 6 weeks we observed that the injured hearts had recovered their pumping function to the level of the control, healthy hearts, says Leach.
The researchers believe that silencing Hippo not only renews heart muscle cells as investigated extensively in their study but it also changes the process of fibrosis, or scarring. They call for further studies to investigate the effects on fibrosis.
Our findings indicate that the failing heart has a previously unrecognized reparative capacity involving more than cardiomyocyte renewal.
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.
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.
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Hope After Heart Attack
What is undo it?Ornish Lifestyle Medicine at Geisinger Wyoming ValleyWhat is the Ornish diet?Dr. Bryan Martin, DO, is a cardiologist at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Wilkes-Barre. For more information about Ornish Lifestyle Medicine, visit Geisinger.org or call 570-808-7973.
Geisinger Health Plan may refer collectively to Geisinger Health Plan, Geisinger Quality Options Inc., and Geisinger Indemnity Insurance Company, unless otherwise noted. Geisinger Gold Medicare Advantage HMO, PPO, and HMO D-SNP plans are offered by Geisinger Health Plan/Geisinger Indemnity Insurance Company, health plans with a Medicare contract. Continued enrollment in Geisinger Gold depends on annual contract renewal. Geisinger Health Plan Kids and Geisinger Health Plan Family are offered by Geisinger Health Plan in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services . Geisinger Health Plan is part of Geisinger, an integrated health care delivery and coverage organization.
Congestive Heart Failure Reversed With Natural Supplements
Congestive Heart Failure is a common condition within our population. CHF affects more than 4.5 million people in the USA, with nearly half a million new cases being diagnosed each year.
It is also estimated that nearly 20 million people have unsuspected heart failure, and are likely to develop symptoms in the next 1-5 years. The many symptoms of Congestive Heart Failure result from the inability of the heart to pump adequate amounts of blood to the various parts of the body and the fluid backup that results within the organs.
A decreased blood supply to the brain results in dizziness whereas the legs will often become swollen with fluid. When the blood pressure drops because of a weakened heart muscle, the kidneys cannot properly remove the waste products from the blood.
The direct result is kidney failure, which causes the body to build up to toxic waste, which eventually causes the death of the patient.
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Dont Wait Until Its Too Late
If diagnosed early enough congestive heart failure can be helped with natural treatments.
There are some promising natural treatment options that can be incorporated into a program that includes medication and medical management of the disease. One issue occurs when the heart lacks energy or ATP and research shows the majority of patients have low CoQ10 levels. Therefore, CoQ10 supplementation can provide some improvement in patients by helping mitochondrial production of ATP improve, giving the heart additional energy reserves.
What I would have hoped for Kathy is that we could have had that conversation twenty years ago because there is so much that can be done when problems with heart function are caught early enough. In my clinic we run organic acids tests on patients even without any signs of advanced heart disease and we often see early warning signs of CoQ10 levels being low by measuring hydroxymethylglutarate levels in the urine. Abnormal hydroxymethylglutarate is representative of low CoQ10 levels and will show up as an easy to identify marker decades before problems like a heart attack or congestive heart failure occur. The organic acids test panels also include markers for oxidative stress, such as 8-OH-DG which is strongly correlated with onset of heart disease. Lowering 8-OH-DG can provide protection to blood vessels and heart tissue and when complemented with a high plant based and antioxidant rich diet it can be the basis of a preventative program.
Can You Reverse Heart Disease
But can you actually reverse it, not just slow it down?
You can undo some, but probably not all, of the damage. Youâll have to make big, lasting changes to your lifestyle.
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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
Surgical Options To Treat Underlying Causes Of Heart Failure
- Coronary artery bypass graft to prevent and treat heart failure caused by blocked arteries. During bypass surgery, blood vessels taken from another part of the body usually the leg are attached to the clogged artery to create a detour around the blockage. This is conventionally done through open-heart surgery, but some patients may be candidates for minimally invasive CABG, an alternative offered at UCSF.
- Angioplasty, another treatment for blocked arteries. A thin flexible tube called a catheter is inserted through a small incision in the groin or neck into a blood vessel. In one procedure, a balloon is introduced through the catheter into the center of a blocked blood vessel. When the balloon is inflated, the blockage material is compressed back against the walls of the artery. A small metal device, called a stent, may be inserted through the catheter to serve as a permanent barrier to keep the plaque compressed. In another type of procedure, instruments are introduced through the catheter to remove the plaque.
- Implantation of pacemakers and other devices such as artificial heart valves
- Repairing congenital heart defects
Surgical treatments for heart failure itself include:
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