Treatments For Heart Failure
Treatment for heart failure usually aims to control the symptoms for as long as possible and slow down the progression of the condition.
How you’re treated will depend on what is causing your heart failure.
Common treatments include:
- lifestyle changes including eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly and stopping smoking
- medicine a range of medicines can help many people need to take 2 or 3 different types
- devices implanted in your chest these can help control your heart rhythm
- surgery such as a or a heart transplant
Treatment will usually be needed for life.
A cure may be possible when heart failure has a treatable cause. For example, if your heart valves are damaged, replacing or repairing them may cure the condition.
Many Other Heart Conditions Can Ultimately Lead To Heart Failure
All of us lose some blood-pumping ability in our hearts as we age, but heart failure results from the added stress of health conditions that either damage the heart or make it work too hard. All of the lifestyle factors that increase your risk of heart attack and stroke smoking, being overweight, eating foods high in fat and cholesterol and physical inactivity can also contribute to heart failure.
Learn more about what you can do to reduce your risk for heart failure by making lifestyle changes that last.
Will I Need A Procedure As Part Of My Left
A procedure may be necessary if:
- Your symptoms dont improve.
- Your testing or labs show signs of worsening heart failure.
Your care may include:
- Cardiac resynchronization therapy : An implantable device that uses a gentle electrical current to stimulate your hearts pumping action. Its also called a biventricular pacemaker.
- Electrical cardioversion: This procedure helps restore a normal rhythm.
- Implantable cardioverter defibrillator : This implantable device detects arrhythmias and sends a gentle electrical current to restore a normal rhythm.
- Left ventricular assist device : An implantable pump that helps the heart circulate blood.
- Heart transplant: Procedure to replace a worn-out heart with a healthy one from a donor. This treatment is for patients with the most severe forms of left-sided heart failure.
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How Common Is Right
More than 6 million Americans have heart failure. Each year, more than 900,000 people receive a heart failure diagnosis.
Heart failure is rare in people younger than 50. With age, it becomes increasingly common. Studies have shown that around 2% of the population younger than 54 years old have heart failure. The number increases to around 8% about 1 in 12 for people over 75.
How Common Is Heart Failure
In the United States alone, more than six million adults have been diagnosed with heart failure.
Heart failure is usually divided into two categories based on which side of the heart it mainly affects. The right side of the heart collects oxygen-depleted blood from the body and brings it to the lungs to be filled with fresh oxygen. The left side of the heart receives oxygen-rich blood from the lungs and sends it out to the rest of the body.
While the end result is the same, symptoms can vary based on whether the right or left side of the heart is affected.
Verywell / Jessica Olah
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Right Sided Heart Failure
When the heart is unable to pump blood adequately to meet the demand of the body, it is referred to as heart failure. It affects all the body functions since their requirement of blood is not met. Various conditions collectively cause heart failure and also cause the weakening of the heart. The right or left side of the heart can be affected by heart failure, or sometimes both. It is a chronic condition in any case. We will look at what is right sided heart failure here.
How Is Heart Failure Diagnosed
Tell your healthcare provider about your health history and the medicines you take. Tell him or her if you have a family history of heart failure or cardiomyopathy. He or she will ask about your shortness of breath and other symptoms. Your provider will make a diagnosis based on your physical exam, symptoms, and tests. The diagnosis may be left-sided or right-sided heart failure, or heart failure that affects both sides. You may need any of the following:
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When To See A Doctor
Its a good idea to speak with your doctor to check your heart health if you:
- Notice swelling in your legs
- Become winded easily with normal activities
There is no cure for heart failure. Still, with treatment, you can slow the progression of it and stay feeling better for longer.
You should seek immediate medical attention or call 911 if you or a loved one is experiencing:
- Sudden shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat, or chest pain
- Trouble breathing and blood-tinged phlegm
- Fainting or loss of consciousness
Classification Based On Course Of The Disease
Heart failure can develop suddenly, for instance after a heart attack or due to certain heart rhythm problems. This is known as acute heart failure.
But it usually develops gradually over time as a result of a different medical problem, such as permanently high blood pressure. This is known as chronic heart failure.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Right
The main sign of right-sided heart failure is fluid buildup. This buildup leads to swelling in your:
- Feet, ankles and legs.
- Gastrointestinal tract and liver .
Other signs include:
Where you accumulate fluid depends on how much extra fluid and your position. If youre standing, fluid typically builds up in your legs and feet. If youre lying down, it may build up in your lower back. And if you have a lot of excess fluid, it may even build up in your belly.
Fluid build up in your liver or stomach may cause:
- Appetite loss.
Once right-sided heart failure becomes advanced, you can also lose weight and muscle mass. Healthcare providers call these effects cardiac cachexia.
Left Sided Heart Failure
primary cause of right sided heart failure.
When the left ventricle is not working as effectively, fluid pressure increases and ends up moving back through the lungs. This can cause an overload to the heartâs right side.
Consequently, when the right side is unable to pump blood, fluid accumulates in the veins, resulting in swelling.
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Right Sided Vs Left Sided Heart Failure
When right sided heart failure occurs, the increased pressure in the veins causes dispersion of fluid to surrounding tissues. This happens because this side of the heart is too weak to pump blood forward to the lungs.
The result may be a buildup of fluid in various parts of the body, including the legs, abdomen, and liver.
When left sided heart failure occurs, a person
Right sided heart failure can be due to the following conditions:
What Are The Causes
Sometimes it just happens. But usually itâs left-side heart failure that causes right-side heart failure. As the left chamber of your heart loses some of its ability to pump, blood continues to back up — sometimes into your lungs.
Heart failure is a long-term condition that gets worse over time. In most cases, you get it because you have other health issues that have damaged or weakened your heart.
Some other causes of right-side heart failure include:
Coronary artery disease. This is the most common form of heart disease and cause of heart failure. When you have coronary artery disease, plaque blocks your arteries, causing blood flow to your heart muscle to slow or even stop. Read more on clogged arteries and the causes of arterial plaque.
High blood pressure. It measures how hard your heart pumps blood through your arteries. The higher your blood pressure, the harder your heart is working to pump it. That means over time, your heart muscles can thicken and weaken because of the extra work they do. Learn about the symptoms of high blood pressure.
Damaged heart valves. Valves keep blood flowing in the right direction through your heart. If they get damaged, by an infection or heart defect, for instance, your heart has to work harder to pump blood. Eventually, it will become weakened. Get more information on heart valve disease symptoms and causes.
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Diagnosis Of Heart Failure Congestive In Dogs
The veterinarian will physically examine your dog. A heart murmur may be audible through a stethoscope and the veterinarian may even be able to tell which valve is affected based on the placement of the murmur. This, along with other symptoms like fluid accumulation in the abdomen or legs can suggest the problem is located on the right side of the heart. Right-sided CHF is a symptom rather than a disease, so the veterinarian will need to diagnose the underlying condition that is causing your dogs heart to fail. The most common problem is some degree of backflow, or regurgitation in the tricuspid valve that connects the right atrium and ventricle. This could be caused by an inherited condition, age related degeneration, a cancerous tumor, or a heart infection .
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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History And Physical Exam
A clinician listens to your heart and lungs and measures your blood pressure and weight. They will also ask about your:
- Familys medical history, especially previous cardiac problems
- Medications, including prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs and supplements
- Personal medical history
Blood tests can measure several things related to heart failure:
- Sodium and potassium levels
- Creatinine, which helps measure how well your kidneys are working
- B-type natriuretic peptide , a hormone released from the ventricles in response to increased wall tension that occurs with heart failure
What Can I Do To Manage Swelling From Extra Fluid
- Elevate your legs above the level of your heart. This will help with fluid that builds up in your legs or ankles. Elevate your legs as often as possible during the day. Prop your legs on pillows or blankets to keep them elevated comfortably. Try not to stand for long periods of time during the day. Move around to keep your blood circulating.
- Limit sodium . Ask how much sodium you can have each day. Your healthcare provider may give you a limit, such as 2,300 milligrams a day. Your provider or a dietitian can teach you how to read food labels for the number of mg in a food. He or she can also help you find ways to have less salt. For example, if you add salt to food as you cook, do not add more at the table.
- Drink liquids as directed. You may need to limit the amount of liquid you drink within 24 hours. Your healthcare provider will tell you how much liquid to have and which liquids are best for you. He or she may tell you to limit liquid to 1.5 to 2 liters in a day. He or she will also tell you how often to drink liquid throughout the day.
- Weigh yourself every morning. Use the same scale, in the same spot. Do this after you use the bathroom, but before you eat or drink. Wear the same type of clothing each time. Write down your weight and call your healthcare provider if you have a sudden weight gain. Swelling and weight gain are signs of fluid buildup.
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Clinical Characteristics And Evaluation
Clinical characteristics of right-sided HF are caused by increased pressure in the right atrium and reduced left ventricular filling as a result of the effect of ventricular interdependence. Elevated central venous pressure impedes lung lymphatic drainage, so in patients with pulmonary hypertension resulting from left-sided heart diseases, lung fluid clearance decreases and excessive pulmonary edema can lead to pleural effusion.
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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What Do I Need To Know About Heart Failure
Heart failure is a condition that does not allow your heart to fill or pump properly. Heart failure may begin on the left or right side of the heart. If one side does not work properly, the other side has to work harder to function. Over time, heart failure affects both sides of the heart. Heart failure is a long-term condition that tends to get worse over time. It is important to manage your health to improve your quality of life.
What Are The Symptoms Of Left
Symptoms may be mild at first or you may think it’s a cold or allergy. You might not even notice them. But as heart functioning worsens, you may experience:
- Constant coughing.
- Shortness of breath with walking or bending over.
- Waking up short of breath or unable to lie flat at night.
- Weight gain.
- Swelling in your ankles, legs or abdomen.
Over time, the heart works harder to do its job. This causes complications that may include:
- Abnormal heart rates and rhythms .
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Types Of Heart Failure
divides heart failure into one of three categories based on the part of your heart thats affected:
- Diastolic failure. This means your left ventricle doesnt relax properly due to stiffness and your heart doesnt fill with enough blood between beats, or the pressure for the heart to function is very high.
- shortness of breath when lying down
- sleeping on extra pillows at night
How Can I Prevent Left
Living a heart-healthy lifestyle can lower your risk of left-sided heart failure. If youve already experienced this condition, healthy habits can help you avoid future issues.
Steps you can take to prevent left-sided heart failure include:
- Get high blood pressure or coronary artery disease under control.
- Make time for regular physical activity and a good nights sleep.
- Maintain a healthy weight and eat fruits and vegetables.
- Manage stress with deep breathing or relaxation techniques.
- Quitting tobacco if you use it and avoiding secondhand smoke.
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Outlook For Heart Failure
Heart failure is a serious long-term condition that will usually continue to get slowly worse over time.
It can severely limit the activities you’re able to do and is often eventually fatal.
But it’s very difficult to tell how the condition will progress on an individual basis.
It’s very unpredictable. Lots of people remain stable for many years, while in some cases it may get worse quickly.
Right Sided Heart Failure Causes
The term ‘heart failure’ refers the inability of the heart to pump blood. If the left ventricle, which is the main pumping chamber of the heart fails, the risk of right-sided heart failure also increases. This write-up provides information on the causes of the right sided failure.
The term heart failure refers the inability of the heart to pump blood. If the left ventricle, which is the main pumping chamber of the heart fails, the risk of right-sided heart failure also increases. This write-up provides information on the causes of the right sided failure.
The human heart is a muscular organ that performs the vital function of pumping blood throughout the body. It comprises four chambers. The two upper chambers are referred to as atria, while the lower ones are called ventricles. The right side of the human heart comprises the right atrium and right ventricle. These chambers receive the deoxygenated blood from the veins and pump the blood into the lungs.
What Is Right Sided Heart Failure
The heart is unable to pump blood properly to the lungs in right sided heart failure. This usually happens in most people because of some problem with the left ventricle. However, it can also be caused by reduced functioning of the right ventricle.
Symptoms of Right Sided Heart Failure
Physical examination of a person suffering from right sided heart failure will reveal peripheral edema, liver enlargement and ascites. The fluid status is checked by jugular venous pressure, which usually gets accentuated by the hepatojugular reflux. If there is an increase in the right ventricular pressure, there will be presence of parasternal heave.
Congestion of systemic capillaries occurs when there is backward failure of the right ventricle. As a result, there will be peripheral edema, swelling in foot and ankle in people who are mostly standing and sacral edema in people who are lying down. It can also cause nocturia, when the body fluid returns to the blood stream after lying down.
Ascites will be caused in severe cases, which will further lead to liver enlargement and impaired liver functioning. Other symptoms are jaundice and coagulopathy.