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 Blockage In Men
As we know, heart diseases are caused when the coronary arteries get blocked due to high levels of cholesterol in the body. The plaque built up in the arteries prevents the transportation of blood and oxygen. The person experiences symptoms of heart blockage when one of the arteries gets blocked, or is partially blocked. When the oxygen supply gets disrupted, one experiences chest pain and consequently heart attack. Chest pain is one of the most significant and foremost heart block symptoms in men. Complete blocking of the arteries leads to death. Heart blockage is caused due to fat or cholesterol deposition in the arteries. However, other factors like stress, lack of exercise, high blood pressure, are also some of the major causes of heart diseases in people. Although, earlier, heart diseases were observed only in older males, nowadays, the condition can be seen in young adults.
A Cough That Wont Quit
A consistent cough is often associated with respiratory conditions. A person may consider this a sign of a lung infection or sometimes irritation caused by smoking, for example.
What many people do not know is that a cough that simply fails to go away can sometimes be a sign of heart disease too.
One particularly important condition to take note of here would be a heart infection. If this is the case, the cough will often be persistent and dry. The coughing will be accompanied by other symptoms too. These symptoms may include swelling in the abdomen. Shortness of breath, weakness, fever, and skin rashes may also occur.
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Are Men And Women Different When It Comes To Heart Disease
Many people with heart disease experience similar symptoms. However, studies suggest that men may be more likely to experience heart attack symptoms including nausea and cold sweat, shortness of breath, chest pain, tightness, or squeezing, and pain in the jaw, back, or arm.
Women, on the other hand, may sense a squeezing sensation in the upper back, pain in the jaw, neck, or chest, a sense of pressure or squeezing in the center of the chest, and a feeling of lightheadedness. The cardiac symptoms that affect women are often overlooked because they are less evident than what men experience.
Often, the first indicator of heart disease in both men and women is a heart attack. However, some signs may show up before such an extraordinary event. Recognizing them as an invitation to seek a full cardiac evaluation can prevent not only a heart attack but also other complications of heart disease, such as a stroke.
Heart arrhythmia, or irregular beat, may present sensations such as:
- Chest discomfort that lasts up to half an hour.
- Dizziness or fainting.
- A feeling of irregularity, such as heart racing or beating hard.
- Pain in the neck, jaw, or torso that cannot be explained.
- Difficulty breathing during or after moderative physical activity, such as walking up a hill or flight of stairs.
Constricted blood vessels may present sensations such as:
Symptoms Of Heart Arrhythmias
Heart arrhythmias occur when the heart beats irregularly, or too quickly or slowly. Some symptoms to look for include:
- fainting or dizziness
- a sensation of the heart racing, or beating too slowly or irregularly
- discomfort or pressure in the chest that can last for up to 30 minutes
- difficulty catching the breath after moderate exercise such as walking up stairs
- unexplained pain in the jaw, neck, or torso
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Don’t Ignore These Early Signs Of Heart Disease In Men
Just how prominent is heart disease in men? According to the American Heart Association , it’s found in over one in three men. The AHA warns that men make up over 48 percent of all deaths that are attributed to various heart conditions.
Men live with the greatest risk factor for heart disease, too, and only about 25 percent of men have met the federal guidelines for physical activity, according to Health.gov. In addition, over 20 percent of men are smokers, which is known to be a contributor to heart disease because it can narrow and constrict the blood vessels.
Heart disease is a term with many meanings. That’s because it can account for conditions such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, arrhythmias, angina, and a host of heart-related infections, irregularities and many others.
Early Signs Of Heart Disease In Men
While many men may be unaware that they suffer from heart disease until a major incident, like a heart attack, occurs, there are several red flags that you should be aware of to better detect problems with the heart during the earliest and most treatable phases, explains WebMD.
- Out of breath after moderate exercise, like climbing stairs.
- A feeling of achiness or squeezing in the chest that can last 30 minutes or longer.
- Pain in the upper extremities that can’t be explained.
- Chest pain
Lower The Risk Factors You Can Control
The first step to lowering cardiovascular risk is to raise your awareness of the risk factors and symptoms that are particular to women. The next step is to take actions and practice daily behaviors that lower the risk factors you can control.
- Avoid smoking.
- Stick to a healthy, low-saturated-fat diet that is high in fiber and low in fatty, processed foods.
- Several times a week, follow a supervised exercise regimen that is both challenging and motivating:
- Benefits of regular exercise include lower blood pressure, lower risk of diabetes, healthier body weight, and stress reduction.
- Exercise at least 3 times per week for at least 30 minutes. Even better, build up to 4-6 times per week for 45 minutes or more.
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Congestive Heart Failure Symptoms In Men
Heart attack is a disease with no cure at the moment. Thus it becomes essential to note the warning signs of heart attack. In no case, these signs and symptoms of heart failure in men should be ignored.The heart attack symptoms in men and women are mostly the same. However, these symptoms are more evident in men than in women. Thus, it becomes easy to take preventive measures in case you see these red signs.
Here are some symptoms that you should not ignore:
- Dyspnea during stress, rest, or even when you are lying down.
- Unexplained fatigue and weakness.
- Swelling in your legs, ankles, and feet.
- Chest pain
- Persistent wheezing with blood-tinted phlegm.
- Frequent urination at night
- Fluid retention and rapid weight gain
- Lack of appetite and nausea
Contact Sonas For Home Health Care Services
If your family member has recently been diagnosed with congestive heart failure, now may be the ideal time to consider home health care. A home care service provider can be with your loved one on a customized schedule that is right for your family.
This means that even if you are not able to be with them, you can be confident in knowing they are getting everything they need to stay healthy, safe, and comfortable, as well as maintain as much independence and control as possible.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home health care services in Florida, contact the caring staff at Sonas Home Health Care. Call today .
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You Get Exhausted Easily
Blood carries oxygen and nutrients to tissue throughout the body. Cells use these elements to produce energy. When blood supply is adversely affected, then the heart cannot ensure all bodily tissues gain access to the oxygen and nutrients it needs. This can lead to a lack of energy and a frequent session of fatigue.
How Can I Reduce My Risk Of Heart Disease
To reduce your chances of getting heart disease, its important to do the following:8
- Know your blood pressure. Having uncontrolled blood pressure can result in heart disease. High blood pressure has no symptoms so its important to have your blood pressure checked regularly. Learn more about high blood pressure.
- Talk to your health care provider about whether you should be tested for diabetes. Having diabetes raises your risk of heart disease.9 Learn more about diabetes.
- Quit smoking. If you dont smoke, dont start. If you do smoke, learn ways to quit.
- Discuss checking your cholesterol and triglyceride levels with your health care provider. Learn more about cholesterol.
- Make healthy food. Having overweight or obesity raises your risk of heart disease. Learn more about overweight and obesity.
- Limit alcohol intake to one drink a day. Learn more about alcohol.
- Lower your stress level and find healthy ways to cope with stress. Learn more about coping with stress.
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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 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.
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.
What Is The Outlook With Heart Failure
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.
- Your symptoms.
- 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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Heart Disease: 12 Warning Signs That Appear On Your Skin
Warning signs can appear on your skin and nails, which is why your dermatologist may be the first doctor to notice that you have heart disease. If you know what to look for, you can also find warning signs of heart disease on your skin and nails. The following pictures show you what to look for.
Swelling in your feet and lower legsWhat it may be telling you: Your heart isnt working properly.Many diseases of the heart cause fluid to build up in your feet and lower legs. As the fluid builds up, you may see swelling, which can extend as far as the upper legs and groin.Medical name: Edema
Blue or purple color on your skinWhat it may be telling you: You have a blockage in a blood vessel.When youre extremely cold, your skin can turn blue . If an area of your skin is blue when youre warm, thats can be a sign your blood isnt getting enough oxygen. The patient in this photo has a condition known as blue toe syndrome, which happens when one or more blood vessels are blocked.Without treatment, the lack of oxygen can cause the skin and underlying tissue to eventually die.Medical name: Cyanosis
Nails curve downward and the ends of your fingers are swollenWhat it may be telling you: You may have a heart infection, heart disease, or lung problem.For many people, these signs are harmless. That said, if your fingers and nails look like this, its best to find out if you may have a medical condition, such as lung disease or a heart problem.Medical name: Clubbing
Sign Of Potential Heart Attack: Your Leg Or Hip Cramps Up When You Walk
A cramping or burning sensation in your calves that slowly moves up to your thighs and hips could be bad news. Its a common sign of peripheral artery diseasea narrowing of the arteries that limits blood flow to your limbs, stomach, and head.
That discomfort is caused when not enough blood flows through your legs. Most patients will admit to not being able to walk normal distances without symptoms, or having to stop to rest before they can walk again without symptoms, says Park.
This discomfort could mean your heart is at-risk for potential problems, too. PAD is similar to coronary artery disease, where plaque builds up around the hearts major blood vessels. So the plaque buildup that contributes to the narrowing of your arteries in your limbs may also be occurring in arteries by your heart, too, according to the Mayo Clinic.
And that buildup can significantly up your risk for a heart attack, says Park.
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What To Do If You Experience Heart Attack Symptoms
Unlike the classic crushing chest pain, these symptoms dont guarantee that your heart is in immediate danger. But they could indicate that trouble could be brewing down the road, so make an appointment to see your doctor as soon as you can.
If youre fortunate enough to have symptoms, listen to your body and get them checked out, Park says.
If your doctor suspects that a heart attack could be looming, he might recommend an EKG, a test measures the hearts electrical activity and shows if your heart is damaged. He might also call for a coronary angiogram, which detects blockages in your arteries.
And if you experience any classic symptoms that signal youre having a heart attack right now, call 911 ASAP. These include chest pressure or tightness, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, breaking out into a cold sweat, or discomfort in the arms, neck, or jaw.
Of course, the best way to prevent a heart attack is to improve overall health by lowering high blood pressure, maintaining a normal body weight, and abstaining from smoking.
Increased Risk In Women
Whilst symptoms for men and women are often the same for a stroke, women have a higher lifetime risk of stroke and have a number of gender-specific risk factors. Many of these risk factors for stroke also increase womens risk of heart disease. In Australia, 9 in every 10 women have one risk factor for heart disease, and half of all women have 2 or 3 risk factors.
Factors which specifically increase womens risk of stroke include:
- Migraines with visual aura such as flashing lights, blind spots, difficulty focusing on things this is a risk, especially if combined with smoking and the oral contraceptive pill or hormone replacement therapy.
- Some types of the oral contraceptive pill and hormone replacement therapy used to treat menopausal symptoms can increase the likelihood of blood clotting and so increase the risk of stroke in some women.
Other risk factors for stroke and heart disease affecting women include:
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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.
Living With Heart Failure
Today, people with heart failure are living longer and more comfortably. Therapeutic advances have played a large role, but they aren’t the only answer. If you have heart failure, here are some ways you can improve your quality of life:
Reduce risk factors. It’s never too late to eliminate the factors that may have contributed to heart failure. Stop smoking. Lose weight. Be physically active. Eat a heart healthy diet loaded with vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Avoid salt. Use monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats rather than saturated fat. Drink alcohol only if allowed by your doctor.
Take your medication. Dont change your dose or quit taking a medication without consulting your clinician, even if you’re feeling better.
Weigh yourself daily. If you suddenly gain a few pounds, you may have increased fluid build-up that demands immediate attention.
Monitor yourself carefully. Some patients keep a daily log to record their weight and evaluate key symptoms breathlessness, fatigue, and swelling on a one-to-five scale. See your physician at the first sign of a new or worsening symptom. Many people with heart failure die because they wait too long to seek help.
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