How Is Chf Diagnosed
After reporting your symptoms to your doctor, they may refer you to a heart specialist, or cardiologist.
The cardiologist will perform a physical exam, which will involve listening to your heart with a stethoscope to detect abnormal heart rhythms.
To confirm an initial diagnosis, a cardiologist might order certain diagnostic tests to examine your hearts valves, blood vessels, and chambers.
There are a variety of tests used to diagnose heart conditions. Because these tests measure different things, your doctor may recommend a few to get a full picture of your current condition.
Hypertension Or High Blood Pressure
Another cause of congestive heart failure is high blood pressure or hypertension. If you have high blood pressure, your heart muscle works extra hard to pump blood through your body.
As time passes, because of the overexertion, the muscles in your heart can become too weak or too stiff to properly circulate blood to your body. If you have high blood pressure, your heart muscle workextra hard to pump blood through your body.
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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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
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Congestive Heart Failure Prognosis: Importance of pure water
For our blood to be nourishing and pure, the water we drink needs to be free of impurities and chemicals like fluoride. Several Reverse Osmosis filters that do this job unfortunately also remove vital minerals from the water, so we need to re-mineralize our water. Structuring the water sounds exotic, but simply involves making sure the water passes through a filter that helps form a vortex or spiral that literally makes the water come back to life, as if it were from a natural spring.
Dr. Gerald Pollack, over at University of Washington has discovered that when blood is structured in this way, it packs all the essential nutrition safely and helps the blood flow efficiently. You can see his amazing explanation of why water is so critical to human life and heart health here. If you live in the U.S., you can find more information on how to transform your ordinary tap water into a living, heart-health supporting liquid here.
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How Is Someone Tested For Heart Failure
There are various tests carried out to check if a patient has heart failure. Blood tests are very helpful and may indicate if the heart is responsible for shortness of breath or fluid retention.
A patient should also expect some form heart tests, including imaging tests, being carried out to help doctors get a picture of the hearts condition. These tests can include:
Congestive Heart Failure Treatment Options
Middle Georgia Heart is experienced in treating patients with CHF.
Our compassionate medical team takes a comprehensive approach to treating our patients, starting with performing numerous tests to make an accurate diagnosis. These diagnostic tests can include an electrocardiogram , echocardiogram, stress tests, and heart monitors.
Once our team diagnoses your heart condition, well create a treatment plan for you. These plans can vary based on your needs, ranging from small lifestyle changes to procedures performed by our doctors.
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Risk Factors For Heart Failure
Health conditions that left unrecognized or untreated will increase the lifetime risk of developing heart failure. Some of these diseases include:
- Coronary heart disease and heart attacks
- High blood pressure
Unhealthy behaviors can also increase your risk for heart failure, especially for people who have one of the diseases listed above. Unhealthy behaviors include:
- Smoking or using tobacco
- Use of illegal drugs, like methamphetamines or even excessive alcohol intake
- Eating foods high in fat, cholesterol, and sodium
- Not getting enough physical activity
Symptoms Of Heart Failure
The main symptoms of heart failure are:
- breathlessness after activity or at rest
- feeling tired most of the time and finding exercise exhausting
- feeling lightheaded or fainting
- swollen ankles and legs
Some people also experience other symptoms, such as a persistent cough, a fast heart rate and dizziness.
Symptoms can develop quickly or gradually over weeks or months .
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Moderate Stage Of Chf
At Stage C, as the heart continues to fail, the person develops weakness and significant fatigue, shortness of breath or palpitations with the slightest physical exertion. She begins to limit activity because of these symptoms as she is only comfortable when resting. A doctor’s evaluation and testing shows moderate signs of heart dysfunction,
Other possible symptoms might include more visible edema of the lower extremities and the hands might also swell as the fluid congestion in body tissues increases. Shoes and rings might be tighter. The pulse might become weaker because of the struggling heart.
Take Care Of Your Mental Health Too
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Can You Get Better After A Diagnosis Of Heart Failure
Heart failure is a chronic, progressive condition, which means it gets worse with time. But even though it doesnt necessarily get better, managing heart failure the right way can help reduce symptoms and slow down the progression of the condition.
I try to get patients to understand that this is not a death sentence, Mountis says.
Depending on the stage and severity of condition, some individuals may need more aggressive treatment, Mountis adds. But it is very possible to live a very good life with a diagnosis of heart failure.
Advanced Cardiology What Are The 4 Stages Of Congestive Heart Failure
Congestive heart failure, or CHF, is a heart condition that impacts millions of Americans. CHF means that the heart cannot pump sufficient blood to the rest of the body. Its essential to be proactive about your heart health, and that starts with education. This article will explain the four stages of congestive heart failure, the risk factors and signs of CHF, and the treatment options available to manage the condition.
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Learn More About Heart Failure
Diagnosing and treating heart failure is important to help symptoms and to optimise life expectancy. A dedicated treatment plan needs to be put into place. OneWelbeck works with patients on an individual basis to deal with both systolic and diastolic heart failure. You can find more information on our heart failure page.
New York Heart Association Functional Classification
The New York Heart Association Functional Classification system focuses on categorizing people with heart failure based on their doctor’s objective assessment of the impact the condition has on their day-to-day activities:
- Class I: There is no objective evidence of cardiovascular disease, and there are no symptoms or limitations with ordinary physical activity.
- Class II: There is slight objective evidence of cardiovascular disease, you are comfortable at rest, and moderate physical activity induces mild symptoms of heart failure.
- Class III: There is objective evidence of moderately severe cardiovascular disease, and you are only comfortable at rest. Even less than normal physical activity results in limitations due to heart failure symptoms.
- Class IV: There is objective evidence of severe cardiovascular disease, and you have symptoms of heart failure even at rest. There are severe limitations with physical activity due to the severity of your heart failure symptoms.
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What Are The Main Causes Of Heart Failure
Heart failure can have many causes. The most common causes are:
- Coronary heart disease this is where the arteries that supply blood to the heart become clogged up with fatty substances called atherosclerosis which may cause symptoms of chest discomfort called angina or heart damage from a heart attack.
- Hypertension high blood pressure can put extra strain on the heart, which over time can lead to heart failure.
- Cardiomyopathy conditions affecting the heart muscle and can be hereditary or acquired condition that causes the changes in the heart muscle tissue leading to failure of function.
- Arrhythmias heart rhythm problems such as atrial fibrillation which impairs the contraction strength of the heart by the persistent fast heart rate is one of the many rhythm disturbances causing the heart to pump less efficiently.
- Heart valve disease valve defects and damage will increase volume and strain on the heart and weaken it.
- Congenital heart disease birth defects that affect the normal workings of the heart.
- Metabolic hyperthyroid with overactive thyroid and diabetes are endocrine causes of heart failure.
- Toxicity alcohol and certain chemotherapy drugs can be toxic to the muscle cells and damage their function.
First Things First: Understanding The Four Stages Of Congestive Heart Failure
Accepted as the standard across all cardiology care in Houston, there are four stages of congestive heart failure .
Stage 1: Also known as pre-CHF, symptoms include precursors to the condition such as a general weakness in the heart muscle.
Stage 2: Patients may experience some CHF symptoms , but remain generally healthy overall.
Stage 3: Patients will start to exhibit increased signs of CHF on a regular basis and the condition may begin to impair their ability to engage in their regular activities.
Stage 4: At this stage of CHF, patients will begin experiencing severe and often debilitating symptoms even when no physical activity is being performed.
Its important to remember that regardless of what stage CHF you may have been diagnosed or treated, the cardiac care team at Ascent ER in Houston has the staff, technology, and equipment available to provide life-saving treatment.
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How Does Heart Failure Affect The Quality Of Life And Lifestyle
With the right care and treatment plan, many adults still enjoy life even though heart failure limits their activities. How well you feel depends 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.
This includes caring for yourself by:
- Taking your medications.
- Tracking and reporting new or worsening symptoms to your provider.
- Keeping regular follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider.
Because heart failure is a chronic, long-term illness, talk to your doctor and your family about your preferences for medical care. You can complete an advance directive or living will to let everyone involved in your care know what you want. A living will details the treatments you do or dont want to prolong your life. Its a good idea to prepare a living will while you are well in case you arent able to make these decisions at a later time.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
If you have heart failure, you can take steps to improve your heart health. Take your medications as instructed, follow a low-sodium diet, stay active or become physically active, take notice of sudden changes in your weight, live a healthy lifestyle, keep your follow-up appointments and track your symptoms. Talk to your healthcare provider about questions or concerns you have about your medications, lifestyle changes or any other part of your treatment plan.
What Are The Four Stages Of Congestive Heart Failure
The New York Heart Association developed the four stages of congestive heart failure depending on the functional capabilities of the heart.
- Class I: Patients will have no problem while performing physical activity.
- Class II: Patients will have minor limitations of physical capacity due to a marked increase in physical activity. This leads to weakness, increased heart rate, difficulty breathing, and chest pain, but they may be comfortable at rest.
- Class III: Patients with marked limitation of physical activity in which minimal ordinary activity results in weakness, increased heart rate, difficulty breathing, and chest pain however they are comfortable at rest.
- Class IV: Patients cannot carry on any physical activity without discomfort and have symptoms of heart failure or chest pain, even at rest.
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Stage 3 Of Congestive Heart Failure
Its not uncommon for congestive heart failure to be accompanied by other heart conditions. If you are diagnosed with stage three CHF, along with another heart condition, its likely that youll have difficulty performing regular tasks. Small bouts of exercise or minimal doses of physical activity will cause the same symptoms mentioned in stage two fatigue, shortness of breath, and heart palpitations. In stage three, lifestyle changes are not as effective, and a surgical procedure may be necessary. However, its never too late to talk to a doctor about your heart condition and what the future may look like.
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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.
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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Living With Congestive Heart Failure: What To Expect
Yes, there are several lifestyle changes you should take into account if youve been diagnosed with congestive heart failure. But remember your diagnosis doesnt mean you should necessarily stop doing things you love.
You are supposed to be exercising walking, biking, swimming, or doing light weight exercises, says Mountis. The American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity at least five days a week for optimal heart health. Avoid exercises that make you feel breathless, and make sure to talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise routine.
Your healthcare provider will also likely suggest dietary changes that can help reduce the swelling associated with congestive heart failure and slow the progression of the condition. Those changes may include following a low- or reduced-salt diet, or reducing how much fluid you drink to lessen the bodys water content.
Other lifestyle changes that can slow the progression of heart failure include: