Mood And Heart Failure
Its normal to feel low or sad from time to time. You may feel down about your symptoms and new limitations, or feel that you have a lack of control over your life.Some people find it very difficult to live with the uncertainty of having heart failure. But learning about your condition and being involved in making decisions about your treatment will all help you to feel more in control and may help to relieve anxiety. Its also important to discuss your worries with your family and close friends so they can support you.
Stress affects different people in different ways. People who dont manage their stress well may turn to unhealthy habits such as smoking, drinking alcohol, or snacking on unhealthy foods. Knowing what triggers the stress can help you to tackle the problem. Finding healthy ways of coping with stress and learning to relax can help you manage your heart failure. Read more about coping with stress.
Congestive Heart Failure Drugs
There are several medications that can be used to treat CHF, including ACE inhibitors, beta-blockers, and more.
Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors open up narrowed blood vessels to improve blood flow. Vasodilators are another option if you cant tolerate ACE inhibitors.
You may be prescribed one of the following:
voluntary recall of 5 lots of the drug Accupril due to the presence of nitrosamine. Nitrosamine, a known carcinogen with the potential to cause cancer, was found to exist in the drug at levels greater than the Acceptable Daily Intake as determined by the FDA. This recall is specific only to a handful of lot numbers and does not affect all Accupril tablets made by Pfizer. If you take Accupril tablets, talk with your pharmacist or doctor and they will help you determine if your medication has been impacted by the recall.
ACE inhibitors shouldnt be taken with the following medications without consulting a doctor, because they may cause an adverse reaction:
- Potassium-sparing diuretics and potassium supplements. These diuretics can cause potassium buildup in the blood, which may lead to abnormal heart rhythms. Examples include: riamterene , eplerenone , and spironolactone .
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs .NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen, can cause sodium and water retention. This may reduce the ACE inhibitors effect on your blood pressure.
This may be achieved with:
Your doctor may recommend:
What Should The Caregiver Remember When The Patient Is At The End
Various important decisions of the patients life have to be taken by the caregivers surrounding the patient. Great responsibilities come up on the caregiver as the patient gradually becomes completely dependent. The caregiver should always be on his toes because there can arise an emergency at any point of time. The patient may have to be admitted to the hospital frequently during the last stage. Symptoms can worsen overnight and the caregivers should be prepared for it.
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What Procedures And Tests Diagnose Congestive Heart Failure
Congestive heart failure can be a medical emergency, especially if it acutely decompensates and the patient can present extremely ill with the inability to breathe adequately. In this situation, the ABCs of resuscitation need to be addressed while at the same time, the diagnosis of congestive heart failure is made.
Common tests that are done to help with the diagnosis of congestive heart failure include the following:
- Electrocardiogram to help assess heart rate, rhythm, and indirectly, the size of the ventricles and blood flow to the heart muscle.
- Blood tests may include a complete blood count , electrolytes, glucose, BUN, and creatinine .
- B-type natriuretic peptide may help decide if a patient has shortness of breath from congestive heart failure or a different cause. It is a chemical that is located in the heart ventricles and may be released when these muscles are overloaded.
- Echocardiography or ultrasound testing of the heart is often recommended to assess the anatomy and the function of the heart. In addition to being able to evaluate the heart valves and muscle, the test can look at blood flow within the heart, watch the chambers of the heart contract, and measure the ejection fraction .
Other tests may be considered to evaluate and monitor a patient with suspected congestive heart failure, depending upon the clinical situation.
What Is Heart Failure
Heart failure, or congestive heart failure, is a long-term condition that gets worse over time. Although the name sounds like your heart has stopped working, heart failure means your heart isnt able to pump blood as well as it should. When your heart has less pumping power, that can damage your organs and fluid can collect in your lungs.
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What Are The Causes Of Heart Failure
There are many conditions that can cause heart failure, most of them conditions that affect your heart, including:
- congenital heart disease
Coronary heart disease is the most common cause of heart failure. Coronary heart disease describes the blockage of the blood vessels that supply your heart. Coronary heart disease includes heart attack or angina . Coronary heart disease can cause scarring of your heart muscles and weaken your hearts pumping action.
High blood pressure can put extra strain on your heart, as your heart needs to pump harder. Over time, your heart muscles can be damaged and your hearts pumping action can get weaker.
Cardiomyopathy is a disease of the heart muscle itself. It commonly refers to an abnormally large, baggy heart that cannot pump well enough. It can be caused by some viral infections or drinking too much alcohol.
Myocarditis is the inflammation or infection of the heart muscle. This is commonly caused by a virus and may lead to heart failure, especially of the left side of your heart.
Non-heart conditions include:
Other Causes Of Heart Failure
Pulmonary hypertension and heart failure
Heart failure can be caused by pulmonary hypertension . This condition can damage the right side of your heart, leading to heart failure. In some cases, the pulmonary hypertension itself is caused by an existing heart condition.
Amyloidosis happens when abnormal proteins, called amyloid, build up in organs and tissues. This affects how your organs work. If amyloidosis affects the heart it’s called cardiac amyloidosis or stiff heart syndrome and can lead to heart failure.
- Read more about amyloidosis treatment.
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Myocytes And Myocardial Remodeling
In the failing heart, increased myocardial volume is characterized by larger myocytes approaching the end of their life cycle. As more myocytes drop out, an increased load is placed on the remaining myocardium, and this unfavorable environment is transmitted to the progenitor cells responsible for replacing lost myocytes.
Progenitor cells become progressively less effective as the underlying pathologic process worsens and myocardial failure accelerates. These featuresnamely, the increased myocardial volume and mass, along with a net loss of myocytesare the hallmark of myocardial remodeling. This remodeling process leads to early adaptive mechanisms, such as augmentation of stroke volume and decreased wall stress and, later, to maladaptive mechanisms such as increased myocardial oxygen demand, myocardial ischemia, impaired contractility, and arrhythmogenesis.
As heart failure advances, there is a relative decline in the counterregulatory effects of endogenous vasodilators, including nitric oxide , prostaglandins , bradykinin , atrial natriuretic peptide , and B-type natriuretic peptide . This decline occurs simultaneously with the increase in vasoconstrictor substances from the RAAS and the adrenergic system, which fosters further increases in vasoconstriction and thus preload and afterload. This results in cellular proliferation, adverse myocardial remodeling, and antinatriuresis, with total body fluid excess and worsening of heart failure symptoms.
Life Expectancy With Congestive Heart Failure
The life expectancy of someone with congestive heart failure depends on the type of heart failure, the cause, the stage of the disease, and how effective treatment is.
When heart failure results from cardiomyopathy or coronary artery disease, a person typically has a less positive outlook than someone with heart failure in its earliest stage.
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Reversing Congestive Heart Failure
It is possible to reverse congestive heart failure. Once the condition of your heart is assessed, the physician will take further steps to treat your congestive heart failure and start appropriate treatment.
This treatment starts with medications and then other procedures may be done to attempt to help the heart get stronger. There are a lot of medications available that will help in improving the quality of your life.
Cardiac viability tests are non-invasive tests that should be done initially to asses if the heart muscle is still alive and if the hearts condition is reversible. Cardiac viability tests should be done prior to any invasive procedures, to make sure the heart condition is reversible and to see if the invasive procedure is truly needed.
For reversal of this disease, early diagnosis is very important.
Cardiac PET provides one of the best and easiest ways to assess for cardiac viability in all individuals.
What Can I Expect After A Chest X
After the X-ray, your radiation technologist may ask you to wait a few minutes while they look at the images. If any of the images are blurry, the technologist may have to retake the X-rays.
The X-ray images are sent to a radiologist who reviews them for normal and abnormal findings. Your healthcare provider will then review the images and radiologists report so they can discuss your X-ray results with you.
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What You Can Do For Your Loved One
In addition to symptom management, its important for the family caregiver to learn how to recognize the end-of-life signs for CHF, and when they should contact hospice. Hospice care will be able to address the specific needs of CHF patients in their final days, and help them to get the most out of what time they have left.
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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Types Of Heart Failure
The main types of heart failure are named for where they occur in the heart:
- Left-sided heart failure
- Biventricular heart failure
Clinicians also may classify heart failure as:
- Acute: You have active symptoms of heart failure, with either a new diagnosis or with long-term heart failure.
- Chronic: You have a history of heart failure, but your condition is relatively stable with no symptoms or with manageable symptoms.
What Can I Expect During A Chest X
You may change into a medical gown at your doctors office. The X-ray technologist will also ask you to remove all metal, such as eyeglasses, jewelry or hairpins.
Typically, your chest X-ray consists of two parts:
During the chest X-ray, you need to remain very still and hold your breath. Any movement, even breathing in and out, can blur the X-ray image.
Chest X-rays usually take a few minutes to complete.
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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.
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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How Do I Know If My Chf Is Getting Worse
Because early treatment of worsening CHF is most effective in preventing hospitalizations, it is very important for the patient to recognize when his symptoms are getting worse. The early symptoms or warning signs of a CHF exacerbation can be different for each person. The patient is the best person to know if he or she is having difficulty breathing, feeling more tired, or gaining more weight. Family members or friends may also recognize some of these signs. Therefore, it is important that you inform your family and friends of these warning signs and let them know what to do if they see them. A change or increase in the symptoms usually experienced may be the only early warning signs you get.
You may notice one or more of the following signs of worsening CHF:
Weight gain: A gain of more than 3 pounds in 24 hours or 5 pounds in a week, no matter what your symptoms are.
Persistent coughing or wheezing: Though some-times misinterpreted by patients and doctors as a chest cold or bronchitis, coughing and wheezing can be a sign of worsening CHF. It results from a build-up of fluid in the lungs. When it is severe, the patient may notice white or pink blood-tinged mucus. This is a serious sign and should prompt a call to your physician and requires a trip to the emergency room.
Malaise:Any feeling of ill health, increased fatigue, and lack of energy that continues for more than 24 hours.
Cyanosis:Any blue color in the lips or fingernails.
Heart Failure Signs And Symptoms
By themselves, any one sign of heart failure may not be cause for alarm. But if you have more than one of these symptoms, even if you haven’t been diagnosed with any heart problems, report them to a healthcare professional and ask for an evaluation of your heart. Congestive heart failure is a type of heart failure which requires seeking timely medical attention, although sometimes the two terms are used interchangeably.
This table lists the most common signs and symptoms, explains why they occur and describes how to recognize them.
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Center For Advanced Heart Failure/cardiomyopathy At Brigham And Womens Hospital
The Center for Advanced Heart Failure/Cardiomyopathy, an integral part of the Heart & Vascular Center at Brigham and Womens Hospital , brings together heart failure experts, including cardiologists, interventional cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, cardiovascular imaging specialists, congenital heart disease specialists, and many others, to care for patients as one team. Together, the team tailors therapies to each patients needs, offering the latest medical, interventional, and surgical approaches to congestive heart failure treatment.
Symptoms Of Heart Failure
Symptoms of heart failure include:
- new or worsening shortness of breath
- difficulty lying flat at night
- fainting or passing out
- weight gain
- muscular fatigue, tiredness
- swelling of ankles or legs
- swelling of abdomen
- heart palpitations
- chest pain or discomfort in parts of the upper body
- unexplained coughing and wheezing
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Tips For Managing Congestive Heart Failure End
You may be asking, How can I provide comfort to my loved one as they experience the end-of-life signs of congestive heart failure? Its only natural that you as a loved one and/or caregiver will want to be as helpful as possible, and ensure that your loved one is experiencing as little pain as possible. Heres some ways you can help:
- Communicate with the doctors and healthcare professionals: Your loved one may be too weak, or simply forget, to communicate their symptoms to the doctors and nurses. You can help by sharing this information with them in order to make sure your loved one gets what they need.
- Provide comfort: Sometimes it is just as simple as spending time with your loved one while watching a TV show, or talking about things they love. These conversations can help in alleviating some of their depression and anxiety.
- Help them remember to take their medicine: There will likely be various pills and medications that your loved one needs to take. You can help by assisting your loved one in staying on schedule.