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:
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.
Treatment Options For Stage A And B
WebMD notes the type of treatments available correspond with the stage youre in. In Stage A, it says the common recommendations from doctors include more exercise and quitting smoking/drinking. You might also need to lower your blood pressure or cholesterol.
In Stage B, you may be prescribed beta-blockers or ACE inhibitors. You might also need an implantable cardiac defibrillator , or surgery to repair arteries or valves.
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Warning Signs Of Heart Failure
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.
If you have been diagnosed with heart failure, it’s important for you to manage and keep track of symptoms and report any sudden changes to your healthcare team.
This table lists the most common signs and symptoms, explains why they occur and describes how to recognize them.
Possible Causes Of Congestive Heart Failure
WebMD says there are a number of possible reasons why one would develop CHF, largely due to sustained damage. For example, it says that a heart attack that blocks your coronary artery can cease the blood flow to your heart muscle. Meanwhile, other factors that can damage the heart include infections and substance abuse.
The source explains that diseases such as thyroid disease and diabetes can be causes of heart failure. Coronary artery disease in particular can limit the supply of blood to the heart muscle due to an issue with the arteries . Other health conditions such as high blood pressure can also contribute to CHF.
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They Have Similar Symptoms
Both COPD and CHF can cause shortness of breath, coughing, and wheezing. In both conditions, the shortness of breath is usually more pronounced during activity than it is at rest. One difference is that although chest tightness is a common symptom of COPD, it does not usually occur with CHF. However, those who have heart failure may notice their heart beating irregularly or rapidly.3 Although wheezing is common with both COPD and CHF, with heart failure, a health care professional may hear a “crackle” or what is called rales in the lungs when listening through a stethoscope. This is the sound of the air you breathe moving through the fluid in your lungs.
What Is The Outlook
It is difficult to give an outlook for an individual. It depends on the cause of the heart failure, whether you have other medical conditions, and how severe it is. Speak to your specialist about your individual case. In general, the more severe the heart failure, the worse the outlook. In many cases, the symptoms remain at a stable level for quite some time before becoming worse. In some cases, where there is a reversible cause, heart failure can get completely better. In some cases, the severity and symptoms become gradually worse over time. Sadly in some cases, heart failure can be fatal. About half of those diagnosed with heart failure die within five years of the diagnosis.
If symptoms become very severe, and are not responding well to treatment, this is known as ‘end-stage heart failure’. In this situation, palliative care from a team of different health professionals may be helpful. The priority in this situation is keeping the person comfortable, and alleviating symptoms as much as possible. A person diagnosed with end-stage heart failure is likely to die over the following 6 to 12 months.
Over recent years, various new treatments have been introduced which have led to a much improved outlook for people with heart failure. Studies are ongoing to establish which treatment options improve outlook the most.
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What Is The Outlook For Heart Failure Patients
Very good, particularly now compared to prior generations, says Dr. Jacoby. We have medicines and treatments that reverse many cases of heart failure, and in most cases, the outlook is generally very good.
In cases where reversal of damage to the heart and affected areas is not possible, Dr. Jacoby says that the Yale Medicine team follows the patient closely and works to optimize quality of life while treating him or her.
What Are The Types Of Heart Failure
There are many causes of heart failure, but the condition is generally broken down into two types:
Heart failure with reduced left ventricular function The lower left chamber of the heart gets bigger and cannot squeeze hard enough to pump the right amount of oxygen-rich blood to the rest of the body.
Heart failure with preserved left ventricular function The heart contracts and pumps normally, but the bottom chambers of the heart are thicker and stiffer than normal. Because of this, the ventricles can’t relax properly and fill up all the way. Because there’s less blood in the ventricles, less blood is pumped out to the rest of the body when the heart contracts.
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Other Treatments For Congestive Heart Failure
Other treatments and therapies include:
- and can help strengthen the body, reduce complications, increase alertness, reduce , improve your overall health, and enhance your ability to function in everyday activities.
- Palliative care to improve the overall quality of life for families and patients with serious diseases
- Regular follow-up care to help monitor your treatment and progress and to address any problems or complications promptly
- Complementary or alternative treatments, such as , massage therapy, and yoga to reduce stress and improve well-being. Complementary treatments are not meant to substitute for full medical care.
Surgical Treatments For Congestive Heart Failure
A variety of surgical procedures may be used in the treatment of some cases of congestive heart failure including:
- and stent placement or coronary artery bypass may be an option for people with congestive heart failure who have severely blocked coronary arteries.
- Heart transplant may be the only treatment option in severe cases of congestive heart failure in which medications and lifestyle and dietary changes do not improve heart function.
- Left is a device surgeons connect to the heart to improve heart function. It may be used as a “bridge treatment” while waiting for a or as a treatment in itself.
- may be used in some cases to control abnormal heart rhythms.
- Valve surgery repair or replacement of damaged heart valves
New Moms And Heart Failure Risk
A study published in January 2018 in the journal Circulation: Heart Failure found that women are most at risk for heart failure within the first six weeks after delivery, also known as the postpartum period.
The research supports the notion that at-risk women need closer observation postpartum.
The researchers also say that because many women are discharged from hospital care just a couple of days after they give birth and arent given a follow-up until about six weeks later, the way doctors regard women who might be at risk of heart failure needs to change.
They call for comprehensive discharge health education, with emphasis on signs and symptoms to look for and when or where to seek immediate care.
How Is Heart Failure Diagnosed
Your doctor will ask you many questions about your symptoms and medical history. Youâll be asked about any conditions you have that may cause heart failure . Youâll be asked if you smoke, take drugs, drink alcohol , and about what drugs you take.
Youâll also get a complete physical exam. Your doctor will listen to your heart and look for signs of heart failure as well as other illnesses that may have caused your heart muscle to weaken or stiffen.
Your doctor may also order other tests to determine the cause and severity of your heart failure. These include:
Other tests may be ordered, depending on your condition.
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What Is The Life Expectancy Of Someone With Congestive Heart Failure
If you have CHF, your life expectancy can be nonlinear and dependent on many factors. Many clinicians do not believe they can accurately anticipate a patients clinical trajectory in a 6-month time period.
The 1-, 2-, 5-, and 10-year survival rates for all-type CHF are 87 percent, 73 percent, 57 percent, and 35 percent, respectively, as stated by a meta-analysis in 2019. However, the life expectancy of those suffering from CHF has gotten better over time.
The age of a person during diagnosis might influence their prognosis. The 5-year survival rate for those under 65 was about 78 percent, but it was 49 percent for those 75 and over.
Another factor to take note of is your ejection fraction. Your doctor will have to monitor it more closely if your ejection fraction is reduced. If the echocardiogram reports that your ejection fraction drops too low , you will have a higher probability of having a fatal rhythm in that organ.
However, a 2017 study says all patients with CHF, regardless of ejection fraction, had a poor 5-year survival rate of 75.4%. The 2019 meta-analysis found no significant difference in survival rates between people with an ejection fraction of less than 40% and those with above.
Your life expectancy will also be affected by which stage you are at with your CHF. Those 4 stages will show how serious your CHF has become.
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.
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What Is The Prognosis And Life Expectancy For Congestive Heart Failure
- The degree to which other organ systems are involved and the severity of other accompanying conditions
- The person’s symptoms and degree of impairment
- Other factors that remain poorly understood
With the availability of newer drugs to potentially favorably affect the progression of the disease, the prognosis in congestive heart failure is generally more favorable than that observed just 10 years ago. In some cases, especially when the heart muscle dysfunction has recently developed, a significant spontaneous improvement is not uncommonly observed, even to the point where heart function becomes normal.
Heart failure is often graded on a scale of I to IV based on the patient’s ability to function.
The prognosis of heart failure patients is very closely associated with the functional class.
An important issue in congestive heart failure is the risk of heart rhythm disturbances . Of those deaths that occur in individuals with congestive heart failure, approximately 50% are related to progressive heart failure. Importantly, the other half are thought to be related to serious arrhythmias.
What Are The Stages Of Heart Disease In Cats
There are also various stages of heart disease and congestive heart failure in cats that veterinarians use to determine severity: Asymptomatic: Heart disease in cats is detected, but there is a lack of any outward signs. Additionally, a heart murmur in cats or arrhythmia may also be present.
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When To Get Medical Advice
See a GP if you experience persistent or gradually worsening symptoms of heart failure.
Call 999 for an ambulance or go to your nearest A& E department as soon as possible if you have sudden or very severe symptoms.
Signs And Symptoms Of Congestive Heart Failure
Your heart controls the main transportation system in your body your bloodstream which is necessary to carry nutrients and oxygen to all of your cells. For some people, the heart can begin to not work properly, and this is called congestive heart failure.
Many people assume that heart failure is the same thing as a heart attack or that it means that the heart has stopped, but this isnt the case. Congestive heart failure can put you at risk of damage to the heart, liver, and/or kidneys.
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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.
What Causes Heart Failure
Heart failure can be caused by many medical conditions that damage the heart muscle. Common conditions are:
- Coronary artery disease affects the arteries that carry blood and oxygen to the heart . The normal lining inside the arteries breaks down, the walls of the arteries become thick, and deposits of fat and plaque partially block the flow of blood. Over time, the arteries become very narrow or completely blocked, which causes a heart attack. The blockage keeps the heart from being able to pump enough blood to keep your organs and tissues healthy. When arteries are blocked, you may have chest pain and other symptoms of heart disease.
- Heart attack. A heart attack happens when a coronary artery suddenly becomes blocked and blood cannot flow to all areas of the heart muscle. The heart muscle becomes permanently damaged and muscle cells may die. Normal heart muscle cells may work harder. The heart may get bigger or stiff .
- Cardiomyopathy. Cardiomyopathy is a term that describes damage to and enlargement of the heart muscle not caused by problems with the coronary arteries or blood flow. Cardiomyopathy can occur due to many causes, including viruses, alcohol or drug abuse, smoking, genetics and pregnancy .
- Tobacco and illicit drug use.
- Medications. Some drugs used to fight cancer can lead to heart failure.
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How Do They Remove Fluid From Congestive Heart Failure
If the pumping organ in your body is struggling, your kidneys go into overdrive: they activate chemicals that instruct your body to hold on to whatever water it has to boost blood volume. Excess fluid in the body can be fatal because it puts too much pressure on vital organs like the lungs and liver.
You can know that you have excess water retention if you experience weight changes, swollen legs, ankles, and feet, bloating, nausea, fatigue, persistent coughing, shortness of breath, and loose stools.
So, to counteract that fluid buildup, you should take diuretics to remove the excess fluid. These drugs make you urinate more often. There are three common types of them, namely thiazides, loop diuretics, and potassium-sparing agents. Take them according to your doctors advice.
Also, dont forget to watch your fluid and sodium intake. Limit the amount of fluids you drink. Take into account the food you eat because sometimes they have a lot of water in it. Salty food can make you thirsty, making you drink more, so limit your consumption of it. They also cause fluid retention.
Keep tracking your symptoms and take the medications, and visit your doctor regularly. These small changes can help you manage your CHF and fluid retention.