How Is Heart Failure Treated/managed
Treatment of heart failure depends on the underlying cause and this will direct the main treatment to prevent further deterioration. Heart failure can be cured if it has a treatable cause.
If the causes are due to coronary heart disease then the patient may require coronary stents or . If there is a heart valve cause, then the defective valve will need surgery to repair or replace the valve.
All heart failure patients will need:
- Lifestyle changes including eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly and stopping smoking and watching fluid intake and reduce alcohol consumption.
- Medicine a range of medicines can help many people need to take three to four different types which have evidence to show they strengthen the heart and improve prognosis. This includes beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, ARNI and SGLT2 inhibitors. Other medicines, such as diuretics, may be used to help with the symptoms.
In cases where patients are seen to be experiencing continued deteriorating heart function despite the best and optimal medication, the following may be considered:
- Cardiac resynchronising therapy In very severe heart failure conditions, a specialised type of pacemaker has shown to benefit and improve symptoms as well as prolonging life by resynchronising the contractility of the two main pumping chambers of the heart.
- Cardiac transplant If there is no scope for recovery and the condition deteriorates then in suitable patients, a heart transplant may be considered.
Heart Failure Early Signs And Symptoms
- Heart failure is a condition whereby the heart muscle is unable to adequately pump blood throughout the body.
- There are a variety of illnesses and diseases that affect the heart’s pumping capability.
- Heart failure causes signs and symptoms due to the excess accumulation of fluid within the tissues of the body.
- When the heart muscle becomes weak and cannot adequately pump blood into the arteries, blood “backs up,” and pressure in the blood vessels causes water to leak out of blood vessels into the tissues of the body, which may cause heart failure.
What Are The Symptoms Of Congestive Heart Failure
Daniel Louis Jacoby, MD, director of Yale Medicines General Heart Failure Program and the Cardiomyopathy Inherited Cardiovascular Disease Program, says that symptoms may be mild or severe and may not always be noticeable.
Most commonly, though, a patient may experience shortness of breath, fatigue, problems with the hearts rhythm called arrhythmias, and edemaor fluid buildupin the legs, he says.
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Fatigue And Exercise Intolerance
Persons with heart failure may also notice fatigue and the decreased ability to perform activities or exercise. These complaints tend to be progressive and often arise slowly, so that the person may not be aware of the gradual change in exercise function until daily activities become a chore.
When both the right and left sides of the heart fail to pump adequately, the symptoms and signs of both right and left heart failure develop. The person may complaint of swelling in the legs and feet as well as shortness of breath.
What Is Congestive Heart Failure
Heart failure describes the inability or failure of the heart to meet the needs of organs and tissues for oxygen and nutrients. This decrease in cardiac output, the amount of blood that the heart pumps, is not adequate to circulate the blood returning to the heart from the body and lungs, causing the fluid to leak from capillary blood vessels. This leads to symptoms that may include shortness of breath, weakness, and swelling.
Understanding blood flow in the heart and body
The right side of the heart pumps blood to the lungs while the left side pumps blood to the rest of the body. Blood from the body enters the right atrium through the vena cava. It then flows into the right ventricle where it is pumped to the lungs through the pulmonary artery, which carries deoxygenated blood to the lungs. In the lungs, oxygen is loaded onto red blood cells and returns to the left atrium of the heart via the pulmonary veins. Blood then flows into the left ventricle where it is pumped to the organs and tissues of the body. Oxygen is downloaded from red blood cells into the various organs while carbon dioxide, a waste product of metabolism, is added to be removed in the lungs. Blood then returns to the right atrium to start the cycle again. The pulmonary veins are unusual in that they carry oxygenated blood, while the pulmonary artery carries deoxygenated blood. This is a reversal of duties versus the roles of veins and arteries in the rest of the body.
What Are Compression Socks
- Compression stockings are specially made, snug-fitting, stretchy socks that gently squeeze your leg.
- Graduated compression or pressure stockings are tighter around your ankle and get looser as they move up your leg.
- Compression sleeves are just the tube part, without the foot.
- Pressure from compression socks helps the blood vessels work better in the legs. This allows the arteries that take oxygen-rich blood to the muscles can relax, so blood flows freely. The veins get a boost pushing blood back to the heart.
- Compression stockings are worm for comfort, to help prevent serious medical conditions, and compete better in sports.
- Compression stockings can:
- Lower the chances of getting a blood clot in the leg
- Lessen pain and leg swelling
People should who wear compression socks include:
- People with or at risk for circulation problems, like blood clots in the leg , varicose veins, or diabetes
- People who have just had surgery
- People who can’t leave their bed or have a hard time moving their legs
- People who stand all day at work
What Are Heart Failure Symptoms
If you have heart failure, you may not have any symptoms, or the symptoms may range from mild to severe. Symptoms can be constant or can come and go. Heart failure symptoms are related to the changes that occur to your heart and body, and the severity depends on how weak your heart is. The symptoms can include:
- Congested lungs. A weak heart causes fluid to back up in the lungs. This can cause shortness of breath with exercise or difficulty breathing at rest or when lying flat in bed. Lung congestion can also cause a dry, hacking cough or wheezing.
- Fluid and water retention. A weak heart pumps less blood to your kidneys and causes fluid and water retention, resulting in swollen ankles, legs, and abdomen and weight gain. This can also cause an increased need to urinate during the night as your body attempts to get rid of this excess fluid. Bloating in your stomach may cause a loss of appetite or nausea.
- Dizziness, fatigue, andweakness. Less blood to your major organs and muscles makes you feel tired and weak. Less blood to the brain can cause dizziness or confusion.
- Rapid or irregular heartbeats. The heart beats faster to pump enough blood to the body. This can cause a fast or irregular heartbeat. Irregular heartbeats also can become more common as the heart weakens.
Outlook For Heart Failure
Heart failure is a serious long-term condition that’ll 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.
The Earliest Symptoms Of Heart Failure Are Often Very Subtle But It’s Dangerous To Ignore Them
It’s an unfortunate truth that your body slows down in your sixth and seventh decades. Climbing a flight of stairs that you once took two at a time can now feel as daunting as scaling Mount Everest. While some degree of vitality loss can be attributed to natural aging, fatigue and breathlessness may also be signals that your heart is not functioning as well as it should. “There is a general tendency for people to ignore heart failure symptoms and attribute them to just getting older. Therefore, it was very important for us to create an easy way to identify those symptoms,” says Dr. Mandeep R. Mehra, medical director of the Heart and Vascular Center at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
FACES of heart failure
Heart failure occurs when something damages the heart muscle or reduces the heart’s ability to pump effectively. Most often, the damage stems from coronary artery disease or heart attack. But faulty heart valves, longstanding high blood pressure, or genetic disease may also be to blame. No matter what the cause, the failing heart can no longer pump well enough to keep up with the body’s demand for oxygen-rich blood.
To help both doctors and patients quickly spot a possible combination of heart failure symptoms, the Heart Failure Society of America developed a handy tool that goes by the acronym FACES.
F = Fatigue. When the heart can’t pump enough oxygen-rich blood to meet the body’s energy needs, a general feeling of tiredness or fatigue sets in.
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What Is Heart Failure Causes Symptoms Risk Factors And Treatments
Heart failure happens when the heart cannot pump enough blood and oxygen to support other organs in your body. Heart failure is a serious condition, but it does not mean that the heart has stopped beating. Although it can be a severe disease, heart failure is not a death sentence, and treatment is now better than ever.
When this happens, blood and fluid may back up into the lungs , and some parts of the body dont get enough oxygen-rich blood to work normally. These problems lead to the symptoms of heart failure.
Heart failure develops because the heart muscle becomes weak or loses the ability to pump normally. The Ejection Fraction is a percent that lets us know how the heart is squeezing . If the heart isnt “squeezing” well to get enough blood to your body, you have heart failure with a reduced ejection fraction . If the heart can’t “relax” to fill with enough blood between contractions, you have heart failure with preserved ejection fraction . Heart muscle weakening and damage is often called cardiomyopathy, which literally means “heart muscle disease.”
How Is Heart Failure Treated
The goal of heart failure treatment is to improve quality of life by addressing the underlying causes, reducing symptoms and managing overall health. Education plays a crucial role. Patients and their families who learn to recognize and respond to small changes, such as swelling or weight gain, can help slow the progression of heart failure.
These medications have been shown to prolong life in heart failure patients:
angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors: This medication decreases the pressure inside the blood vessels and reduces the resistance against which the heart pumps.
angiotensin receptor blockers : This is an alternative medication for reducing the workload on the heart if ACE inhibitors are not tolerated. An ACE inhibitor or ARB blocker will often be recommended, but not both.
beta blockers: These reduce the heart’s tendency to beat faster and reduce its workload by blocking specific receptors on heart cells.
aldosterone blockers: This medication blocks the effects of the hormone aldosterone, which causes sodium and water retention.
angiotensin receptor-neprilysin inhibitors : This is a relatively new class of medication that for some people has been shown to be a better alternative than ACE inhibitors or ARB blockers.
These medications have been shown to reduce symptoms:
diuretics: These reduce the amount of fluid in the body.
vasodilators: These dilate the blood vessels and reduce workload on the heart.
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Common Signs And Symptoms Of Heart Failure
It is very important for you to manage your other health conditions, such as diabetes, kidney disease, anemia, high blood pressure, thyroid disease and asthma or chronic lung disease. Some conditions have signs and symptoms that are similar to heart failure. If you have new or worsening non-urgent symptoms, tell your healthcare provider.
What Are The Stages Of Heart Failure
Heart failure is a chronic long-term condition that gets worse with time. There are four stages of heart failure . The stages range from “high risk of developing heart failure” to “advanced heart failure,” and provide treatment plans. Ask your healthcare provider what stage of heart failure you are in. These stages are different from the New York Heart Association clinical classifications of heart failure that reflect the severity of symptoms or functional limits due to heart failure.
As the condition gets worse, your heart muscle pumps less blood to your organs, and you move toward the next stage of heart failure. You cannot go backwards through the stages. For example, if you are in Stage B, you cannot be in Stage A again. The goal of treatment is to keep you from progressing through the stages or to slow down the progression.
Treatment at each stage of heart failure may involve changes to medications, lifestyle behaviors and cardiac devices. You can compare your treatment plan with those listed for each stage of heart failure. The treatments listed are based on current treatment guidelines. The table outlines a basic plan of care that may apply to you. If you have any questions about any part of your treatment plan, ask a member of your healthcare team.
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Warning Signs And Symptoms Of Heart Disease
Heart disease often develops over time. You may have early signs or symptoms long before you have serious heart problems. Or, you may not realize you are developing heart disease. The warning signs of heart disease may not be obvious. Also, not every person has the same symptoms.
Certain symptoms, such as chest pain, ankle swelling, and shortness of breath may be signals that something is wrong. Learning the warning signs can help you get treatment and help prevent a heart attack or stroke.
Shortness Of Breath While Lying Flat And With Exertion
Shortness of breath while lying flat. People who have left heart failure may experience shortness of breath when lying flat . The person will start using two or three pillows to prop themselves up while in bed so that they can breathe easier. If the shortness of breath is more severe, the person may begin sleeping in a chair or recliner.
Shortness of breath with exertion. Shortness of breath with exertion is referred to as dyspnea on exertion. Dyspnea on exertion occurs because the lungs cannot supply enough oxygen and the heart cannot adequately pump oxygen-rich blood to the body. Initially, the shortness of breath may occur when walking long distances or up flights of stairs, but as the heart failure progresses, less activity may produce more symptoms.
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Is There A Treatment For Heart Failure
There are more treatment options available for heart failure than ever before. Tight control over your medications and lifestyle, coupled with careful monitoring, are the first steps. As the condition progresses, doctors specializing in the treatment of heart failure can offer more advanced treatment options.
The goals of treating heart failure are to try to keep it from getting worse , to ease symptoms, and to improve quality of life.
Some common types of medicines used to treat it are:
- ACE inhibitors
- Aldosterone antagonists
- Selective sinus node inhibitors
- Soluble guanylate cyclase stimulator
Your doctor may also recommend a program called cardiac rehabilitation to help you exercise safely and keep up a heart-healthy lifestyle. It usually includes workouts that are designed just for you, education, and tips to lower your chance of heart trouble, like quitting smoking or changing your diet.
Cardiac rehab also offers emotional support. You can meet people like you who can help you stay on track.
What Are The Signs Your Heart Is Quietly Failing
Coronary heart disease, congenital heart defects, and heart arrhythmias are all forms of heart disease that are associated with heart failure.
Heart failure occurs when your heart muscle isnt pumping blood as well as it should. While heart failure is known to progress, and possibly worsen, over time, certain lifestyle changes such as physical activity can relieve any pain or discomfort associated with this disease.
Signs and symptoms of heart failure include:
- Extreme fatigue
- Magnetic resonance imaging
- Coronary angiogram
If you are curious about your heart health, dont hesitate to get in touch with a medical professional who will be able to offer a helping hand.
If you require a risk assessment for cardiovascular diseases or heart conditions, a CRP Test may be recommended. This can be done with a trip to your doctor or from the comfort of your own home with an at-home lab test. Its important to note that while the test is non-specific, it can indicate the risk of cardiovascular problems.
LetsGetCheckeds at-home CRP Test can help in indicating the risk of degenerative disorders or damage that you may not be aware of. Online results will be available within 2-5 days and our dedicated medical team will be available to help every step of the way.
You should consider taking a CRP test if:
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