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When To Seek Hospice Care
Even physicians have difficulty determining life expectancy for people with end-stage heart-failure. The condition can be unpredictable, and symptoms can change. However, certain signs can indicate that hospice care would be beneficial, including:
- frequent chest pain
- significant fatigue or shortness of breath
- substantial decline in ability to do daily activities, such as self-care
- The patient has already received the best possible treatment, which are no longer working well, and the patient is not a candidate for other interventions.
- The patient has received the best possible treatment and has decided to decline further specialized interventions.
People can be reluctant to start hospice, as they may worry it means theyre giving up or that it will hasten death. But such concerns are unfounded. In fact, patients and families often wish they had started hospice sooner, because it makes such a positive difference in their lives. And research shows that early admission to hospice results in greater satisfaction with care among patients and family caregivers.
Articles On Heart Failure Types & Stages
The name of this condition can be a little confusing. When you have heart failure, it doesn’t mean your ticker stopped beating. What’s really going on is that your heart can’t pump blood as well as a healthy one.
The chambers of your heart may respond by stretching to carry more blood to pump through your body. They may become stiffer and thicker. This helps keep blood moving for a while, but in time, your heart muscle walls may get weaker.
Your kidneys react by causing your body to hold on to water and salt. Fluid may start to build up in your arms, legs, ankles, feet, lungs, or other organs.
The American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology have defined four stages of heart failure to help people understand how the condition changes over time and the kinds of treatments that are used for each.
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How Are Obesity And Heart Disease Related
Obesity affects more than 40% of the U.S. population. The excess fat in obesity was originally thought to be harmless . However, we now know that excess fat causes chemical changes in your blood that increase your heart disease risk. When your fat cells become enlarged, they give off hormones that produce chronic inflammation.
Inflammation can lead to your body no longer using insulin efficiently . This means your body has trouble regulating your blood sugar levels, which can result in metabolic syndrome. Having this condition means you have risk factors that increase your chance of developing heart disease, such as:
How does body shape affect your heart disease risk?
Your risk of heart disease varies based on where your body stores excess fat. People with an apple shape have a higher risk of heart disease than people with a pear shape. Your healthcare provider may measure your waist circumference to understand the degree of abdominal obesity you have as this correlates well with a higher risk of heart disease.
How else can obesity affect your heart?
Increased body fat may also directly contribute to changes in your heart, including:
End Stages Of Heart Failure: What To Expect
Congestive heart failure is one of the most common reasons for hospital admissions for senior citizens. In fact, over 5 million adults in the United States experience heart failure.
Heart failure occurs when the heart muscle becomes damaged and can no longer pump blood effectively. Although symptoms can be managed, this is a chronic condition with no cure. In time, patients will reach the final stages of congestive heart failure.
Patients in the end stages of heart failure want to know what to expect. The symptoms of end-stage congestive heart failure include dyspnea, chronic cough or wheezing, edema, nausea or lack of appetite, a high heart rate, and confusion or impaired thinking.
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Ways To Maximize Your Lifespan With Heart Failure
If you learn that you have heart failure, donât let the name mislead you. Your heart hasnât failed. Rather, you have a condition in which your heart has trouble pumping oxygen-rich blood to the rest of your body.
âThat can result in a backup of fluid into the lungs and congestion in the lungs, causing shortness of breath, chest pain, and fatigue, as well as the backup of fluid elsewhere in the body,â says Brent Lampert, DO, a cardiologist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus.
Depending on how serious your heart failure is, you may notice swelling in your ankles and legs. Your heart may beat faster than usual, or its rhythm may not be as regular. Your stomach may swell, and you could lose your appetite.
Itâs a serious diagnosis. But doctors have learned a lot about how to treat heart failure with close care, often including a combination of prescription drugs that provides the most relief from symptoms.
And life expectancy is on the rise: Roughly half of people diagnosed today can expect to live at least 5 more years, compared with 41% in 2000, according to one study.
Special calculators offer an estimate of your life expectancy with heart failure. With one online tool, the Seattle Heart Failure Model, you can put in your lab results and the type of treatment youâre getting to project your odds.
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It Doesnt Work In Isolation
CHF works closely with other heart diseases and can be caused by a number of cardiac disorders. In fact, heart failure isnt the actual disease, but rather a result of other conditions.Thus, having any type of heart disease exposes you to CHF. Thats why, once you have been diagnosed with CHF, its important that you seek screening for other possible heart conditions.
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What Are The Types Of Heart Failure
There are many causes of heart failure, but the condition is generally broken down into these types:
Left-sided heart failure
Heart failure with reduced left ventricular function The lower left chamber of your heart gets bigger and cannot squeeze hard enough to pump the right amount of oxygen-rich blood to the rest of your body.
Heart failure with preserved left ventricular function Your heart contracts and pumps normally, but the bottom chambers of your heart are thicker and stiffer than normal. Because of this, your ventricles can’t relax properly and fill up all the way. Because there’s less blood in your ventricles, your heart pumps out less blood to the rest of your body when it contracts.
Right-sided heart failure
Heart failure can also affect the right side of your heart. Left-sided heart failure is the most common cause of this. Other causes include certain lung problems and issues in other organs.
What Are The Stages Of Chf
Congestive heart failure is a progressive condition that can worsen over time. Depending on the severity of CHF and its associated symptoms, cases are classified into one of four potential categories:
Stage I CHF can typically be managed through lifestyle modifications and medicaiton.
Physical activity may lead to symptoms such as palpitations, shortness of breath, and fatigue.
Management of Stage II CHF is very similar to Stage I but may require more careful monitoring.
Any physical activity is likely to result in notable symptoms, more severe than Stage II.
Treatment of Stage III CHF is far more complicated than lower stages. Consult with a cardiologist to learn more.
Symptoms are always present, even while at rest. Physical activity is likely not possible.
Stage IV CHF has no cure, but there are options available to increase patient comfort. Speak with a cardiologist to learn more.
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Stages Of Heart Failure: What Are The 4 Stages Of Heart Failure
Doctors and Scientists categorized heart failure into 4 different stages. Those stages are called A, B, C, and D. Stage A and B do not require medications or surgery all the time but need medical attention and lifestyle changes. Stage C and D are severe and need higher medical attention.
This article is basically based on those 4 stages of HF to make people aware worldwide. Stage A and B patients can easily manage their lifestyle and keep their hearts well with the advice of professional health care providers. Stage C and D may require something much more.
What Can Be Done To Prevent Pediatric Congenital Heart Defects
In most cases, there is no way to prevent heart defects. However, certain precautions can be taken:
- A pregnant woman should not drink alcohol or take drugs that have not been prescribed to her.
- Women with certain chronic conditions should ask their doctors for advice on medications or special diets before they become pregnant.
- A woman who is able to become pregnant should get 400 micrograms of folate or folic acid per day to prevent birth defects.
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What Does Moving To Hospice Care Involve
If you and your family have made the decision to pursue hospice care while receiving inpatient care, a case manager or social worker can help facilitate the process. If you are at home and would like to transition to hospice care, hospice agencies can help make the arrangements. Hospice agencies will review your needs and have a doctor order the appropriate medications for you. These medications will focus not on treating your condition, but on managing your symptoms and comfort as much as possible.
How Common Is Cardiomyopathy
Cardiomyopathy can affect anyone of any age or race. About 1 in 500 adults have cardiomyopathy.
Some types of cardiomyopathy are more likely in some people than in others. For example, dilated cardiomyopathy is more common in Black people. Dilated and arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy are more likely in males.
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What Is Shared Decision
When heart failure progresses to an advanced stage, there are still many treatment options. The decisions ranging from do everything possible to strive for comfort arent easy. Thats why the American Heart Association released recommendations that serve as a roadmap to decision-making in advanced heart failure.
The goal? A partnership between you and your doctor, where medical options are honestly discussed, and decisions are made based on what you want. Shared decision-making means you dont have to make decisions on your own.
Doctor-patient conversations about treatment options, their risks and benefits as well as future what-if scenarios should happen early and often, according to experts who helped draft the AHA recommendations. This early dialogue means youre not blindsided when a big medical event happens that requires tough decision-making.
Doctors provide the medical facts and figures, while you provide your personal goals and preferences. Together and often with input from family and friends you and your doctor build a care plan.
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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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.
What Do Symptoms Of End Stage Congestive Heart Failure Look Like
Dyspnea or shortness of breath can occur both during activity and rest. This is the symptom that often sends patients racing to the hospital late at night. Work with your hospice or palliative care team to manage symptoms at home and avoid these stressful hospital trips.
When the heart cannot keep up with the supply of blood moving between it and the lungs, fluid can build up in the lungs. This results in a chronic cough or wheezing that can produce white or pink mucus.
As the hearts ability to pump slows down, fluid can build up in the body. This creates swelling in the extremities particularly the feet, ankles, legs, or abdomen.
Lack of Appetite
As the digestive system receives less blood, patients may feel full or nauseous. Not wanting to eat is a natural part of the body shutting down, but families often find this distressing. Learn more about why it is okay for your loved one to stop eating and drinking at end of life.
High Heart Rate
In response to a loss in pumping capacity, the heart begins to beat faster. The patient experiences this as a racing or throbbing heartbeat.
When the heart stops working effectively, it can change sodium levels in the blood. This leads to memory loss, confusion, and a general feeling of disorientation.
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Defining Heart Failure And 4 Stages
Heart failure is a term that describes a condition in which the heart is unable to pump blood efficiently. This can lead to symptoms such as shortness of breath and swelling of the legs.
In adults with heart failure, most people first experience mild symptoms that dont require treatment or lifestyle changes, says Dr. David Baron, an interventional cardiologist at Stanford University School of Medicine in California.
What Are The Common Types Of Pediatric Congenital Heart Defects
A septal defect is a hole in the septum, the wall that divides the heart. There are 2 types of septal defects: atrial septal defects are holes in the septum between the left and the right atria ventricular septal defects are holes in the septum between the left and right ventricles. Because of this hole, oxygenated blood mixes with non-oxygenated blood.
A septal defect means that blood flows from one chamber of the heart to the other, instead of taking its normal path. For instance, with an atrial septal defect, blood flows from one atrium to the other, instead of going to the ventricle.
Similarly, with a VSD, the blood flows from the left ventricle to the right ventricle, rather than through its normal path to the aorta and the rest of the body. As a result, blood that has picked up oxygen from the lungs mixes with oxygen-poor blood. This can mean that parts of the body arent getting enough oxygenated blood.
ASDs and VSDs can be small or large. Some ASDs close up on their own as the child grows older. Others may be repaired using catheters or with open heart surgery.
Although some small VSDs may close on their own, some are so large that the left side of the heart is forced to work much harder. If it is not treated, a VSD can lead to heart failure. These defects have to be repaired with open heart surgery.
Another type of defect involves the heart valves. Defective valves may be caused by:
Other types of congenital heart defects
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How Long Can You Live With End
Heart failure is a chronic, progressive condition that worsens with each flare-up. Your outlook and prognosis are better if you are healthy overall, you have been following your treatment plan, and you are responding well to your treatments. Being willing to pursue invasive treatments like a heart transplant will also increase your life expectancy.
How Long Can An 85 Year Old Live With Heart Failure
In a recent study, it was reported that patients hospitalized with moderate systolic heart failure faced a median expected survival time of 2.4 years if they were aged 71 to 80 years and 1.4 years if they were aged 80 years or more. In patients with more advanced systolic dysfunction, life expectancy was even shorter.
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Facts About Heart Failure In The United States
- About 6.2 million adults in the United States have heart failure.1
- In 2018, heart failure was mentioned on 379,800 death certificates .1
- Heart failure costs the nation an estimated $30.7 billion in 2012.2 This total includes the cost of health care services, medicines to treat heart failure, and missed days of work.
Treatments For Heart Failure
Treatment for heart failure usually aims to control the symptoms for as long as possible and slow down the progression of the condition.
Common treatments include:
- lifestyle changes including eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly and stopping smoking
- medicine a range of medicines can help many people need to take 2 or 3 different types
- devices implanted in your chest these can help control your heart rhythm
- surgery such as a or a heart transplant
Treatment will usually be needed for life.
A cure may be possible when heart failure has a treatable cause. For example, if your heart valves are damaged, replacing or repairing them may cure the condition.
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