What Medications Should I Avoid If I Have Heart Failure
There are several different types of medications that are best avoided in those with heart failure including:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as Motrin or Aleve. For relief of aches, pains, or fever take Tylenol instead.
- Most calcium channel blockers
- Some nutritional supplements, such as salt substitutes, and growth hormone therapies
- Antacids that contain sodium
If youâre taking any of these drugs, discuss them with your doctor.
Itâs important to know the names of your medications, what theyâre used for, and how often and at what times you take them. Keep a list of your medications and bring them with you to each of your doctor visits. Never stop taking your medications without discussing it with your doctor. Even if you have no symptoms, your medications decrease the work of your heart so that it can pump more effectively.
When Should You Suspect Heart Failure
If you are at risk for heart failureand even if you are notit’s important to know the early signs of heart failure and be on the alert for them. Let your doctor know about any heart failure symptoms you are experiencing and treatment. The best way to prevent complications of heart failure;is early diagnosis and treatment.
Here are symptoms and early signs;of heart failure to watch for:
If you notice these symptoms, let your doctor know right away. Early treatment can help you live a longer and more active life with heart failure.
What Is A Stroke
Strokes are the;5th most common cause of death;and a primary cause of disability in America. A stroke is a medical emergency where the supply of blood to parts of your brain is reduced or completely interrupted, preventing the brain from getting proper oxygen levels and nutrients. Without oxygen and nutrients, brain cells can take damage and even die within minutes. Strokes require prompt medical attention and treatment to reduce potential brain damage and other complications. There are two types of strokes, including ischemic strokes and hemorrhagic strokes.;
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What Do The Numbers Mean
Ejection Fraction 55% to 70%
- Pumping Ability of the Heart: Normal.
- Level of Heart Failure/Effect on Pumping: Heart function may be normal or you may have heart failure with preserved EF .
Ejection Fraction 40% to 54%
- Pumping Ability of the Heart: Slightly below normal.
- Level of Heart Failure/Effect on Pumping: Less blood is available so less blood is ejected from the ventricles. There is a lower-than-normal amount of oxygen-rich blood available to the rest of the body. You may not have symptoms.
Ejection Fraction 35% to 39%
- Pumping Ability of the Heart: Moderately below normal.
- Level of Heart Failure/Effect on Pumping: Mild heart failure with reduced EF .
Ejection Fraction Less than 35%
- Pumping Ability of the Heart: Severely below normal.
- Level of Heart Failure/Effect on Pumping: Moderate-to-severe HF-rEF. Severe HF-rEF increases risk of life-threatening heartbeats and cardiac dyssynchrony/desynchronization .
Normal Heart. A normal left ventricular ejection fraction ranges from 55% to 70%. An LVEF of 65%, for example means that 65% of total amount of blood in the 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.
HF-pEF. If you have HF-pEF, your EF is in the normal range because your left ventricle is still pumping properly. Your doctor will measure your EF and may check your heart valves and muscle stiffness to see how severe your heart failure is.
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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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.
Swelling And Weight Gain
Your feet, ankles, and abdomen are all areas of the body that can swell. Its possible to have some swelling after a workout or on a very hot day. When swelling occurs, its called edema.
Edema happens in heart failure because your kidneys arent able to properly filter sodium. Your heart then releases chemicals that cause the body to hold onto fluid. You might notice that your clothes or shoes no longer fit right, or that youve gained weight unexpectedly or quickly.
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Congestive Heart Failure
Shortness of breath
The hallmark and most common symptom of left heart failure is shortness of breath and may occur.
Right heart failure, left heart failure, or both
What Is The Difference Between Right
Right-sided congestive heart failure causes poor venous blood return to the heart. In other words, when the heart contracts or pumps, instead of the right ventricle pushing the blood through the lungs for oxygenation, some blood leaks through the tricuspid valve back into the right atrium. This blood backs up into the systemic circulation and consequently becomes congested. Fluid accumulates in the abdomen, interfering with the function of the organs in these areas. The abdomen may fill with fluid, a condition called ascites. Fluid may also leak from veins in the limbs, causing swelling, known as peripheral edema.
In left-sided congestive heart failure , when the heart contracts or pumps, instead of the left ventricle pushing the blood into the systemic circulation, some blood leaks through the mitral valve back into the left atrium and then it backs up into the lungs. Fluid then seeps into the lung tissue resulting in pulmonary edema. This causes coughing and difficulty breathing. Left-sided congestive heart failure is the most common form of congestive heart failure. The classic signs of heart failure, coughing and fluid in the chest, are most commonly caused by LS-CHF.
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Treating Congestive Heart Failure
If youre wondering if congestive heart failure is reversible, the answer is yes. Practicing mindful living can improve heart failure and lead to better heart efficiency. If youre a senior whos been diagnosed with stage A or B CHF, you will need to monitor and manage your blood pressure and cholesterol to prevent further cardiovascular damage. You wont show symptoms at stage A, so you can continue to maintain an active lifestyle. Becoming and staying physically active , quitting smoking, and lowering or discontinuing your alcohol consumption can also help slow the progress of CHF. Stage B may require you to be more proactive with routine checkups and reassessing your physical activities. You may be more limited to what you can do physically but working with your physician to find safe exercise and activity options can make your life more comfortable.
If youre in stage C or D of your CHF diagnosis, you may have to consider surgical treatments and other medical procedures. An implantable cardioverter defibrillator, coronary artery bypass surgery, and certain cardiac therapies are all treatments people have had success with in the past. Catching CHF early on means you can avoid any drastic surgeries or procedures and learn to simply live a healthier life as you age.
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 be helpful in deciding if a patient has shortness of breath from congestive heart failure or from 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.
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Is Chf Due Mainly To Heart Valve Disease
CHF is most commonly caused by valvular insufficiency. It is estimated that 80% of the canine CHF cases are caused by MVI. However, there are many other causes. Disease of the heart muscle , irregularities of rhythm, and narrowing of some of the major blood vessels can also cause CHF. Initially, MVI results in left-sided congestive heart failure. If left untreated, the heart failure may progress to involve both sides of the heart.
When To Call 911 For Heart Failure
- Chest discomfort or pain that lasts more than 15 minutes
- Severe or persistent shortness of breath
- Fainting or passing out
- A fast or irregular heartbeat, palpitations or a racing heart;that does not go away
- A need to sleep sitting up on more pillows than usual
- Frothy or pink tinged sputum when coughing
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Nitrates Apresoline Beta Blockers And Inotropes Drugs For Congestive Heart Failure
Nitrates are venous vasodilators that include isosorbide mononitrate and isosorbide dinitrate . They are commonly used in combination with an arterial vasodilator, such as hydralazine .
- Nitroglycerin is a nitrate preparation that is administered to treat acute chest pain, or angina.
Hydralazine is a smooth muscle arterial vasodilator that may be used for congestive heart failure. Clinical trial data has shown hydralazine plus nitrates to be especially effective in African-Americans with heart failure, when used in addition to ACE inhibitors or ARBs.
- Isosorbide dinitrate and hydralazine is a fixed dose combination of isosorbide dinitrate and hydralazine . This drug is indicated for heart failure in African-Americans based in part on results of the African American Heart Failure Trial .
- Hydralazine is also especially valuable in patients who have poor kidney function and/or are intolerant to ACE inhibitors and ARBs.
Beta-blockers: These drugs slow down the heart rate, lower blood pressure, and have a direct effect on the heart muscle to lessen the workload of the heart. Specific beta-blockers, such as carvedilol and long-acting metoprolol , have been shown to decrease symptoms, hospitalization due to congestive heart failure, and deaths. Other beta-blockers include bispropolol , atenolol , propranolol , and , but they are generally not used with significant congestive heart failure.
Getting the most out of congestive heart failure medications involves the following:
Here Are The Signs Of A Dog Dying Of Heart Failure
If your dog is in the final stages of their heart failure, you may be curious about the typical signs of a dog suffering in their CHF.
To help you make the best decision for your furry friend, lets list some of the signs of a dog dying from their heart failure.
- Frequent coughing
- Coughing up foam, or bloody foam
- Labored breathing
- Weakness, or inability to exercise
- Fainting episodes
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Congestive Heart Failure Treatment:
Specific treatment for CHF will be determined by you and your child’s physician based on:
- Your child’s age, overall health and medical history
- Extent, type and typical history of the disease
- Your child’s tolerance for specific medications, procedures or therapies
If heart failure is caused by a congenital heart defect or an acquired heart problem such as rheumatic heart disease, surgical repair of the problem may be necessary. Medications often are helpful in initial treatment of CHF. Eventually, medications may lose their effectiveness and many congenital heart defects will need to be repaired surgically. Medications also may be used after surgery to help the heart function during the healing period.
Medications that commonly are prescribed to treat CHF in children include the following:
- Digoxin – helps strengthen the heart muscle, enabling it to pump more efficiently
- Diuretics – help the kidneys remove excess fluid from the body
- Potassium-sparing diuretics;- ;help the body retain potassium, an important mineral that often is lost when taking diuretics
- ACE inhibitors;- dilate the blood vessels, making it easier for the heart to pump blood forward into the body
- B -blockers – help prevent the heart from working too hard to compensate and improves some of the body’s counter-productive responses to the stress of heart failure
Treatment Of Congestive Heart Failure
Cardiologists manage early-stage heart failure by treating an underlying cause, whatever that may be. For example, if the reason is a faulty heart valve, surgery to repair or replace the valve is necessary. If uncontrolled hypertension, medications cause it, and diet changes are the primary approach to treatment. Also, the doctor might prescribe medications to remove excess fluid from the body and regulate the heartbeat.
Unfortunately, final-stage heart failure is irreversible, typically. Therefore, doctors may only offer palliative care.
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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.