When To See A Doctor
If you notice that you are more tired than usual even with a good night’s sleep or you are having trouble completing your normal activities, you should visit your doctor.
Heart failure can be a slow-moving process, or it can develop as a result of an acute event like a heart attack. You should immediately go to the emergency department or call 911 if you have the following:
- New chest pain, or chest pain that lasts longer than 15 minutes and is not improved with medications or rest
- Severe chest pain, especially if it comes with sweating, nausea, weakness, or shortness of breath
- A heart rate over 120 beats per minute
- Sudden weakness or paralysis
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 Common Early Symptoms Of Heart Failure In Adults
Most of the common symptoms of heart failure are also associated with other conditions.
But if you have any symptoms that are recurrent or persistent, or if you have two or more common early signs of heart failure, its a good idea to seek medical care. A medical professional can assess your symptoms and determine if heart failure is the cause.
Common early symptoms of heart failure include:
- shortness of breath
- trouble sleeping, or sleeping on extra pillows
- waking up at night short of breath
- loss of appetite or nausea
- heart palpitations
Next, well explain a bit more about why each of these symptoms can be caused by heart failure.
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Why Its Important To Know Your Ef
If you have a heart condition, it is important for you and your doctor to know your EF. Your EF can help your doctor determine the best course of treatment for you. Measuring your EF also helps your healthcare team check how well our treatment is working.
Ask your doctor how often you should have your EF checked. In general, you should have your EF measured when you are first diagnosed with a heart condition, and as needed when your condition changes.
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.
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Heart Disease: 12 Warning Signs That Appear On Your Skin
Warning signs can appear on your skin and nails, which is why your dermatologist may be the first doctor to notice that you have heart disease. If you know what to look for, you can also find warning signs of heart disease on your skin and nails. The following pictures show you what to look for.
Swelling in your feet and lower legsWhat it may be telling you: Your heart isnt working properly.Many diseases of the heart cause fluid to build up in your feet and lower legs. As the fluid builds up, you may see swelling, which can extend as far as the upper legs and groin.Medical name: Edema
Blue or purple color on your skinWhat it may be telling you: You have a blockage in a blood vessel.When youre extremely cold, your skin can turn blue . If an area of your skin is blue when youre warm, thats can be a sign your blood isnt getting enough oxygen. The patient in this photo has a condition known as blue toe syndrome, which happens when one or more blood vessels are blocked.Without treatment, the lack of oxygen can cause the skin and underlying tissue to eventually die.Medical name: Cyanosis
Nails curve downward and the ends of your fingers are swollenWhat it may be telling you: You may have a heart infection, heart disease, or lung problem.For many people, these signs are harmless. That said, if your fingers and nails look like this, its best to find out if you may have a medical condition, such as lung disease or a heart problem.Medical name: Clubbing
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.
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How Can I Improve My Quality Of Life With Heart Failure
There are several things you can do to improve your quality of life if you have heart failure. Among them:
- Eat a healthy diet. Limit your consumption of sodium to less than 1,500 milligrams each day. Eat foods high in fiber. Limit foods high in trans fat, cholesterol, and sugar. Reduce total daily intake of calories to lose weight if necessary.
- Exercise regularly. A regular cardiovascular exercise program, prescribed by your doctor, will help improve your strength and make you feel better. It may also decrease heart failure progression.
- Don’t overdo it. Plan your activities and include rest periods during the day. Certain activities, such as pushing or pulling heavy objects and shoveling may worsen heart failure and its symptoms.
- Prevent respiratory infections. Ask your doctor about flu and pneumonia vaccines.
- Take your medications as prescribed. Do not stop taking them without first contacting your doctor.
- Get emotional or psychological support if needed. Heart failure can be difficult for your whole family. If you have questions, ask your doctor or nurse. If you need emotional support, social workers, psychologists, clergy, and heart failure support groups are a phone call away. Ask your doctor or nurse to point you in the right direction.
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 cant leave their bed or have a hard time moving their legs
- People who stand all day at work
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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.
Stages C And D With Preserved Ef
Treatment for patients with Stage C and Stage D heart failure and reserved EF includes:
- Treatments listed in Stages A and B.
- Medications for the treatment of medical conditions that can cause heart failure or make the condition worse, such as atrial fibrillation, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, coronary artery disease, chronic lung disease, high cholesterol and kidney disease.
- Diuretic to reduce or relieve symptoms.
YOU ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF YOUR TREATMENT PLAN!
It is up to you to take steps to improve your heart health. Take your medications as instructed, follow a low-sodium diet, stay active or become physically active, take notice of sudden changes in your weight, live a healthy lifestyle, keep your follow-up appointments, and track your symptoms. Talk to your healthcare team about questions or concerns you have about your medications, lifestyle changes or any other part of your treatment plan.
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Random Bouts Of Cold Sweats
Do not think that just because you sweat it means that youre going to have a heart attack. Sweating is a natural, healthy function the body goes through to cool itself down. Sweating, especially cold sweats, may be a sign of a problem with your heart when youre not doing any sort of physical activity, particularly when theres chest pain associated with it. The sweat may come from your body trying to cool down the inflammation around 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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A Cough That Wont Quit
In most cases, this isn’t a sign of heart trouble. But if you have heart disease or know you’re at risk, pay special attention to the possibility.
If you have a long-lasting cough that produces a white or pink mucus, it could be a sign of heart failure. This happens when the heart can’t keep up with the body’s demands, causing blood to leak back into the lungs.
Ask your doctor to check on whatâs causing your cough.
What Are The 4 Stages Of Heart Failure
There are four stages of heart failure;-;stage A, B, C and D -;which;range from high risk of developing heart failure to advanced heart failure.
The four;stages of heart failure are different to the four classes of heart failure symptoms also described in New York Heart Association , which illustrates the severity of symptoms, ranging from class one; to the most severe, which is class four .
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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.
What You Need To Know
- Cardiomyopathy, a name for any disease of the heart muscle, is one condition that often leads to heart failure.
- Symptoms of heart failure include shortness of breath, swelling in the legs and feet, and abdominal pain or nausea.
- Diagnosis includes tests for the existence of heart failure, followed by tests to evaluate the cause of the heart failure.
- Treatment for heart failure begins with lifestyle changes and medications. In more advanced cases, surgery may be needed.
- People can and do live with heart failure. Close self-monitoring and sticking to the doctors recommended diet, medication and exercise plans are essential to improving quality of life.
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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.
You Feel Dizzy Or Lightheaded
A lot of things can make you lose your balance or feel faint for a moment. Maybe you didnât have enough to eat or drink, or you stood up too fast.
But if you suddenly feel unsteady and you also have chest discomfort or shortness of breath, call a doctor right away.
“It could mean your blood pressure has dropped because your heart isn’t able to pump the way it should,” Bufalino says.
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Causes Of Heart Failure
Heart failure is often the result of a number of;problems affecting the heart at the same time.
Conditions that can lead to;heart failure;include:
- coronary heart disease where the arteries that supply blood to the heart become clogged up;with fatty substances , which may cause angina or a heart attack
- high blood pressure this can put extra strain on the heart, which over time can lead to heart failure
- cardiomyopathy conditions affecting;the heart muscle
- heart rhythm problems;, such as;atrial fibrillation
- damage or other problems with the heart valves
- congenital heart disease;;birth defects that affect the normal workings of the heart
Stage D And Reduced E
Patients with Stage D HF-rEF have advanced symptoms that do not get better with treatment. This is the final stage of heart failure.
Stage D treatment
The usual treatment plan for patients with Stage D heart failure includes:
- Treatments listed in Stages A, B and C.
- Evaluation for more advanced treatment options, including:
- Heart transplant.
- Research therapies.
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Nausea Indigestion Heartburn Or Stomach Pain
Some people have these symptoms during a heart attack. They may even vomit, Chambers says.
Women are more likely to report this type of symptom than men are.
Of course, you can have an upset stomach for many reasons that have nothing to do with your heart. It could just be something you ate, after all. But you need to be aware that it can also happen during a heart attack.
So if you feel this way and youâre at risk for heart problems, let a doctor find out whatâs going on, especially if you also have any of the other symptoms on this list.
Medical History And Physical Exam
Bring a list of your;symptoms;to your doctors appointment, including;how often they happen and when they started. Also, bring a list of any;prescription and over-the-counter;medicines you take.;Let;your doctor;know;if;you;have;any;risk factors;for heart;failure.;
During;your;physical exam, your doctor will:;
- Measure your heart rate, blood pressure,;and body weight.;
- Listen to your heart;with a stethoscope;for sounds that;suggest that your heart is not working properly.;
- Listen to your lungs for the sounds of fluid buildup.;
- Look for swelling in your ankles, feet, legs,;liver, and veins in your neck.;
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