Angiotensin Ii Receptor Blockers
These drugs work similarly to ACE inhibitors, but dry cough side effects are less severe.
Drugs in this class include Diovan and Cozaar . Like ACE inhibitors, these drugs may damage kidneys so tests for kidney functions are recommended. Common side effects include dizziness, changes in kidney function and increased potassium levels.
How Can I Prevent Heart Failure
You can prevent heart failure by preventing coronary heart disease and heart attack. The best way to do this is to reduce or eliminate the risk factors that lead to heart failure. You could:
If you have had a heart attack, its even more important to manage your risk factors and follow your treatment plan. Make sure you check in frequently with your healthcare team.
Some risk factors such as your age, whether you have other health conditions, or your genes may be outside your control. Speak with your doctor if you have concerns about developing heart failure, and how you can manage it.
Make The Most Of Doctors Appointments
Most patients have a lot of visits to different doctors. To get the most out of appointments, bring a notebook. One of the most important aspects of managing congestive heart failure is keeping track of symptoms, medication side effects, and other concerns. Writing down this information in a notebook will help you and the person in your care stay on top of any changes in their condition.
Other tips to get the most out of appointments include:
- Prepare a list of questions before each visit. Leave spaces for the answers.
- Take notes during the appointment. If either of you doesnt understand something, dont be afraid to ask for an explanation.
- If the person youre caring for isnt following treatment or lifestyle recommendations, make sure the doctor knows it. Trying to protect them isnt in their best interest.
- Do your best to understand all the doctors instructions before you leave, but dont hesitate to call the office if you have questions later.
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Teamwork Exercise And Diet
Treatment of CHF may be the best example in medicine where optimal outcomes are achieved by the patient and physician working together.
The patients role in this partnership is crucial. Heres what patients can do to feel better and make sure their treatment is as effective as possible:
- The single most critical thing is to avoid dietary salt . Sodium consumption directly relates to fluid retention, which can tax a weakened heart.
- Weigh themselves daily to monitor their fluid status and weight, and report changes as soon as possible to their care team.
- Take medications as directed and see their doctor for regular checkups to stay on top of the disease.
- Get cardiac rehabilitation early and exercise regularly thereafter. Exercise has clearly been shown to decrease symptoms, optimize physical conditioning around an imperfect heart and prolong life.
- Lose weight, maintain an optimal weight and maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle. All are critically important to long-term symptom relief and survival.
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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Congestive Heart Failure: Prevention Treatment And Research
Congestive heart failure is a serious condition in which the heart doesnt pump blood as efficiently as it should. Despite its name, heart failure doesnt mean that the heart has literally failed or is about to stop working. Rather, it means that the heart muscle has become less able to contract over time or has a mechanical problem that limits its ability to fill with blood. As a result, it cant keep up with the bodys demand, and blood returns to the heart faster than it can be pumped outit becomes congested, or backed up. This pumping problem means that not enough oxygen-rich blood can get to the bodys other organs.
The body tries to compensate in different ways. The heart beats faster to take less time for refilling after it contractsbut over the long run, less blood circulates, and the extra effort can cause heart palpitations. The heart also enlarges a bit to make room for the blood. The lungs fill with fluid, causing shortness of breath. The kidneys, when they dont receive enough blood, begin to retain water and sodium, which can lead to kidney failure. With or without treatment, heart failure is often and typically progressive, meaning it gradually gets worse.
More than 5 million people in the United States have congestive heart failure. Its the most common diagnosis in hospitalized patients over age 65. One in nine deaths has heart failure as a contributing cause.
Can Congestive Heart Failure Be Corrected
Unfortunately, it is not possible to completely reverse congestive heart failure. Surgery is generally not a viable option, and your dogs vet will likely recommend ways to treat the symptoms only, which will give your dog some relief. Some of these treatments may also slow the progression of congestive heart failure, possibly extending your dogs life.
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How The Normal Heart Works
The normal healthy heart is a strong, muscular pump a little larger than a fist. It pumps blood continuously through the circulatory system.
The heart has four chambers, two on the right and two on the left:
- Two upper chambers called atria
- Two lower chambers called ventricles
The right atrium takes in oxygen-depleted blood from the rest of the body and sends it through the right ventricle where the blood becomes oxygenated in the lungs.
Oxygen-rich blood travels from the lungs to the left atrium, then on to the left ventricle, which pumps it to the rest of the body.
The heart pumps blood to the lungs and to all the bodys tissues through a sequence of highly organized contractions of the four chambers. For the heart to function properly, the four chambers must beat in an organized way.
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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Eat A Heart Healthy Diet
This means focusing on:
- High-fiber whole grains, such as oatmeal and barley
- Low to moderate consumption of red wine
Limit saturated fat, trans fats, sodium, fatty cuts of red meat and other proteins, and soda, baked goods, and other foods and beverages with large amounts of added refined sugar. The Mediterranean diet is based on these principles and has been associated with cardiovascular health.
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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How To Keep Heart Failure From Worsening
To keep heart failure from worsening, a patient must make major changes in their life: Theyll need to eat differently, remember to take their medications, keep as active as possible, and reduce stress. Some of these changes might require breaking habits acquired over many years. As a caregiver, you can help your loved one maximize their quality and length of life. Below are some ways to help.
Keep alert for worsening symptoms. Call the doctor immediately if you observe any of the following:
- Sudden weight gain
- Increased swelling in the legs or ankles
- Shortness of breath while at rest
- A dry, hacking cough or wheezing
- Dizzy or fainting spells
- Increased fatigue or feeling unwell all the time
- Abdominal pain or swelling
How Is Chf Diagnosed
After reporting your symptoms to your doctor, they may refer you to a heart specialist, or cardiologist.
The cardiologist will perform a physical exam, which will involve listening to your heart with a stethoscope to detect abnormal heart rhythms.
To confirm an initial diagnosis, a cardiologist might order certain diagnostic tests to examine your hearts valves, blood vessels, and chambers.
There are a variety of tests used to diagnose heart conditions. Because these tests measure different things, your doctor may recommend a few to get a full picture of your current condition.
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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.
Causes Of A Weakening Heart
Despite the ominous-sounding name, congestive heart failure doesnt mean sudden death or that the heart suddenly stops working. CHF can be a gradual disease. As the heart muscle weakens, the heart has to work harder to adequately meet the demands of the body.
The heart generally weakens in response to:
- An injury such as a heart attack
- Abnormal heart values
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Diuretics And Vasodilator Drugs For Congestive Heart Failure
Medications help control both the underlying causes of heart failure and the symptoms. Medications are the most critical part of therapy for heart failure. Usually, several types of medications are required to address as many of the physiologic imbalances as possible.
People with heart failure usually take several different medications that work in different ways to lessen heart failure symptoms, to prevent worsening of the underlying disease, and to prolong life.
Diuretics : The buildup of fluid is usually treated with a diuretic.
Vasodilators: These medications enlarge the small arteries or arterioles, which relieve the systolic workload of the left ventricle. Therefore, the heart has to work less to pump blood through the arteries. This also generally lowers blood pressure. Just as importantly, they reduce the levels of certain deleterious hormones and signals that can worsen heart failure.
What Makes Yale Medicines Approach To Treating Congestive Heart Failure Unique
We have a very patient-focused team at Yale Medicine, says Dr. Jacoby. Every person seen here, we treat as an individual, rather than offering a simple cookie-cutter treatment plan.
Yale Medicines multidisciplinary team comprises of heart failure cardiologists and cardiac surgeons, dedicated advanced-practice, registered nurses and nurse coordinators, dietitians, exercise physiologists, financial counselors, immunologists specializing in transplants, psychologists, and specialists in palliative care.
In our multidisciplinary approach, we include the patients desires as well as input from the family, Dr. Jacoby says. We develop a plan for social work support and take into account all of their financial and emotional stresses in addition to their physical treatment needs.
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Best Exercises For Congestive Heart Failure
Heart failure refers to a situation where your heart functions abnormally and fails to pump the required blood necessary for the body. Due to lack of flow of blood and oxygen to several tissues and organs, performing different routine activities become difficult. However, with simple lifestyle changes, it is possible to turn the severe condition of heart failure into a success story.
What You Can Do
Although some risk factors of heart failure, like age, cant be modified, people with CHF can take actions to improve their long-term prognosis. The first step is to become familiar with any family history of heart disease and learn about all the possible symptoms. Don’t ignore suspicious symptoms: let your doctor know about them. Regular exercise and managing concurrent conditions can also help keep CHF under control.
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Things You Should Do To Manage Chf Symptoms
There are many dogs that live long lives with CHF and other congenital heart disease. Successful living with heart disease is much like it is with humans, it takes care, medications, quality nutrition and exercise. Below is a list of 10 things you should do to manage symptoms of congestive heart failure in dogs to ensure your pet lives a quality life.
If coughing becomes severe, contact your veterinarian. If already diagnosed with CHF and on furosemide, your vet may recommend an additional dose to alleviate any extra accumulation of fluids. Watch your dog carefully, time coughing and take notes for next visit.
2. Difficulty Breathing
With CHF, difficulty breathing indicates fluid build-up in the lungs. Your vet may prescribe additional diuretics like furosemide. If the difficulty breathing worsens call your veterinarian immediately.
3. Difficulty Sleeping
Dogs may try to sleep on their chest instead of their sides. You may observe your dog trying to sleep quietly sitting up. This is due to the fluid build-up in the lungs when your dog lies on its side making it uncomfortable. Its a sign to get a check-up.
Dogs with CHF should be allowed the amount of exercise they want to enjoy life. If they become tired or weak, its best to take a break. Pushing your dog beyond its limits can cause irregular heartbeats .
5. Expensive Medications
7. Loss of Appetite
8. Medication Side Effects
9. Urinary Accidents
What Are The Treatment Options For Canine Congestive Heart Failure
The main goal of CHF treatments is to reduce fluid around the heart so it can function more efficiently, pumping blood to the lungs and other organs. The secondary goal of CHF treatments is to reduce symptoms for your pet so they are more comfortable. The most common CHF treatments include:
ACE inhibitors are drugs which dilate blood vessels so blood can pass more easily, which means the heart doesnt need to work so hard to do its job properly. They are a very common treatment for CHF, and they are often used in conjunction with other treatment options.
Diuretics are often used alongside other treatments to help remove some of the fluid build up with congestive heart failure.
Digoxin helps the heart contract and is commonly used for CHF.
Calcium Channel Blockers
Calcium channel blockers help relax heart muscles and maintain a steady heart rhythm with fewer disturbances. They may also be used to slow the heart rate.
Beta-blockers are used to slow the heart rate, reduce the demand for oxygen, and maintain a normal heart rhythm.
Your dogs vet may prescribe any combination of the above medications to help manage your dogs CHF symptoms and slow the progression of the disease.
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