Women And Heart Failure
Women are just as likely as men to develop heart failure, but there are some differences:
- Women tend to develop heart failure later in life compared with men.
- Women tend to have heart failure caused by high blood pressure and have a normal EF .
- Women may have more shortness of breath than men do. There are no differences in treatment for men and women with heart failure.
Special Situations Congestive Heart Failure
Heart Failure Exacerbations
When a patient becomes volume-overloaded and presents with an acute episode of symptomatic heart failure, the term heart failure exacerbation is used.
Determining the etiology of heart failure exacerbation is crucial in order to direct medical therapy appropriately not only to improve the current HF symptoms, but to prevent recurrence.
Every patient with heart failure presenting to the ED or hospital ward should be evaluated for the following:
Heart transplantation is considered a last resort therapy for end-stage heart failure when the above-mentioned therapies fail. Refractory heart failure patients should be referred to a HF program capable of heart transplantation especially if cardiopulmonary stress testing shows the maximal oxygen consumption, or VO2 max, is less than 10 mL/kg.
Heart transplantation can improve survival in carefully selected individuals. The surgical process itself has an approximate 5% mortality rate. Afterwards, immunosuppressant drugs including prednisone, cyclosporine and tacrolimus must be utilized in order to prevent rejection.
Heart transplantation is contraindicated in patients with severe fixed pulmonary hypertension, malignancy, any significant illness with limited survival and any illness that would be highly likely to occur in the transplanted heart. It is only a relative contraindication to be older than 70 years.
A ranking system is used to determine eligibility for transplantation:
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What Is Heart Failure
Heart failure doesnât mean the heart has stopped working. Rather, it means that the heart works less efficiently than normal. Due to various possible causes, blood moves through the heart and body at a slower rate, and pressure in the heart increases. As a result, the heart canât pump enough oxygen and nutrients to meet the body’s needs.
The chambers of the heart may respond by stretching to hold more blood to pump through the body or by becoming stiff and thickened. This helps to keep the blood moving, but the heart muscle walls may eventually weaken and become unable to pump as efficiently. The kidneys may respond by causing the body to retain fluid and salt. If fluid builds up in the arms, legs, ankles, feet, lungs, or other organs, the body becomes congested. Congestive heart failure is the term used to describe the condition.
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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What Are The Symptoms Of Heart Failure
You may not have any symptoms of heart failure, or the symptoms may be mild to severe. Symptoms can be constant or can come and go. The symptoms can include:
- Congested lungs. Fluid backup in the lungs 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. Less blood to your kidneys causes fluid and water retention, resulting in swollen ankles, legs, abdomen , and weight gain. Symptoms may cause an increased need to urinate during the night. Bloating in your stomach may cause a loss of appetite or nausea.
- Dizziness, fatigue, and weakness. 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 rapid or irregular heartbeat.
If you have heart failure, you may have one or all of these symptoms or you may have none of them. They may or may not indicate a weakened heart.
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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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.
Congestive Heart Failure Causes
Congestive heart failure stages of dying frequently develop right after other conditions have damaged or weakened your heart. However, the heart doesnt need to become weakened to cause CHF. It can also happen if the heart becomes way too stiff.
When it comes to a result of CHF, the main pumping chambers of your heart may become stiff and not fill properly between beats. In many cases of heart failure, your heart muscle tissue may become damaged and weakened, and the ventricles stretch to the point that the heart cant push blood effectively throughout your body.
Severe lung disease When the lungs dont work properly, the heart needs to work harder to get available oxygen to the entire body.
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When To Get Medical Advice
See a GP if you experience persistent or gradually worsening symptoms of heart failure.
Call 999 for an ambulance or go to your nearest A& E department as soon as possible if you have sudden or very severe symptoms.
Examples Of Congestive Heart Failure In A Sentence
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These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word ‘congestive heart failure.’ Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
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Black And Hispanic Communities And Congestive Heart Failure
Black Americans have a higher risk of congestive heart failure than white Americans, according to an article published in October 2018 in Cardiology.
A 2020 study published in JAMA Cardiology found that non-Hispanic Black Americans ages 35 to 64 had a prevalence of heart failure almost 3 times that of their white counterparts.
Know When To Seek Help
Watch for signs that heart failure is getting worse, such as new or worsening symptoms. Weight gain, ankle swelling, or increasing shortness of breath may mean that fluids are building up in your body. Ask your doctor how often you should check your weight and when to report weight changes.
Your symptoms may suddenly get worse. Ask your doctor when to make an office visit or get emergency care. Keep the following handy:
- Phone numbers for your doctor, the hospital, and someone who can take you for medical care
- Directions to the doctor’s office and hospital
- A list of all the medicines youre taking
Can The Heart Repair Itself After Congestive Heart Failure
Your pumping organ has the potential to grow new muscle and heal itself in some cases. However, the regeneration rate is so sluggish that it cant repair the damage done by myocardial infarction. Thats why, in the aftermath of myocardial infarction, scar tissue forms instead of functioning muscle tissue.
These scar tissues arent made of cardiomyocytes . Instead, they are made of fibroblasts. They have no pumping ability. Thus, your vital organ will get weaker and weaker over time. However, with the proper treatment from your doctor, this organ can sometimes become stronger.
Congestive Heart Failure Life Expectancy
Your life expectancy after receiving a diagnosis of congestive heart failure will depend upon several factors. Among them:
The current stage of progression of your heart failure
The underlying causes of your heart failure
The degree to which other organs are involved with your heart failure
The way your body responds to treatment
Although a diagnosis of congestive heart failure will probably mean major life changes and treatment for the rest of your life, it is important to keep in mind that there are things you can do to stay healthier longer and maximize the quality of your life.
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From Our Health Library At Upmccom
- Destination therapy
Bridge to transplantation
Each year, more people with end-stage heart failure are evaluated and listed for transplantation. Unfortunately, there are not enough suitable donor organs for all of the patients waiting for a heart transplant.
People who are listed for heart transplantation and are too ill to wait any longer, or are expected to have prolonged wait times, are referred for a VAD as a bridge to transplantation. The VAD allows them to recover and wait at home for an organ to become available.
Bridge to recovery
In some cases of heart failure particularly newly diagnosed CHF or heart failure after other cardiac surgery the heart may recover after a period of support on a VAD. These patients are supported temporarily as a bridge to recovery.
After implantation, the VAD is turned down and the heart is reassessed to see if its function has improved enough to allow the VAD to be removed.
Typically, people recommended for VAD as a bridge to recovery have CHF as a result of:
- Viral infection
Mayo Clinic Q And A: Congestive Heart Failure And Diet
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: My doctor told me that I have congestive heart failure and I have to change my lifestyle, including my diet. What kind of diet should I be on?
ANSWER: When patients have congestive heart failure, their heart isnt able to manage fluid well, and it builds up in the body. This fluid can cause shortness of breath, swelling in the abdomen or legs, and fatigue. If this occurs, diuretics, or water pills, often are prescribed to remove the excess fluid. Your health care provider also will recommend that you restrict your sodium, or salt, intake. Why is this important? Sodium makes your tissues act like a sponge, hanging on to water. This extra water retention, on top of the fluid retained from your heart not working properly, will make it harder for your water pill to work, and you likely will keep feeling poorly.
So, what does it mean to restrict your sodium? The American Heart Association recommends 2,000 to 3,000 milligrams of sodium per day for heart failure patients. Most Americans far exceed that recommendation.
How will you know how much sodium you are getting in your diet? First, be aware that any added salt will add up quickly. One teaspoon of table salt is over 2,000 mg of sodium. And it doesnt matter if its Himalayan salt, sea salt or kosher salt all should be avoided.
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Hawthorne Berry For Congestive Heart Failure
If your response to CoQ10 is insufficient, the next step is to add hawthorn berry , a congestive heart failure treatment Ive used extensively, particularly in patients sensitive to digoxin.
According to clinical research, hawthorn berry can increase the action of digoxin, making it possible to decrease the dose of digoxin, thereby avoiding or lessening digoxin-related side effects.In fact, some patients with mild congestive heart failure get significant relief with hawthorn berry alone, an effect supported by double-blind studies in Europe. The German government recognizes hawthorn berries as an approved heart medicine.How does hawthorn work? It is believed to improve the hearts ability to metabolize energy and utilize oxygen, and the berrys extracts contain flavonoids that increase the heart muscles force of contraction.
Hawthorn berries also normalize irregular heartbeats, help lower blood pressure and enhance circulation by dilating the arteries.Aim for 5001500 mg daily or take as a tincture in water three times daily. For prevention, I recommend drinking hawthorn berry tea, which you can make by pouring boiling water over a cup of berries and letting them steep for 15 minutes.
Get Support And Know Your Options
Living with heart failure may cause fear, anxiety, depression, and stress. Talk to your healthcare team or a professional counselor. They can help you find or learn ways to cope.
- Get treatment for depression. If you are depressed, your doctor may recommend medicines or other treatments that can improve your quality of life.
- Join a patient support group. You can learn how other people who have similar symptoms have coped with them. Your doctor may be able to help you find local support groups, or you can check with an area medical center.
- Seek support from family and friends. Letting your loved ones know how you feel and what they can do to help can help lower your stress and anxiety.
- Know your treatment options. If your heart failure is very serious, palliative or hospice care can improve your quality of life and help make your daily life more comfortable. This type of care focuses on managing your symptoms, helping you avoid unnecessary tests or treatments, and providing support to your loved ones.
Congestive Heart Failure Drugs
There are several medications that can be used to treat CHF, including ACE inhibitors, beta-blockers, and more.
Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors open up narrowed blood vessels to improve blood flow. Vasodilators are another option if you cant tolerate ACE inhibitors.
You may be prescribed one of the following:
ACE inhibitors shouldnt be taken with the following medications without consulting a doctor, because they may cause an adverse reaction:
- Potassium-sparing diuretics and potassium supplements. These diuretics can cause potassium buildup in the blood, which may lead to abnormal heart rhythms. Examples include: riamterene , eplerenone , and spironolactone .
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs .NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen, can cause sodium and water retention. This may reduce the ACE inhibitors effect on your blood pressure.
This is an abbreviated list, so always speak with your doctor before taking any new medications.
Beta-blockers decrease the work the heart has to do and can reduce blood pressure and slow a rapid heart rhythm.
This may be achieved with:
Beta-blockers should be taken with caution with the following medications, as they may cause an adverse reaction:
Some medications may not be listed here. You should always consult your doctor before taking any new medications.
Your doctor may recommend:
When Should I Call An Ambulance
If you have any of the symptoms below, call triple zero immediately and ask for an ambulance. If calling triple zero does not work on your mobile phone, try calling 112.
- chest pain thats severe or worsening, or has lasted longer than 10 minutes
- chest pain that feels heavy, crushing or tight
- other symptoms, such as breathlessness, nausea, dizziness or a cold sweat
- pain in your jaw or down your left arm
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.
Sleep Apnea And Heart Failure
Sleep apnea is a common but potentially serious sleep disorder that affects an estimated 30 million people in the United States, according to an article published in August 2016 in the Journal of Sleep Medicine.
People who have sleep apnea experience interruptions in breathing that can last 10 seconds or more and occur repeatedly throughout the night, as many as 30 times or more in the span of an hour.
This chronic disruption of the normal sleep cycle can leave individuals with the condition feeling exhausted and sleepy during the day, and will put them at increased risk for health problems associated with inadequate sleep, including irritability, problems with memory or concentration, anxiety, and depression.
Sleep apnea is commonly found in people with heart failure.
Heart failure can cause retention of sodium and water, and doctors suspect that the excess fluid may enter the lungs at night and lead to obstructive apnea. Heart failure also seems to be linked to problems with the respiratory control system, which may be a cause of central sleep apnea, notes the Mayo Clinic.
This is the leading heart disease organization in the United States. Their online resources on heart failure offer clear explanations of the condition for both patients and family members, as well as links to many other tools and resources. You can also find information on your local AHA office and learn about volunteer opportunities.
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