Friday, August 12, 2022

Whats Congestive Heart Failure

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An Osmosis Video: Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) Explained

The term heart failure makes it sound like the heart is no longer working at all and theres nothing that can be done. Actually, heart failure means that the heart isnt pumping as well as it should be. Congestive heart failure is a type of heart failure that requires seeking timely medical attention, although sometimes the two terms are used interchangeably.

Your body depends on the hearts pumping action to deliver oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood to the bodys cells. When the cells are nourished properly, the body can function normally.With heart failure, the weakened heart cant supply the cells with enough blood. This results in fatigue and shortness of breath and some people have coughing. Everyday activities such as walking, climbing stairs or carrying groceries can become very difficult.

Heart failure is a term used to describe a heart that cannot keep up with its workload. The body may not get the oxygen it needs.

Heart failure is a serious condition, and usually theres no cure. But many people with heart failure lead a full, enjoyable life when the condition is managed with heart failure medications and healthy lifestyle changes. Its also helpful to have the support of family and friends who understand your condition.

When Should I See My Healthcare Provider

Your healthcare provider will set up a schedule of visits after your procedure, especially within the first three months. Those visits are critical to making sure you are recovering and arent experiencing any complications or problems related to your new heart.

Your provider will also tell you what signs and symptoms to watch for that mean you need emergency medical attention. Most commonly, the signs and symptoms involve the rejection of your new heart or infections. These symptoms include:

  • Fever.
  • Drainage or oozing from the incision in your chest.
  • Redness or warmth around the incision.
  • If your breastbone moves, shifts or causes any kind of cracking or popping sound/feeling when you move.

Your healthcare provider will also recommend and help you do the following:

  • Make sure you get preventive dental care .
  • Stay current on all your vaccinations .
  • Get routine health screenings as needed .

A note from Cleveland Clinic

How Common Are These Procedures How Often Are These Procedures Performed

Heart transplants overall are uncommon. In 2020, there were just under 8,200 transplants worldwide. The overwhelming majority of those were in the United States. Other countries with the highest numbers of transplants were Germany, France and Spain.

Heart transplants are uncommon for two reasons:

  • Donor heart shortage. Transplanting a heart requires a donor, and donors are in short supply. Part of the reason it’s hard to find a donor is because the donor and recipient must be a “match.” Without this matching, the recipient’s immune system is more likely to reject the donor’s heart.
  • Transplant complexity. Heart transplants are very complicated surgeries, and there are fewer than 150 hospitals in the U.S. that perform them.

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Causes Of Heart Failure And Congestive Heart Failure

Heart failure and CHF are typically caused by other conditions that damage the heart. Some of these conditions are:

When the heart is weakened, it has difficulty pumping blood forward, so blood and fluid back up into the lungs. Fluid in the lungs can cause shortness of breath, a common symptom of congestive heart failure.

If the heart is having serious difficulty with pumping, then you might experience edemaa buildup of blood fluid in the feet, ankles, and legs.

What Are The Complications Of Heart Failure

Congestive Heart Failure (CHF): Symptoms, Stages, Life Expectancy ...

Some of the complications from heart failure include:

  • Irregular heartbeat.
  • History of taking drugs that can damage your heart muscle, such as some cancer drugs.

Stage B

Stage B is considered pre-heart failure. It means your healthcare provider has given you a diagnosis of systolic left ventricular dysfunction but youve never had symptoms of heart failure. Most people with Stage B heart failure have an echocardiogram that shows an ejection fraction of 40% or less. This category includes people who have heart failure and reduced EF due to any cause.

Stage C

People with Stage C heart failure have a heart failure diagnosis and currently have or previously had signs and symptoms of the condition.

There are many possible symptoms of heart failure. The most common are:

  • Shortness of breath.
  • Need to urinate while resting at night.
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeats .
  • A dry, hacking cough.
  • A full or hard stomach, loss of appetite or upset stomach .

There may be times that your symptoms are mild or you may not have any symptoms at all. This doesn’t mean you no longer have heart failure. Symptoms of heart failure can range from mild to severe and may come and go.

Unfortunately, heart failure usually gets worse over time. As it worsens, you may have more or different signs or symptoms.Its important to let your doctor know if you have new symptoms or if your symptoms get worse.

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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 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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Stages Of Heart Failure

In 2001, the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology described the “Stages of Heart Failure.” These stages, which were updated in 2005, will help you understand that heart failure is often a progressive condition and can worsen over time. They will also help you understand why a new medication was added to your treatment plan and may help you understand why lifestyle changes and other treatments are needed.

The stages classified by the AHA and ACC are different than the New York Heart Association clinical classifications of heart failure that rank patients as class I-II-III-IV, according to the degree of symptoms or functional limits. Ask your doctor what stage of heart failure you are in.

Check the table below to see if your therapy matches what the AHA and ACC recommend. Note that you cannot go backward in stage, only forward.

The table below outlines a basic plan of care that may or may not apply to you, based on the cause of your heart failure and your special needs. Ask your doctor to explain therapies that are listed if you do not understand why you are or are not receiving them.

The New York Heart Association clinical classifications of heart failure rank people as class I-II-III-IV, according to the degree of symptoms or functional limits. You can ask your doctor if you want to know what stage of heart failure youâre in.

Prevention Of Congestive Heart Failure

What is congestive heart failure?

The best way to prevent heart failure is to control your risk factors. The good news is that you can reduce or eliminate many of the risk factors that lead to heart disease, such as high blood pressure. Lifestyle changes and adhering to any medication your doctor prescribes can go a long way in preventing heart failure.

Read Also: How Does Exercise Prevent Heart Disease

Our Favorite Apps And Gadgets

This app can help you to keep track of your liquid intake to avoid excess fluid buildup, which can lead to complications. You can also track your weight, since sudden increases in weight can be due to water retention. Another great thing about this app is that it alerts you if your blood pressure or weight gets high enough that you should tell your doctor. It also allows you to send reports on your fluid intake and weight to your healthcare provider.

This app, developed in partnership with the Heart Failure Society of America, is your one-stop shop for recording symptoms, vital signs, and medications to help you manage congestive heart failure. You can also track your information and keep a journal to maintain wellness and emotional health.

Factors That Can Worsen Symptoms Of Heart Failure

The symptoms of heart failure can be worsened by a number of factors, including:

  • anaemia
  • too much salt, fluid, or alcohol in the diet
  • pregnancy
  • some viral and bacterial infections
  • kidney diseases

Treatment for heart failure may include:

  • medicines, such as
  • diuretics to remove excess fluid and improve symptoms of heart failure
  • mineralcortiocoid receptor antagonists are also recommended and used in most patients with heart failure to reduce mortality and hospitalisation
  • ACE inhibitors to open up blood vessels, reduce blood pressure and reduce sodium retention and water retention
  • certain beta-blockers to slow the heart rate and reduce its work
  • aldosterone blockers to reduce blood pressure and reduce the effects of damage to the heart muscle
  • ACE inhibitors, beta blockers and aldosterone blockers can increase survival and reduce the likelihood of hospitalisation.
  • addressing the underlying disorder for example, treatment of high blood pressure
  • lifestyle changes such as regular gentle physical activity, losing excess body fat, stopping smoking, adhering to healthy eating patterns with low salt, restricting alcohol and having adequate rest
  • surgery to replace narrowed or leaking heart valves
  • coronary bypass surgery in some cases
  • heart transplant in extreme cases.
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    How Do I Prepare For A Chest X

    Chest X-rays require little to no preparation. When you get ready for the appointment, wear loose, comfortable clothing that does not contain metal and leave jewelry at home.

    If you have body piercings, ask your X-ray center for specific instructions. Body jewelry can interfere with clear images. You may need to remove it or replace it with an acrylic retainer.

    What Are The Most Common Symptoms Of Congestive Heart Failure

    12 Signs of Congestive Heart Failure People Often Miss

    Swelling is the most common symptom of congestive heart failure. Often, swelling is most apparent in the extremities, especially in the legs and ankles, but it can occur in other parts of the body as well. Fluid collection in and around the lungs can cause shortness of breath , especially during physical activity or when lying down. Other common symptoms of heart failure include fatigue, loss of appetite, and weight gain.

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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.

    A number of tests can be used to help check how well your heart is working, including blood tests, an ECG and an echocardiogram.

    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.

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    Other Causes Of Heart Failure

    Pulmonary hypertension and heart failure

    Heart failure can be caused by pulmonary hypertension . This condition can damage the right side of your heart, leading to heart failure. In some cases, the pulmonary hypertension itself is caused by an existing heart condition.

    Amyloidosis

    Amyloidosis happens when abnormal proteins, called amyloid, build up in organs and tissues. This affects how your organs work. If amyloidosis affects the heart it’s called cardiac amyloidosis or stiff heart syndrome and can lead to heart failure.

    Risk Factors For Heart Failure

    Congestive Heart Failure: What Is It?

    Health conditions that left unrecognized or untreated will increase the lifetime risk of developing heart failure. Some of these diseases include:

    • Coronary heart disease and heart attacks
    • High blood pressure
    • Diabetes
    • Obesity

    Unhealthy behaviors can also increase your risk for heart failure, especially for people who have one of the diseases listed above. Unhealthy behaviors include:

    • Smoking or using tobacco
    • Use of illegal drugs, like methamphetamines or even excessive alcohol intake
    • Eating foods high in fat, cholesterol, and sodium
    • Not getting enough physical activity

    Read Also: How Do Beta Blockers Prevent Heart Attacks

    Can Dogs Have Congestive Heart Failure

    Congenital Heart Disease in Dogs Heart disease may lead to congestive heart failure. That’s when your dog’s heart has trouble pumping blood to the rest of its body. Heart disease can affect one side of the heart or sometimes both sides. It can progress slowly and may take years to spot.

    Video answer: How to pick up a dog after surgery or with chf

    10 other answers

    A dog with congestive heart failure may cough, have trouble breathing, experience fatigue, loss of appetite, or might die suddenly.. Depending on the underlying cause, treatment can help reverse congestive heart failure, and medications are available to help relieve its symptoms.

    They can recover from the symptoms of CHF and live many years. The heart failure is managed and not cured but many dogs do well with good veterinary monitoring and medications such as the oneyour dog is taking. Let me know if you ahve more questions, Dr. Debbie

    How Long Can a Dog Live With Congestive Heart Failure? It is possible for dogs with CHF to carry on living comfortably for some time, from a few months to several years. The length of time depends on a number of factors, such as the stage the dog is in when diagnosed and how it gets treated. There are no guarantees, of course.

    Dogs that have congestive heart failure and are diagnosed with one of these congenital heart defects veterinarians will suggest that they be spayed or neutered to prevent spreading the …

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    What Diet Plans Lifestyle Changes And Management Tips Help Treat Congestive Heart Failure Naturally

    Lifestyle changes recommended by your doctor or other health care professional can help relieve symptoms, slow the progression of heart failure, and improve one’s quality of life. Lifestyle changes that may be helpful in preventing or relieving heart failure include those recommended by the American Heart Association and other organizations as part of a heart-healthy lifestyle.

    • Once diagnosed and under the care of a qualified medical professional, patients can and should do several things at home to increase their comfort and reduce the chance of the condition getting worse.
    • In fact, the more active role patients take in managing heart failure, the more likely they are to do well.
    • Making the lifestyle changes described here will make a real difference. Not only will patients feel better, but they will increase their chances of a longer, healthier life.

    Treat swelling with the following measures:

    • Elevate the feet and legs if they are swollen.
    • Eat a reduced-salt diet.
    • Weigh in every morning before breakfast and record it in a diary that can be shown to a health care provider.

    Avoid the following:

    • Alcohol
    • Excessive emotional stress and/or depression
    • High altitude
    • Herbal or other complementary medicine without first consulting a doctor to see if they are safe

    Patients with congestive heart failure should know the following information that may apply to their disease:

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