Approximately 6 million adults in the United States suffer from heart failure. If this statistic includes you, the following information may be helpful.
Heart Failure occurs when Lungs get filled up with fluid resulting in Shortness of breath. This can occur because the Heart Muscle is weak (SYSTOLIC HEART FAILURE) or the heart muscle is stiff/ does not relax well (DIASTOLIC HEART FAILURE).
If you have heart failure you might experience the following signs and symptoms associated with the disease:
If you suspect you’re having a heart attack due to chest pain, shortness of breath, severe weakness, or fainting, call 911.
This requires a good history, Physical Examination, a Chest X-ray and EKG. Other ancillary work up that helps determine the cause and lay out a plan for management may include the Blood test, Echocardiogram, stress test, Coronary angiogram, etc.
Heart failure treatment plan is personalized for every patient depending on many factors including the cause, status of Kidney function, presence of High Blood Pressure, Heart Valve malfunction, presence of Coronary artery disease, heart rhythm problems, Heart muscle weakness due to many different causes, etc.
Lifestyle changes can decrease the burden of your heart, reduce symptoms, and increase your life expectancy and quality of life. Quit smoking, maintain a healthy body weight, eat a nutritious diet, reduce dietary sodium, stay active, reduce stress, and limit or avoid alcohol.
Taking Medications religiously is the cornerstone of the management and keeps the patients out of the hospital. Medications can prevent progression of disease and in some cases marked improvement in heart function. Knowing your medications well is the key to self-management.
Certain patients may benefit from heart procedures that may include Coronary Stents, Bypass surgery, Valve replacement or valve repair. Some may require treatment of rhythm problems with Ablation of the electrical system of the heart. Implantation of Defibrillator is indicated in certain patients to prevent sudden Cardiac death. It also functions as a pacemaker. Heart Transplant is also an option for selected patients.
The earlier you seek treatment for heart failure, the better your prognosis. MVHI is here to help. Call us if you are known to have Heart failure or have symptoms / signs suggestive of Heart Failure.