What Can You Expect From Heart Failure Treatment
Heart failure treatment is designed to dramatically reduce or halt your symptoms and hopefully prevent potential complications like kidney or liver damage, Dr. Wong says.
There are lots of medications that can be used to treat heart failure. In the early stages, the basic gist is that certain drugs can help to relax blood vessels, lower blood pressure, improve blood flow, and decrease the strain on your heart. Others can help you release extra fluid to keep it from building up in your body. If you progress to more advanced heart failure stages, there are medications that can help strengthen your heart muscle contractions to pump blood more effectively, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Youll likely be encouraged to make some lifestyle changes as well. According to the AHA, that can include things like quitting smoking if you use tobacco, avoiding alcohol, limiting your sodium intake or making other dietary changes, exercising regularly, prioritizing sleep, reducing stress, monitoring your blood pressure, and more.
Your doctor may also recommend certain surgeries or medical procedures if needed in more severe cases, which can include options like coronary bypass surgery, heart valve repair or replacement, a heart transplant, among others, depending on the specific cause of your heart failure.4
Indigestion Nausea And Vomiting
Often people begin experiencing mild indigestion and other gastrointestinal problems before a heart attack. Because heart attacks usually occur in older people who typically have more indigestion problems, these symptoms can get dismissed as heartburn or another food-related complication.
If you normally have an iron stomach, indigestion or heartburn could be a signal that something else is going on.
How Is Heart Failure Diagnosed
First, your doctor will go through your medical history to identify any potential heart failure risk factors. Then, theyll do a physical exam to listen to your lungs for signs of fluid build-up and your heart for specific noises that can be indicative of heart failure.
After that, there are a slew of potential tests your doctor may recommend if they suspect you have heart failure symptoms, according to the Mayo Clinic:
- Blood tests to look for signs of diseases that can impact your heart.
- Chest X-ray to visualize the condition of your lungs and heart.
- Electrocardiogram to record electrical signals in your heart and determine the timing and length of your heartbeats.
- Echocardiogram to produce images of your heart in motion, along with how well your heart is pumping, via sound waves.
- Stress test to measure the health of your heart during physical activity.
- Cardiac computerized tomography scan to collect images of your heart and chest.
- Magnetic resonance imaging to create images of your heart via radio waves and a magnetic field.
- Coronary angiogram, where a catheter is inserted into a blood vessel and guided to your hearts arteries to help your doctor search for blood flow blockages.
- Myocardial biopsy, where a small, flexible cord is inserted into a vein in your neck or groin in order to remove very small pieces of your heart muscle to be analyzed.
Also Check: B Complex For Adrenal Fatigue
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
Read Also: Can Tylenol Cause Heart Palpitations
Your Body Gets Tired When You Do A Lot Of Work And This Is A Healthy Response That Asks You To Take Rest But Do You Know When Should You Be Worried About Fatigue Read Below Call Us For More Information
Whether you have a newborn, are burning the candle at both ends, or have been up all night, some fatigue is entirely normal. However, if you have constant fatigue that interferes with your day-to-day tasks even with a full night of sleep, there is likely something more serious underlying your heavy eyelids that may concern the health of your heart. At Sterling Heart Care, our doctors and medical professionals provide excellent treatment for any heart-related fatigue disorder!
Recommended Reading: What Can Cause Extreme Tiredness And Fatigue
What Are The Types Of Heart Failure
There are many causes of heart failure, but the condition is generally broken down into two types:
Heart failure with reduced left ventricular function The lower left chamber of the heart gets bigger and cannot squeeze hard enough to pump the right amount of oxygen-rich blood to the rest of the body.
Heart failure with preserved left ventricular function The heart contracts and pumps normally, but the bottom chambers of the heart are thicker and stiffer than normal. Because of this, the ventricles cant relax properly and fill up all the way. Because theres less blood in the ventricles, less blood is pumped out to the rest of the body when the heart contracts.
Sign 3# Your Legs Swell Up
When your heart is weak, the circulation of blood to the peripheries of the body is reduced.
Fluid begins to leak out and collects under the skin. This is commonly seen the legs. This is because the fluid is dragged to the bottom by gravity.
Swelling in the legs is called pedal edema. It is usually seen in both legs.
Those who have leg swelling may find that the swelling is absent or minimal in the morning and worse in the evening.
Leg swelling can be treated with diuretics. These tablets push the kidneys to expel more water from the body.
Recommended Reading: Plus Size Army Fatigue Joggers
What Is The Outlook For Heart Failure Patients
Very good, particularly now compared to prior generations, says Dr. Jacoby. We have medicines and treatments that reverse many cases of heart failure, and in most cases, the outlook is generally very good.
In cases where reversal of damage to the heart and affected areas is not possible, Dr. Jacoby says that the Yale Medicine team follows the patient closely and works to optimize quality of life while treating him or her.
When You’re Tired Of Being Tired
If fatigue is affecting your quality of life, its time to talk to your doctor. Tracking your daily sleep and activity levels can help you present him or her with a better overall picture of your condition, especially if your symptoms are vague. If you don’t have a fitness or smartwatch, consider downloading a phone app like Sharecare, available for iOS and Android.
Medical City Healthcare provides comprehensive emergency services across North Texas.
At Medical City Healthcare, we’re dedicated to the care and improvement of human life. So, we hope you’ll Take Care!
For more information, call our Ask a Nurse hotline 24/7 or use Find a Doctor online.
You can also get care for minor injuries or illness at CareNow Urgent Care or visit Medical City Virtual Care for non-emergency medical treatment from your computer or smartphone.
Also Check: High Blood Pressure Joint Pain Fatigue
Prevention Is The Best Medicine
Keeping heart-failure patients functioning and out of the hospital is a challenge. Thats why preventing heart failure is wiser.
Heart attack, high blood pressure and diabetes are major causes of heart failure, and they are largely preventable. Thats why its important to do everything you can to control these risk factors and prevent a heart attack, says Dr. Taylor.
This article originally appeared in Cleveland Clinic Heart Advisor.
Heart Failure Early Signs And Symptoms
- Heart failure is a condition whereby the heart muscle is unable to adequately pump blood throughout the body.
- There are a variety of illnesses and diseases that affect the heart’s pumping capability.
- Heart failure causes signs and symptoms due to the excess accumulation of fluid within the tissues of the body.
- When the heart muscle becomes weak and cannot adequately pump blood into the arteries, blood “backs up,” and pressure in the blood vessels causes water to leak out of blood vessels into the tissues of the body, which may cause heart failure.
Also Check: Natural Remedies For Brain Fog And Fatigue
How Is Heart Failure Treated
The goal of heart failure treatment is to improve quality of life by addressing the underlying causes, reducing symptoms and managing overall health. Education plays a crucial role. Patients and their families who learn to recognize and respond to small changes, such as swelling or weight gain, can help slow the progression of heart failure.
These medications have been shown to prolong life in heart failure patients:
angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors: This medication decreases the pressure inside the blood vessels and reduces the resistance against which the heart pumps.
angiotensin receptor blockers : This is an alternative medication for reducing the workload on the heart if ACE inhibitors are not tolerated. An ACE inhibitor or ARB blocker will often be recommended, but not both.
beta blockers: These reduce the heart’s tendency to beat faster and reduce its workload by blocking specific receptors on heart cells.
aldosterone blockers: This medication blocks the effects of the hormone aldosterone, which causes sodium and water retention.
angiotensin receptor-neprilysin inhibitors : This is a relatively new class of medication that for some people has been shown to be a better alternative than ACE inhibitors or ARB blockers.
These medications have been shown to reduce symptoms:
diuretics: These reduce the amount of fluid in the body.
vasodilators: These dilate the blood vessels and reduce workload on the heart.
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.
Also Check: Anti Fatigue Mats For Hospitals
Reason : When + What You Eat Matters
Its no secret that heart failure can steal your appetite. The food choices you make, as well as your eating habits, can affect your energy level and quality of life.
Here, preventive cardiology dietitian , offers 8 tips for adopting a heart-healthy diet:
This article was adapted from Cleveland Clinic Heart Advisor.
What Is An Abnormal Amount Of Fatigue
While even a week of feeling drained is typical at times, fatigue that lasts longer than a week or two without improvement or explanation is a sign of an underlying health issue. If you frequently wake up feeling exhausted after sleeping soundly through the night, have difficulty completing simple tasks, or unintentionally fall asleep throughout the day regularly, it is highly likely that you are experiencing an abnormal amount of fatigue, for which you should speak to a doctor about treatment.
Also Check: Does Adrenal Fatigue Cause Hair Loss
After You Call Emergency Services
When you call emergency services, the dispatcher may ask you about the medicines you take and your allergies. If you dont currently take a blood thinner and you arent allergic to aspirin, the dispatcher may advise you to chew an aspirin while youre waiting on medical attention. If you have nitroglycerin tablets, you may also wish to use these as directed by your doctor to reduce chest pain.
If you have a list of medications you currently take or any information about your medical history, you may wish to take this information with you. It can speed your medical care.
What Are The Symptoms Of Congestive Heart Failure
Daniel Louis Jacoby, MD, director of Yale Medicines General Heart Failure Programand the Cardiomyopathy Inherited Cardiovascular Disease Program, says that symptoms may be mild or severe and may not always be noticeable.
Most commonly, though, a patient may experience shortness of breath, fatigue, problems with the hearts rhythm called arrhythmias, and edemaor fluid buildupin the legs, he says.
Don’t Miss: How To Combat Compassion Fatigue
Talk To Our Womens Health Care Provider If You Feel Unusually Tired
With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, of course we sometimes feel tired! However, there are some signs that you shouldnt ignore your fatigue. For example, if youre suddenly and overwhelmingly tired without understanding why, this could be something more serious than needing a nap or an extra few hours of sleep.
Some other fatigue symptoms you shouldnt ignore include:
- Youre suddenly exhausted after doing your normal exercise routine
- You feel tired or your chest feels heavy even if youre not exerting yourself
- Simple activities, like making your bed, wear you out
- You feel extremely tired, but are still having a hard time sleeping
These symptoms can signal that something may not be quite right with your health. For example, extreme fatigue can be a symptom of vitamin deficiencies, anemia, and other health conditions. It can also be a sign of heart disease or an impending heart attack.
Unfortunately, many women ignore these signs to seek womens health care. We might chalk them up to aging, a busy schedule, or stress. However, if youre not feeling like yourself, its always better to be safe than sorry and get checked out.
Life Expectancy With Congestive Heart Failure
The life expectancy of someone with congestive heart failure depends on the type of heart failure, the cause, the stage of the disease, and how effective treatment is.
When heart failure results from cardiomyopathy or coronary artery disease, a person typically has a less positive outlook than someone with heart failure in its earliest stage.
You May Like: Fever Chills Body Aches Headache Fatigue No Cough
The Benefits Of Tracking
When youre aware of the changes, you are more likely to take action and make the small changes in your lifestyle and treatment plan that can help you live your longest and healthiest life.
Explore resources on our website and visit the Support Network to connect with others living with heart failure.
What Our Patients Say
As of March 2021, I have been a HerKare patient for 3 years. I have driven from the Austin to Ft. Worth and Southlake since March 2018. In fact, today I attempted to drive to Southlake to see the provider, Dania Khoncarly, because she is so amazing, but the roads were too dangerous with the current ice storm in Texas, so I visited the Mansfield location instead as it was closer for me. The patient care has been nothing short of amazing. In fact, I cant imagine my life without HerKare. I struggled with hormone deficiency since 2003 until March 2018. The treatment plan provided by HerKare has positively impacted my way of life socially, emotionally, and physically. One of my closest friends now drives from Copperas Cove to the Mansfield location. I have several friends in my age group mid to late 40s & early 50s who would benefit from HerKare. I understand with our nation experiencing COVID, now might not be the time to open a new location, however, your services could positively impact the well-being of so many women. When the time is right, please open more HerKare locations!
Patient since March 2018
You May Like: Can The Flu Shot Cause Fatigue
Leg Ankle And Foot Swelling
- Since the legs are the most dependent part of the body, fluid often will first accumulate in the feet and ankles, causing them to swell.
- This is called dependent edema.
- The person’s shoes may not fit, and socks may cause an indentation in the skin after they have been worn for a couple of hours.
- The more fluid that accumulates and the more severe heart failure, the more the legs will swell. If the person is confined to a bed or a chair, the swelling may also be noted in the buttocks or small of the back.
- When heart failure is severe there can be enough excess fluid and edema that the swelling will extend into the abdomen and involve other organs, such as the liver. This condition is referred to as anasarca.
- Often, affected individuals will notice that the swelling in the legs is better in the morning when they wake.
- Swelling increases during the day as the legs are used more.
- Sleeping or lying down helps decrease edema in the feet and legs.
As the left side of the heart fails to pump blood adequately, a backup of fluid occurs in the lungs. Water seeps out of the tiny capillary blood vessels into the lungs. This makes it difficult for oxygen to be absorbed and creates shortness of breath.