Heart failure, occasionally known as congestive heart failure, occurs when your heart muscle doesn’t pump blood as well as it ought to.
Certain conditions, such as narrowed arteries in your heart (coronary artery disease) or higher blood pressure, gradually leave your heart too weak or rigid to fill and pump effectively.
Not all circumstances that lead to heart failure can be reversed, but treatments can improve the signs and symptoms of heart failure and help you live longer. Lifestyle changes — like exercising, reducing sodium in your diet, managing stress, and losing weight — can improve your wellbeing.
One method to reduce heart failure would be to prevent and restrain conditions that cause heart failures, such as coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, or obesity.
Heart failure may be ongoing (chronic), or your illness may start suddenly (acute).
Heart failure signs and symptoms might include:
- Shortness of breath (dyspnea) if you apply yourself or if you lie down
- Fatigue and weakness
- Swelling (edema) in your thighs, ankles, and feet
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
- Reduced ability to exercise
- Persistent cough or cough with white or pink blood-tinged phlegm
- Increased need to urinate at night
- Very fast weight gain from fluid retention
- Lack of appetite and nausea
- Difficulty concentrating or decreased alertness
- Chest pain if your heart failure is Brought on by a heart attack
When to see a Physician:
See your doctor if you think you might be experiencing signs or symptoms of heart failure. Seek emergency treatment if you experience any of these:
- Chest pain
- Fainting or severe weakness
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat associated with shortness of breath, chest pain, or fainting
- Sudden, severe shortness of breath and coughing up pink, foamy mucus
Though these signs and symptoms may be due to heart failure, there are many other potential causes, including other life-threatening heart and lung ailments.
Do not attempt to diagnose yourself. Call 911 or the local emergency number for immediate assistance.
Emergency room physicians will try to stabilize your condition and determine if your symptoms are due to heart failure or anything different.
When you have a diagnosis of heart failure and if any of these symptoms suddenly become worse or you develop a new sign or symptom, it may indicate that existing heart failure is getting worse or not responding to therapy.
This might be also the case if you get 5 pounds (2.3 kg) or more in just a couple of days. Contact your physician promptly.
Heart failure often develops following other conditions that have damaged or weakened your heart.
However, the center does not need to be diminished to induce heart failure. It can also occur if the heart becomes too inflexible.
In heart failure, the main pumping chambers of your heart (the ventricles) can become stiff and not fill properly between beats.
In some cases of heart failure, your heart muscle may become damaged and weakened, and the ventricles stretch (dilate) to the stage that the heart can not pump blood efficiently throughout your body.
Over time, the center can no longer keep up with the normal demands placed on it to pump blood to the rest of your body.
An ejection fraction is a significant measurement of how well your heart is pumping and is used to classify heart failure and lead treatment.
In a healthy heart, the ejection fraction is 50 percent or higher — meaning that more than half of their blood that fills the ventricle is pumped out with each beat.
But heart failure may happen in spite of a normal ejection fraction. This happens when the heart muscle becomes rigid in conditions such as elevated blood pressure.
Heart failure may involve the left side (left ventricle), right side (right ventricle), or either side of your heart.
Usually, heart failure begins with the left side, especially the left ventricle — your heart’s main pumping chamber.
Type of heart failure
|Left-sided heart failure||Fluid may back up in your lungs, causing shortness of breath.|
|Right-sided heart failure||Fluid may back up into your abdomen, legs, and feet, causing swelling.|
|Systolic heart failure||The left ventricle can’t contract vigorously, indicating a pumping problem.|
|Diastolic heart failure
(also called heart failure with preserved ejection fraction)
|The left ventricle can’t relax or fill fully, indicating a filling problem.|
Any of these conditions can damage or weaken your heart and can lead to heart failure. A number of these can be present without your knowing it:
Coronary artery disease and heart attack.
Coronary artery disease is the most frequent form of heart disease and the most frequent cause of heart failure.
The disease results in the buildup of fatty deposits (plaque) in your arteries, which decreases blood flow and may result in a heart attack.
High Blood Pressure.
If your blood pressure is high, your heart must work harder than it should to circulate blood throughout your entire body.
Over time, this extra exertion can make your heart muscle too rigid or too weak to pump blood.
Faulty heart valves.
The valves of your heart keep blood flowing in the right direction through the heart.
A damaged valve because of a heart defect, coronary artery disease, or heart infection forces your heart to work harder, which can weaken it over time.
Damage to the heart muscle (cardiomyopathy).
Heart muscle damage (cardiomyopathy) can have many causes, including several diseases, diseases, alcohol misuse, and the poisonous effect of drugs, like cocaine or any drugs used for chemotherapy.
Genetic factors also can play a role.
Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle.
It’s most commonly brought on by a virus, including COVID-19, and can result in left-sided heart failure.
Heart defects you’re born with (congenital heart defects).
If your heart and its chambers or valves have not formed properly, the wholesome parts of your heart need to work harder to pump blood through your heart, which, in turn, can cause heart failure.
Irregular heart rhythms may cause your heart to beat too quickly, creating extra work for your heart. A slow pulse may also lead to heart failure.
Chronic diseases such as diabetes, HIV, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, or a buildup of iron (hemochromatosis) or protein (amyloidosis) also may promote heart failure.
Causes of severe heart failure contain viruses that attack the heart muscle, acute infections, allergic reactions, blood clots in the lungs, the use of certain drugs, or some other illness that affects the entire body.
A single risk factor may be sufficient to cause heart failure, but a combination of factors also raises your risk.
Risk Factors include:
High blood pressure.
Your heart works harder as it needs to if your blood pressure is high.
Coronary artery disease.
Narrowed arteries may limit your heart’s supply of blood flow, resulting in diminished heart muscle.
A heart attack is a form of the coronary disorder that happens suddenly. Damage to your heart muscle from a heart attack may mean your heart can no longer pump as well as it should.
Having diabetes increases your risk of high blood pressure and coronary heart disease.
Some diabetes medicines.
The diabetes drugs rosiglitazone (Avandia) and pioglitazone (Actos) are found to increase the chance of heart failure in some people.
Don’t stop taking these medications on your own, though. If you are taking them, talk with your doctor about whether you need to generate any modifications.
Some medicines may cause heart failure or heart issues.
Medications that may increase the chance of heart problems include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs).
Certain anesthesia drugs; several anti-arrhythmic medications.
Some medicines used to treat hypertension, cancer, blood conditions, neurological conditions, psychiatric conditions, lung conditions, urological conditions, inflammatory conditions, and infections; and other over-the-counter and prescription drugs.
Don’t stop taking any medicines on your own. In case you have questions about the medications you are taking, discuss with your physician whether he or she recommends any modifications.
The inability to breathe correctly as you sleep soundly at night leads to low blood oxygen levels and an increased risk of abnormal heart rhythms.
Both these problems can weaken the center.
Congenital heart defects.
Some people who develop heart failure were born together with structural heart defects.
Valvular heart disease.
People with valvular heart disease have a greater chance of heart failure. A viral infection may have damaged your heart.
Drinking too much alcohol may weaken the heart muscle and cause heart failure.
Using tobacco can increase your chance of heart failure.
Fat Loss People that are obese have a greater risk of developing heart failure. These abnormal rhythms, especially if they are quite regular and quick, can weaken the heart muscle and lead to heart failure.
If you have heart failure, your outlook depends on the cause and the severity, your general health, and other factors like your age.
Kidney damage or failure.
Heart failure can reduce the blood flow to your kidneys, which could eventually lead to kidney failure if left untreated. Kidney damage from heart failure can require dialysis for treatment.
Heart valve problems.
The valves of your heart, which maintain blood flowing in the proper direction through your heart, might not function correctly if your heart is enlarged or if the strain on your heart is very high as a result of heart failure.
Heart rhythm problems.
Heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias) can be a potential complication of heart failure.
Heart failure may result in a buildup of fluid which puts too much strain on the liver. This fluid backup can result in scarring, which makes it more difficult for the liver to function properly.
Some people’s symptoms and heart function will improve with proper treatment.
However, heart failure can be life-threatening. People with heart failure could have severe symptoms, and a few might need heart transplantation or support with a ventricular assist device.
The key to preventing heart failure is to reduce your risk variables.
You can control or eliminate many of the risk factors for heart disease — high blood pressure and coronary artery disease, such as — by making lifestyle changes together with the help of any needed drugs.
Lifestyle changes that help prevent heart failure include:
- Controlling certain states, such as high blood pressure and diabetes
- Staying physically active
- Eating healthy foods
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Reducing and managing stress
To diagnose heart failure, your doctor will have a careful medical history, review your symptoms and do a physical examination.
Your health care provider will check for the presence of risk factors, including high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, or diabetes.
Using a stethoscope, your doctor can listen to your lungs for signs of congestion. The stethoscope also picks up strange heart sounds that may suggest heart failure.
The physician may examine the veins in your throat and also assess fluid buildup on your abdomen and legs.
After the physical exam, your Physician can also order some of those evaluations:
Your doctor may take a blood test to look for signs of diseases that can affect the heart.
They could also check to get a chemical called N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) in case identification is not certain after other tests.
X-ray pictures help your doctor see the state of your lungs and heart. Your physician may also use an X-ray to diagnose ailments other than heart failure which can explain your symptoms and signs.
This test records the electrical activity of your heart through electrodes attached to your skin. It assists your doctor to diagnose heart rhythm issues and damage to your heart.
An echocardiogram uses sound waves to produce a video image of your heart.
This test will help doctors see the size and shape of your heart along with any abnormalities.
An echocardiogram measures your ejection fraction, a significant measurement of how well your heart is pumping, and that can be used to classify heart failure and lead therapy.
You could be asked to walk on a treadmill while connected to an ECG machine, or you may get a drug intravenously that stimulates your heart similar to exercise.
Sometimes the stress test can be performed while wearing a mask which measures the ability of your heart and lungs to take in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide.
If your physician also wishes to see pictures of your heart while you’re exercising, they might use imaging techniques to visualize your heart during the test.
Cardiac computerized tomography (CT) scan.
In a cardiac CT scan, you lie on a desk inside a doughnut-shaped machine.
An X-ray tube inside the system rotates around the body and collects images of your own heart and chest.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
At a cardiac MRI, you lie on a table within a very long tubelike machine that produces a magnetic field, which aligns atomic particles in a few of your cells.
Radio waves are air toward such aligned particles, making signals that create images of your heart.
In this test, a thin, flexible tube (catheter) is inserted into a blood vessel in your groin or on your arm and directed through the aorta in your coronary arteries.
A dye injected through the catheter creates the arteries supplying your heart visible on an X-ray, helping physicians spot blockages.
In this test, your doctor inserts a tiny, flexible biopsy cord into a vein in your neck or groin, and tiny pieces of your heart muscle are accepted.
This test could be performed to diagnose specific forms of heart muscle diseases which cause heart failure.
Classifying heart failure
Results of these tests help doctors determine the cause of your symptoms and signs and produce a program to care for your heart.
To determine the most appropriate remedy for your condition, doctors may classify heart failure using 2 systems:
New York Heart Association classification.
This symptom-based scale classifies heart failure in four different categories. In Class I hub failure, you don’t have any signs.
In Class II heart failure, you can do everyday activities without difficulty but become winded or exhausted when you employ yourself.
With Class III, you will have trouble completing regular tasks, and Class IV is the most acute, and you are short of breath even at rest.
American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association guidelines.
This stage-based classification system utilizes letters A to D. The system comprises a category for those that are in danger of developing heart failure.
By way of instance, someone that has several risk factors for heart failure but no symptoms or signs of heart failure is Stage A.
A person that has heart disease but no symptoms or signs of heart failure is Stage B.
Someone with heart disease and also is experiencing or has experienced signs or symptoms of heart failure is Period C.
A person with advanced heart failure necessitating specialized treatments is Stage D.
These scoring systems aren’t independent of one another. Your doctor frequently can use them together to help determine your most appropriate treatment choices.
Ask your doctor about your score if you’re interested in shaping the severity of your heart failure.
Your doctor can help you interpret your own score and plan your treatment according to your condition.
Heart failure is a chronic disease needing lifelong management.
However, with treatment, signs, and symptoms of heart failure can improve, and also the heart sometimes becomes more powerful.
Treatment may help you live longer and reduce your chance of dying suddenly.
Doctors occasionally can correct heart failure by treating the underlying cause. By way of instance, fixing a heart disease or controlling a fast heart rhythm may reverse heart failure.
However, for most people, the treatment of heart failure entails a balance of the right drugs and, sometimes, the use of devices that help the heart rhythm and contract properly.
Doctors typically treat heart failure with a combination of medications. Based upon Your symptoms, you may take one or more medications, such as:
Angiotensin-converting enzyme ACE inhibitors.
These drugs help people with systolic heart failure live longer and feel better.
ACE inhibitors are a type of vasodilator, a medication that widens blood vessels to lower blood pressure, improve blood flow and decrease the workload on the heart.
Examples include enalapril (Vasotec), lisinopril (Zestril), and captopril (Capoten).
Angiotensin II receptor blockers.
These medications, which include losartan (Cozaar) and valsartan (Diovan), have lots of the very same benefits as ACE inhibitors.
They might be an alternative for those who can’t tolerate ACE inhibitors.
This class of drugs not only slows your heart rate and reduces blood pressure but also restricts or reverses a few of the harm to your heart if you’ve got systolic heart failure.
Examples include carvedilol (Coreg), metoprolol (Lopressor), and bisoprolol (Zebeta).
These medications reduce the danger of some abnormal heart rhythms and reduce your odds of dying unexpectedly.
Beta-blockers can reduce signs and symptoms of heart failure, improve heart function, and help you live longer.
Often referred to as water pills, diuretics cause you to urinate more frequently and keep fluid from collecting in your physique.
Diuretics, such as furosemide (Lasix), also decrease fluid in your lungs so you can breathe easily.
Since diuretics make your body lose potassium and magnesium, so your doctor can also prescribe nutritional supplements of these minerals.
These medications include spironolactone (Aldactone) and eplerenone (Inspra).
All these are potassium-sparing diuretics, which also have additional properties that may help people with severe coronary heart failure live longer.
Unlike some other diuretics, spironolactone and eplerenone may raise the amount of potassium in your blood to dangerous levels, so speak with your physician if increased potassium is a concern, and find out if you need to modify your consumption of food that is high in potassium.
These are intravenous medications used in people with acute heart failure in the hospital to boost heart pumping function and keep blood pressure.
This drug also referred to as digitalis, increases the strength of your heart. It also tends to slow down the pulse.
It can be more likely to be awarded to somebody with a heart rhythm problem, such as atrial fibrillation.
You might need to take a couple of drugs to treat heart failure. Your doctor may prescribe other heart medications as well such as nitrates for chest pain, a statin to reduce cholesterol, or blood-thinning medications to help prevent blood clots along with heart failure medicines.
Your physician may have to adjust your doses frequently, particularly once you’ve just begun a new medication or when your condition is not worsening.
You may be hospitalized if you have a flare-up of heart failure symptoms.
While in the hospital, you may receive additional drugs to help your heart pump better and relieve your symptoms.
You may also receive supplemental oxygen through a mask or tiny tubes placed in your nose. In case you have serious heart failure, you may need to use supplemental oxygen for an extended-term.
Medical and Surgery devices:
In some instances, doctors recommend surgery to take care of the underlying issue that led to heart failure.
Some treatments being studied and employed in certain people include:
Coronary bypass surgery.
If seriously blocked arteries are contributing to heart failure, your physician may recommend coronary artery bypass surgery.
In this process, blood vessels from your leg, arm, or chest bypass a blocked artery in your heart to permit blood to flow through your heart more freely.
Heart valve replacement or repair.
If a faulty heart disease causes heart failure, your physician may recommend replacing or repairing the valve.
The surgeon can alter the original valve to remove backward blood flow.
Surgeons can also repair the valve by reconnecting valve leaflets or simply by removing excess valve tissue so the leaflets can close tightly.
Occasionally repairing the valve comprises trimming or tightening the ring around the valve (annuloplasty).
Valve replacement is completed when valve repair is not possible. In valve replacement surgery, the valve is replaced by an artificial (prosthetic) valve.
Particular types of heart valve repair or replacement can now be done without open-heart surgery, using minimally invasive surgery or cardiac catheterization techniques.
Implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs).
An ICD is a device similar to a pacemaker. It is implanted beneath the skin in your chest with wires leading through your veins and into your own heart.
If the heart begins beating at a dangerous rhythm, or if your heart stops, the ICD attempts to pace your heart or jolt it back into a regular rhythm.
An ICD can also function as a pacemaker and accelerate up your heart if it’s going too slow.
Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT), or biventricular pacing.
A biventricular pacemaker sends timed electrical impulses to the heart’s lower chambers (the left and right ventricles) so that they pump in a more efficient, coordinated fashion.
Many people with heart failure have problems with their heart’s electrical system that cause their already-weak heart muscle to overcome in an uncoordinated fashion.
This ineffective muscle contraction can lead to heart failure worsening. Often a biventricular pacemaker is combined with an ICD for those who have heart failure.
Ventricular assist devices (VADs).
A VAD also referred to as a mechanical circulatory support device, is an implantable mechanical pump that can help pump blood out of the lower chambers of your heart (the ventricles) into the rest of your body.
A VAD is implanted into the chest or abdomen and attached to a diminished heart to allow it to pump blood to the rest of your physique.
Doctors first utilized heart pumps to help keep heart transplant candidates alive while they waited for a donor center. VADs might also be utilized as a substitute for transplantation.
Implanted heart pumps can enhance the quality of life of some people with severe heart failure who aren’t qualified for or capable to undergo heart transplantation or are waiting for a new hub.
Some people have such severe heart failure that surgery or medications don’t help. They may have to have their heart replaced with a wholesome donor heart.
Heart transplants can boost the survival and quality of life of some people with severe heart failure.
However, candidates for transplantation often have to wait quite a while before a suitable donor heart is found.
Some transplant candidates improve during this waiting period through drug therapy or device therapy and can be removed from the transplant waiting list.
A heart transplant isn’t the right treatment for everybody. A group of physicians in a transplant center will evaluate you to ascertain whether the procedure may be safe and beneficial for you.
Palliative care and end-of-life care
Your physician may recommend adding palliative care to your treatment program.
Palliative care is specialized medical care that focuses on relieving your symptoms and enhancing your quality of life.
Anybody that has a serious or life-threatening illness can benefit from palliative care, possibly to cure symptoms of the illness, such as pain or shortness of breath, or to ease the side effects of treatment, such as fatigue or nausea.
It’s possible your heart failure can worsen to the point where medications are no longer working and also a heart transplant or device is not an alternative.
If it happens, you might have to enter hospice care. Hospice care provides a distinctive course of treatment to terminally ill men and women.
Healthcare allows family and friends with the help of nurses, social workers, and trained volunteers to care for and comfort a loved one at home or in hospice homes.
Hospice care provides emotional, psychological, social, and religious support for men and women who are ill and those closest to them.
Although most people under hospice care remain in their own homes, the program is currently available everywhere including nursing homes and assisted living centers.
For those who stay in a hospital, experts in healthcare may provide comfort, compassionate care, and dignity.
Although it can be difficult, discuss end-of-life problems with your family and medical staff.
If you’ve got an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD), one significant consideration to talk about with your family and doctors is turning off the defibrillator so it can’t deliver shocks to make your heart stay beating.
Lifestyle and home remedies:
Making lifestyle changes can often help alleviate symptoms and signs of heart failure and stop the disease from worsening.
These modifications might be one of the most crucial and beneficial you can make. Lifestyle changes your Physician may recommend include:
Smoking damages your blood vessels increases blood pressure, lessens the quantity of oxygen in your blood, and makes your heart beat faster.
If you smoke, ask your physician to recommend a program that will help you stop. Avoid secondhand smoke, also.
Discuss weight observation with your doctor.
Discuss with your doctor how often you should weigh yourself. Consult your doctor on how much weight profit you should notify her or him around.
Weight gain may mean that you’re keeping fluids and require a change in your treatment program.
Assess your legs, ankles, and feet for swelling daily.
Check for any changes in swelling in your legs, feet, or ankles each day. Check with your doctor if the swelling worsens.
Eat a healthy diet.
Aim to eat a diet that includes fruits and veggies, whole grains, low-fat or low-fat dairy products, and lean proteins.
Restrict sodium intake.
Too much sodium contributes to water retention, which makes your heart work more difficult and causes shortness of breath and swollen legs, ankles, and feet.
Check with your physician for the sodium restriction recommended for you. Bear in mind that salt is already added to foods that are prepared, and be cautious when using salt substitutes.
Maintain a healthy weight.
If you are obese, your dietitian will help you work toward your ideal weight. Even losing a small amount of weight might help.
Consider getting vaccinations.
In case you have heart failure, you might choose to acquire pneumonia and influenza vaccinations. Ask your doctor about these vaccinations.
Limit saturated or trans fats in your diet plan.
In addition to preventing high-sodium foods, restrict the amount of saturated fat and trans fat — also called amino acids — in your diet plan.
These potentially harmful dietary fats increase your risk of heart disease.
Restrict alcohol and fluids.
Your doctor may advise that you don’t drink alcohol when you have heart failure, because it can interact with your medicine, weaken your heart muscle and raise your risk of abnormal heart rhythms.
If you’ve got severe heart failure, your physician may also suggest you limit the number of fluids you drink.
Before you start exercising though, talk with your physician about an exercise program that’s right for you. Your doctor may suggest a walking program.
Check with the regional hospital to see if it offers a cardiac rehabilitation program; when it does, talk to your doctor about enrolling in the program.
When you are anxious or upset, your heart beats faster, you breathe heavily and your blood pressure frequently goes up.
This can cause heart failure worse since your heart is already having difficulty fulfilling the body’s demands.
Learn how to reduce stress in your life. Spend some time with family and friends to be societal and keep stress at bay.
If you’re having shortness of breath, particularly at night, sleep with your head propped up with a pillow or a wedge.
If you snore or have experienced other sleep problems, make sure that you have tested for sleep apnea.
Coping and support:
Although many cases of heart failure can not be reversed, therapy can sometimes improve symptoms and help you live longer.
You and your doctor can work together to make your life more comfortable. Focus on your body and how you feel, and also inform your doctor when you are feeling better or worse.
In this manner, your physician will know what treatment works best for you.
Steps that may help you manage your condition include:
Keep tabs on the medications you require.
Make a list and discuss it with almost any new physicians treating you.
Take the list with you all the time. Do not stop taking any medications without talking to your doctor. If you experience side effects to medications, discuss them with your physician.
Avoid certain over-the-counter medications.
Some over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), naproxen sodium (Aleve), and diet pills, may worsen heart failure and lead to fluid buildup.
Be careful about nutritional supplements.
Some dietary supplements may interfere with heart failure drugs or could worsen your condition. Talk to your doctor about any supplements you are taking.
Keep track of your weight and bring the list to visits with your doctor.
A gain in weight could be a sign you’re building up fluids. Your doctor may tell you to take extra diuretics if your weight has increased by a specific amount a day.
Keep tabs on your blood pressure.
Think about buying a home blood pressure monitor. Keep tabs on your blood pressure between doctor appointments and bring the record with you to visits.
Write down your questions for your physician.
Before a physician appointment, prepare a list of any questions or concerns. By way of example, can it be safe for you and your partner to have intercourse?
Most individuals with heart failure can continue sexual activity after symptoms are under control. Ask for clarification, if necessary.
Make sure that you understand everything your doctor would like you to perform.
Know your doctor’s contact info.
Keep your doctor’s telephone number, the hospital telephone number, and directions to the hospital or clinic on hand.
You’ll want to have these available in the event you have questions for your doctor or you need to go to the hospital.
Managing heart failure necessitates an open conversation between you and your physician.
Be honest about whether you are following recommendations regarding your daily diet, lifestyle, and taking drugs.
Your doctor often can suggest strategies to help you get and stay on course.
Preparing for your appointment:
If you believe you may have heart failure or you’re concerned about your heart failure hazard due to other underlying conditions, make an appointment with your physician.
If heart failure is found, your treatment may be easier and much more effective.
Because appointments can be short, and as there’s often a lot to talk about, it’s a good idea to be prepared for your appointment.
Here is some information to assist you to get prepared for your appointment and understand what to expect from your doctor.
Everything you can do:
Be aware of any pre-appointment limitations.
At the time you make the appointment, make sure you ask if there is anything you need to do in advance, for example, restrict your diet plan.
For a few imaging tests, as an instance, you might want to quickly for a period of time beforehand.
Write down any symptoms you’re experiencing, including any that may seem irrelevant to heart failure.
Write down crucial personal information, such as a family history of cardiovascular disease, stroke, high blood pressure or diabetes, and any significant stresses or recent life changes.
Find out if anybody in your household has had heart failure. Some heart problems which cause heart failure run in families. Knowing as much as possible about your family history can be significant.
Create a list of all medications, vitamins, or supplements that you are taking.
Require a relative or friend as well, if possible.
Occasionally it can be tricky to remember all of the information offered to you during an appointment. Somebody who accompanies you may recall something that you forgot or missed.
Be ready to discuss your diet and exercise habits. If you do not follow a diet or exercise routine, prepare yourself to talk with your doctor about any challenges you may face in getting started.
Your time with your doctor is restricted, therefore preparing a list of questions can help you make the most of your time together.
List your queries from most important to least important in case time runs out.
For heart failure, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What is the most likely reason for my symptoms?
- Are there any other potential causes for the symptoms?
- What types of tests will I need? Do these tests need any special preparation?
- What treatments are available? Which do you recommend for me?
- What is an appropriate degree of physical activity?
- How frequently should I be screened for changes in my problem? How can I best manage these conditions together?
- Can there be a generic solution to the medicine you’re prescribing for me?
- Do my family members need to get screened for conditions that may cause heart failure?
- Are there any exemptions or other printed material I can take home with me? What websites do you recommend seeing?
As well as the queries which you have prepared to ask your doctor, do not hesitate to ask questions during the appointment at any time you don’t understand something.
What to expect from the doctor:
Your doctor is likely to request a range of questions. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over any points you want to invest more time.
Your doctor may ask:
- Do your symptoms occur all the time, or do they come and go?
- How severe are the symptoms?
- What, if anything, seems to boost your symptoms?
- What you can do in the meantime
It’s never too early to make healthful lifestyle changes, like quitting smoking, cutting down on salt, and eating healthful foods. These changes might help prevent heart failure by beginning or worsening.
Ask your friends and loved ones for support.
If you’re feeling anxious or depressed, consider joining a support group or seeking counseling. Believe in your ability to take control of the pain…
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