Heart Failure

We Care About You & Your Heart

Heart failure is the most common cause of hospitalization in adults over the age of 65, and 5 million Americans live with the disease. Heart failure is a lifelong disease that happens when the heart is unable to supply sufficient blood flow to meet the body’s needs. This may result from a weakened heart muscle, heart valve problems, high blood pressure, and other causes. The severity of the condition depends on how much the heart has been affected.

You can live a better quality of life even if you have heart failure. By practicing healthier habits like controlling your blood pressure, blood sugar, and losing weight, you might improve your symptoms.

Do I Have Heart Failure?

Symptoms of heart failure include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Weight gain from water retention
  • Swelling of the legs, ankles, and belly
  • Severe fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Abdominal pressure or discomfort
  • Loss of appetite and nausea
  • A persistent cough that may be blood-tinged

Diagnosis & Treatment of Heart Failure

Heart failure diagnosis begins with providing your cardiologist all the information regarding your medical history. You may require tests such as a chest X-ray, echocardiogram (“echo”), electrocardiogram (ECG), or a cardiac MRI, among other tests. These tests assess many things, including the motion of the heart, the thickness of the heart walls, and electrical activity of the heart.

Although heart failure cannot be reversed, it can often be treated with good results. If your primary care provider suspects you have a heart problem, they will likely refer you to a cardiology specialist who can confirm a heart failure diagnosis and devise a treatment plan. The goal of your heart failure management plan is to control your symptoms and improve quality of life. This, in turn, can decrease the frequency of your inpatient hospitalizations or shorten your stay if you have been hospitalized for heart failure.

Treatment varies depending on the health problems you have causing heart failure. Many people are able to make lifestyle changes and take prescription medication to improve their quality of life. Procedures, including surgery, may be necessary if other treatments prove unsuccessful. There are many different medications, heart procedures, and surgeries that can improve the symptoms and help you avoid heart failure complications, such as fluid buildup in the lungs, kidney or liver failure, strokes, arrhythmias, or death.

Make an Appointment with CVIG

The next step is to get a referral to a cardiologist from your primary care provider or to reach out to us directly for an appointment. Ask your cardiologist any of your questions about your diagnosis and the medications, treatments, or further tests you may need. You should be aware of what the new medicine or prescribed treatments will help you and learn the side effects. Your cardiologist will inform you of what to expect if you don’t take your medication as prescribed.

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