Management of Heart Failure
The Heart is a strong, muscular organ which continuously pumps blood through the network of veins and arteries in the body. Heart helps to deliver oxygen and nutrient rich blood to the body’s cells. If body’s cells do not get required amount of blood then it start affecting body’s functions. Majority of the heart failure occurs due to the damage of heart muscles. Heart muscles get affected because of poor blood supply to heart. The problem of heart failure develops over the time as heart becomes weaker and unable to pump the sufficient of amount of blood as per the body’s requirement. Heart failure happens due to the heart attack, heart valve damage, high blood pressure, genetic problem and virus infection. Heart failure is also known as congestive heart failure and usually results in enlargement of heart.
Heart Failure is a serious condition and needs a timely treatment. Hence proper management is necessary to treat heart failure disease successfully. Today various advanced medical treatments are used to treat heart failure. Best way to avoid heart failure is to prevent and control conditions which are causing heart failure such as coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.
Dr. Nikhil Jadhav is a well experienced and proficient Cardiologist in Dombivli, Thane. He is an expert in Angiography, Angioplasty, Permanent Pacemaker, PDA Device Closure, Balloon Mitral Valvotomy and Endovascular procedures like EVAR/TEVAR.
Understanding the Severity of Heart Failure
It is very necessary to understand the severity of heart failure. Everyone should try to understand impact of heart condition on patient’s routine life. We have to help our loved one who is suffering from any heart problems. We should help heart patients to stay positive and to build confidence in them. This is really helpful for heart patients to defeat heart diseases successfully. We can help our loved ones to prevent any heart problems. We should encourage them to keep a track of various things such as sudden weight increase, swelling in leg or feet, breathing problems, increase in tiredness and dizziness.
Symptoms of Heart Failure
- Shortness of breath
- Fatigue and weakness
- Swelling in legs, ankles and feet
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
- Reduced ability to exercise
- Persistent cough or wheezing
- Increased need to urinate at night
- Swelling of abdomen
- Very rapid weight gain
- Lack of appetite and nausea
- Difficulty in concentration
- Severe Chest pain
Causes of Heart Failure
Heart Failure is a chronic and progressive condition. It is more likely to occur around the age of 40 but anyone can develop heart failure at any age. Most of the time heart failure occurs due to the damage of heart muscles.
Common causes of heart failure include:
- Excessive Alcohol intake
- High blood pressure
- Congenital heart defect
- Heart attack
- Heart valve disease
- Irregular heart rhythms
- Lung disease like emphysema
- Viral infection to heart
- Use of recreational drugs
- Some chemotherapy treatment
Diagnosis of Heart Failure
Effective and quick diagnosis of heart failure is very important to save heart failure patient’s life. Cardiologist checks patient’s medical history, reviews symptoms and performs physical examination for the proper diagnosis of heart failure.
After the physical examination, Cardiologist asks for some important tests including:
- Blood test
- Chest X-ray
- Electrocardiogram (ECG)
- Stress test
- CT scan
- MRI scan
- Coronary angiogram
Management of Heart Failure requires a systematic approach. It mainly involves a combination of lifestyle modifications, medications and sometimes surgery or medical devices.
Maintaining healthy lifestyle can relieve signs and symptoms of heart failure as well as reduces the severity of disease. Lifestyle changes are very important and beneficial. Lifestyle changes include:
- Avoiding Smoking and Alcohol
- Maintaining proper weight
- Paying attention towards swelling of legs, ankles and feet
- Eating heart healthy diet
- Limiting sodium intake in diet
- Restricting intake of saturated or ‘trans’ fats in diet
- Performing daily physical activities
- Reducing stress
- Taking enough sleep
Cardiologist usually prescribes a combination of medications to heart failure patient. Depending on symptoms and severity of heart failure, doctor ask patient to take one or more medications. Medicines are very essential to improve prognosis. Medications not only delay the progression of heart failure but also reduce the cardiovascular risk. Common medications include:
- Angiotensin-modulating agents
- Beta blockers
- Positive inotropes
- Alternative vasodilators
- Recombinant neuroendocrine hormones
- Vasopressin receptor antagonists
Surgeries for Heart Failure
Coronary Bypass Surgery
If heart failure is caused due to severely blocked arteries then Cardiologist performs coronary bypass surgery. In this procedure, blood vessels from leg, arm or chest, bypass a blocked artery in the heart which allow blood to flow through heart more freely.
Heart Valve Repair or Replacement Surgery
If a faulty heart valve causes heart failure, then doctor recommends repairing or replacement of the heart valve. In valve replacement surgery, the damaged valve is replaced by an artificial valve. Today Heart Valve repair or replacement surgery is performed by minimally invasive technique.
Heart Transplant Surgery
In some people, surgery or medications are failed to cure heart diseases due to severe heart failure. In this condition, patient’s heart is replaced with a healthy donor heart. A heart transplant improves the survival rates and quality of life in some people suffering from severe heart failure.
Use of Medical Devices for Heart Failure
- Various medical devices such as Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICD), Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy (CRT) and Ventricular Assist Devices (VAD) are used for the treatment of Heart Failure.
- The ICD is a similar as pacemaker device. It monitors the heart rhythm and implanted under the skin. CRT device is used to improve the heart’s rhythm and symptoms of the arrhythmia condition. The VAD is an implantable mechanical pump which helps in pumping blood from the lower chambers of heart to the rest of body.
Importance of Positive Attitude
There is no doubt that the Heart diseases are serious but positive attitude plays a crucial role in the treatment of heart failure. Every heart patient should have positive attitude to face challenges. All the care takers, relatives and friends should build a confidence of heart patients to overcome the difficulties. Positive approach plays an active role in managing heart failure very well. Research shows that the patients with positive attitude can solve problems more efficiently and have a better quality of life. Hence heart patient should try to stay positive.
Effective treatment helps heart failure patients to live longer life. Patient should not afraid of asking questions or doubts to Cardiologist. Maintaining healthy life style as well as controlling diabetes and blood pressure can prevent heart problems. Strict and perfect management of heart failure disease is helpful to save heart patient’s life. Heart patients need emotional support from care takers, friends, relatives and other loved ones. Hence everyone should support heart patients to come out of heart problems successfully.
Dr. Nikhil Jadhav is one of the best Cardiologists in Dombivli, Thane. He has performed numerous complex angiography and angioplasty procedures successfully. Dr. Nikhil Jadhav is an expert in emergency heart failure treatments.