Heart Failure


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More than 6 million Americans have heart failure. Contrary to how it sounds, heart failure does not mean that your heart has stopped beating. Even climbing the stairs or carrying groceries may leave you winded. Of course, your symptoms will depend on the type of heart failure you have. The more informed and equipped you are to manage heart failure, the better you may feel.

Use this condition center to learn more about heart failure. You can also chat online with other people like you, keep up with the latest research, and get tips to help you feel your best. Study finds that young patients with heart failure face lower risk of death but poorer quality of life than the elderly. Treating diabetes and heart failure together should be handled differently than managing each condition alone. Analysis of U. Some animal-based proteins are linked with a higher likelihood of heart failure, suggests study of Finnish men.

Taking heart medication during chemotherapy can help minimize heart damage in breast cancer patients. A statement from the American Heart Association highlights a close link between breast cancer and heart disease. If you just found out you have heart failure, you may feel scared or overwhelmed.

Heart failure - Wikipedia

And that's OK. Heart Failure. Helpful Resources. Related Conditions. It uses sound waves to create detailed pictures of your heart, which help your doctor evaluate the damage to your heart and determine the underlying causes of your condition.


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Your doctor may use an echocardiogram along with other tests, including the following:. Your doctor may also perform a physical exam to check for physical signs of heart failure. For instance, leg swelling, an irregular heartbeat, and bulging neck veins may make your doctor suspect heart failure almost immediately. Treating heart failure depends on the severity of your condition. Early treatment can improve symptoms fairly quickly, but you should still get regular testing every three to six months.

The main goal of treatment is to increase your lifespan. Early stages of heart failure may be treated with medications to help relieve your symptoms and prevent your condition from getting worse. Certain medications are prescribed to:.

End-stage heart failure: what to expect.

Always speak with your doctor before taking new medications. Some medications are completely off-limits to people with heart failure, including naproxen Aleve, Naprosyn and ibuprofen Advil, Midol. Some people with heart failure will need surgery, such as coronary bypass surgery. During this surgery, your surgeon will take a healthy piece of artery and attach it to the blocked coronary artery.

This allows the blood to bypass the blocked, damaged artery and flow through the new one. Your doctor may also suggest an angioplasty. In this procedure, a catheter with a small balloon attached is inserted into the blocked or narrowed artery. Once the catheter reaches the damaged artery, your surgeon inflates a balloon to open the artery. Your surgeon may need to place a permanent stent, or wire mesh tube, into the blocked or narrowed artery.

A stent permanently holds your artery open and can help prevent further narrowing of the artery. Other people with heart failure will need pacemakers to help control heart rhythms. These small devices are placed into the chest. They can slow your heart rate down when the heart is beating too quickly or increase heart rate if the heart is beating too slowly. Pacemakers are often used along with bypass surgery as well as medications.

What Is Heart Failure?

Heart transplants are used in the final stages of heart failure, when all other treatments have failed. During a transplant, your surgeon removes all or part of your heart and replaces it with a healthy heart from a donor. A healthy lifestyle can help treat heart failure and prevent the condition from developing in the first place. Losing weight and exercising regularly can significantly decrease your risk of heart failure.

Reducing the amount of salt in your diet can also lower your risk. Untreated heart failure can eventually lead to congestive heart failure CHF , a condition in which blood builds up in other areas of your body. In this potentially life-threatening condition, you may experience fluid retention in your limbs as well as in your organs, such as the liver and lungs.

Call or your local emergency services right away if you have these symptoms :. Heart failure is usually a long-term condition that requires ongoing treatment to prevent complications. When heart failure is left untreated, the heart can weaken so severely that it causes a life-threatening complication. You should take lifelong preventive measures to stay healthy. Always contact your doctor if you suddenly have any new and unexplained symptoms that may indicate a problem with your heart. Because heart failure is most often a chronic condition, your symptoms will likely get worse over time.

Medications and surgeries can help relieve your symptoms, but such treatments may not help if you have a severe case of heart failure. In some cases, heart failure can even be life-threatening. Early treatment is key in preventing the most serious cases of heart failure. Cardiomyopathy is a disease in which your heart muscle weakens and has difficulty pumping blood.

Matt's Story - From End-Stage Heart Failure to Recovery Video - Brigham and Women's Hospital

Read about its causes, risk factors, treatment, and…. Heart disease is one of the leading health risks facing men today. Here's how to recognize common signs and see if you're at high risk of developing…. Congestive heart failure CHF is a chronic condition that affects the pumping power of your heart muscles.

Studies suggest that replacing high-fat meats with more heart-healthy proteins like fish, beans, poultry, nuts and low-fat dairy may help prevent…. Heart disease affects the blood vessels and the heart. A person with heart disease must change their lifestyle or risk potentially fatal complications. Acute heart failure happens suddenly and without warning.

Heart Failure Health Center

Learn what causes this, how to recognize the symptoms, and more. Myocarditis is a heart condition caused by a virus, such as rubella, Epstein-Barr, or adenovirus. Learn about its symptoms and how to properly treat…. All types of heart disease share common traits and have key differences. Learn about the different types, including coronary, ischemic, and congenital.

From the information you need, to personal stories of surviving cardiac events, these are the best blogs about heart disease on the web. Some heart problems affect children, including congenital heart disease, arrhythmias, pericarditis, and Kawasaki disease.


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Heart Failure. What are the symptoms of heart failure? What causes heart failure? What are the different types of heart failure?


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