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Doctor insights on: Heart Failure

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Dr. Joseph Shen
3,317 doctors shared insights

Heart Failure (Overview)

Heart failure is a complex set of conditions in which the heart "fails" to pump a normal amount of blood with each beat. This can be due to poor squeezing function (systolic heart failure) and/or a stiff heart incapable of filling normally (diastolic heart failure). Common symptoms include swelling and trouble breathing, particularly when laying flat or exercising.


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What are the symptoms of heart failure?

What are the symptoms of heart failure?

Right or Left: Generally, left heart failure causes you to be short of breath (breathlessness). This is generally worse when you exert yourself (for example, walking up hill) or when you are lying flat in bed. This shortness of breath can be associated with a cough.
The main symptom of right heart failure is swollen ankles and legs (buildup of fluid) Your liver may also become enlarged. ...Read more

Dr. Joseph Shen
3,317 doctors shared insights

Heart Failure (Overview)

Heart failure is a complex set of conditions in which the heart "fails" to pump a normal amount of blood with each beat. This can be due to poor squeezing function (systolic heart failure) and/or a stiff heart incapable of filling normally (diastolic heart failure). Common symptoms include swelling and trouble breathing, particularly when laying flat or exercising.


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What are treatments for heart failure?

What are treatments for heart failure?

Salt, liquid control: Then diuresis i.e. Water pills by mouth or IV then some medicines may help like ace inhibitors or arbs or IV drips like dobutamine, melrinone, or Nesiritide in severe cases.

In severe selected cases, heart transplant may be an option.

Note, if no fluid overload happens, using salt & fluid restriction, the overwhelming majority of these patients will stay away from hospital and it's complications. ...Read more

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Heart failure (Tip)

Heart failure does not necessarily mean the heart is weak, explore the type of CHF you have. ...See more

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Living with Congestive Heart Failure (Checklist)

Weigh yourself daily, and alert your doctor if your weight increases
Daily
Take your medications as they are prescribed
Once
Tell the doctor if your legs swell or you get short of breath
Once
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What are factors that contribute to heart failure?

What are factors that contribute to heart failure?

Heart failure: Probably the 2 major conditions that contribute to the development of heart failure are high blood pressure and diabetes. Both of these conditions can have a direct, detrimental effect on the heart or cause heart failure through the development of coronary artery disease. At least 75% of people with heart failure in United States have a history of high blood pressure. ...Read more

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What are some of the complications of congestive heart failure?

What are some of the complications of congestive heart failure?

Quite varied: The immediate effect is back-up of pressure into the lungs, causing congestion there. Due to the poor forward flow out of the heart, the kidneys often are affected, and the need for diuretic medications to clear up the lungs can worsen kidney function even more. Liver disease, even cirrhosis, can occur if back-up extends all the way through the right side of the heart. ...Read more

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Heart failure (Tip)

If you have diabetes, you are at greater risk of heart failure. ...See more

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Managing Mild Kidney Failure (Checklist)

Make certain that your blood pressure is at the low prescribed target
once
Make certain that your cholesterol has been monitored and treated
once
Make certain that your blood sugars are well managed
once
Minimize your weight gain, and lose weight if you are overweight
once
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How does heart failure affect the kidneys relating to anatomy and physiology?

How does heart failure affect the kidneys relating to anatomy and physiology?

HF and kidney: In advanced heart failure the blood flow to the kidneys decrease and then this will lead to less blood perfusion and kidneys get affected. ...Read more

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Heart failure (Tip)

Join a heart failure treatment program. ...See more

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What are the symptoms of heart failure? And what tests are used to diagnose it?

What are the symptoms of heart failure? And what tests are used to diagnose it?

SOB & edema: Sob & edema are typical...Chest x-ray & echocardiogram are usually part of the initial evaluation. ...Read more

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After 2nd round r-chop, swollen ankles, rapid hr. Are these signs of heart failure? Why doesn't cardiologist order echocardiogram?

After 2nd round r-chop, swollen ankles, rapid hr.  Are these signs of heart failure? Why doesn't cardiologist order echocardiogram?

Valid Question.: Swollen ankles and rapid heart rate might be signs of heart failure. They merit a careful history and physical exam as well as ekg, chest x-rays and an echocardiogram. Hypertension and valve problems are high on the list of likely causes; however, in the case of a person exposed to a cardiotoxic chemotherapy drug, one must consider this as well. The toxic drug effect is cumulative; act quickly. ...Read more

Dr. Linda Gromko Dr. Gromko
1 other doctor agreed
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Heart failure (Tip)

"heart failure" may be a misleading term. The heart squeezes less effectively but it can be managed! ...See more

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Treating an Abnormal Heart Rhythm (Checklist)

Make healthy lifestyle choices
once
Stop smoking and avoid secondhand smoke
once
Avoid excessive amounts of caffeine and alcohol
once
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Can children have heart failure?

Can children have heart failure?

Chf: CHF can occur at any age including infancy and childhood. ...Read more

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What can be done to diagnose congestive heart failure when also have bronchopneumonia?

What can be done to diagnose congestive heart failure when also have bronchopneumonia?

BNP level: It is iften difficult to determine how much of patient's shortness of breath is related to infection or pneumonia versus that of fluid and heart failure. A lot of times it is multifactorial and a combination of both. A bnp blood level can sometimes help differentiate both processes, as well as a good clinical exam, cxr, and history. ...Read more

Dr. Colin Kerr Dr. Kerr
1 other doctor agreed
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Heart failure (Tip)

Exercise is very important for improving the outcome of heart failure. ...See more

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Improving Heart Health (Checklist)

Find an activity you enjoy, and do it daily for at least 20 minutes
Daily
Intensify workouts by doing max intensity for 2 min, every 5-10 min
Once
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What are symptoms of congestive heart failure that are visible before a diagnostic test?

What are symptoms of congestive heart failure that are visible before a diagnostic test?

Shortness of breath: Shortness of breath, initially with exercise, and in more severe cases even at rest. This may be worse when lying flat and may cause awakening with shortness of breath. Frequent nighttime awakening to pass urine may occur. Swelling of the ankles may develop, engorgement of veins in the neck may be seen. In very severe cases, there may even be swelling of the abdomen. ...Read more

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I had 2 EKG & 2 blood & 1 xray work done 2 different times. Im very short of breath when i lay down would those test show heart failure or enlargment?

I had 2 EKG & 2 blood & 1 xray work done 2 different times. Im very short of breath when i lay down would those test show heart failure or enlargment?

Echocardiogram: An ekg can demonstrate heart rhythm and enlargement of the heart chambers but cannot detect congestive heart failure. An echocardiogram will show the status of the heart muscle strength or weakness as well as size of the chambers and status of the heart valves. A chest xray will show more advanced heart failure. Your md has this information and can advise you best. ...Read more

Dr. Colin Kerr Dr. Kerr
2 other doctors agreed
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Heart failure (Tip)

A healthy lifestyle can avoid 48% of all cases of heart failure. ...See more

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Help please. Could ekgs or blood tests show heart failure?

Help please. Could ekgs or blood tests show heart failure?

Non-specific: Ecg can be non-specific. A blood test called a bnp level can help differentiate heart failure versus other conditions that may cause shortness of breath. ...Read more

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Could you have heart failure at 19 years of age?

Could you have heart failure at 19 years of age?

Heart failure: You can have heart failure at any age if you have the right cardiac abnormalities. It is however rare in 19 year olds. ...Read more

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Heart failure (Tip)

Most people with heart failure benefit from magnesium. Taurate, glycinate & citrate are best-absorbed. ...See more

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What drugs can cause heart failure?

What drugs can cause heart failure?

Drugs and HF: There are several drugs used to treat specific types of cancer that are associated with the development of heart failure. The most common are doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, and trastuzamab. This doesn't mean that they should not be used but that their use should be carefully monitored. Alcohol, cocaine, and amphetamines can also cause heart failure. ...Read more

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Swelling of the feet and hands mean heart failure, right?

Swelling of the feet and hands mean heart failure, right?

Not necessarily.: There are numerouis reasons for swelling of the extremities, heart failure is one of them. ...Read more

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Heart failure (Tip)

Don't - drink alcohol if you have heart failure. It can weaken heart muscle & interact with meds. ...See more

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How to treat heart failure disease naturally in men?

How to treat heart failure disease naturally in men?

Medication necessary: Heart healthy diet particularly low in salt and exercise training can help improve heart failure. However certain medications such as beta blockers, ace or arb and Aldactone (spironolactone) improve survival and should be taken if so advised by your cardiologist. ...Read more

Dr. Bennett Werner
762 doctors shared insights

Congestive Heart Failure (Definition)

Otherwise known simply as heart failure, is a condition in which the heart muscle is weakened. It may be receiving inadequate blood flow, its valves might be malfunctioning or the heart muscle might have thickened or stiffened. As a result, the heart, which is a pump, cannot supply the body with ...Read more