Understanding Congestive Heart Failure

Understanding your illness and treatment can help you feel more in control. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Dealing with heart disease involves doctors, nurses, social workers and other specially trained healthcare professionals. You will receive lots of new and complex information and need to make many serious decisions.  So it is important to be able to communicate clearly with your entire healthcare team.

Heart failure stops the heart from pumping blood as it should, it doesn’t mean that your heart has stopped beating. The heart keeps working, but the body’s need for blood and oxygen isn’t being met. Heart failure can get worse if it’s not treated so it is important to follow your physicians orders. When living a healthy lifestyle, you will feel much better and have a higher quality of life!

Results of Heart Failure

  • Heart does not pump enough blood.
  • Blood backs up in veins.
  • Fluid builds up, causing swelling in feet, ankles, and legs (edema).
  • Body holds too much fluid.
  • Fluid builds up in lungs, which is called “pulmonary congestion.”
  • Body does not get enough blood and oxygen.

 Signs of Heart Failure

  • Shortness of breath, especially when lying down.
  • Feeling tired and run-down.
  • Swelling in feet, ankles, legs, and abdomen.
  • Angina (pain or discomfort in the chest).
  • Weight gain from fluid buildup.
  • Confusion or unable to think clearly.

 Causes of Heart Failure

  • Clogged arteries don’t let enough blood flow to the heart.
  • Past heart attack has done damage to the heart muscle.
  • Heart defects present since birth.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Heart valve disease.
  • Diseases of the heart muscle.
  • Infection of the heart and/or heart valves.

 Treating Heart Failure

  • Rest.
  • Consume less sodium (salt).
  • Prescriptions from your physician to help your heart to function better and to help your body from retaining excess fluids.

 (Adapted from the American Heart Association)

 Free Guide to Frequently Asked Questions About Hospice

, , ,

Related Posts

Specialized End-of-Life Cardiac Program Available

In the United States, the most common type of heart disease is coronary artery disease (CAD), which can lead to a heart attack. You can greatly reduce your risk for CAD through lifestyle changes and, in some cases, medication.

During October, we will be sharing tips to help you prevent heart disease and live a heart smart life!

Raising Heart Awareness flyer

Heart-Disease

Working Together for Better Heart Care

folder_openHeart Health
turned_in_not,
commentNo Comments

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. Every year, one in four deaths are caused by heart disease. The good news? Heart disease can often be prevented when people make healthy choices and manage their health conditions. Communities, health professionals, and families can work together to create opportunities for people to make healthier choices. To prevent heart disease and increase awareness of its effects, Heart ‘n Home is proudly participating in American Heart Month.

Every 60 seconds, more than one person in the U.S. dies from a heart disease-related event. Unfortunately, there are individuals suffering right now with unmanaged symptoms from cardiac disease. The Heart ’n Home team can help! We have a specialized Cardiac Program structured around the needs of patients with end-stage heart failure. We can assist with:

• Specific Cardiac Plan of Care that monitors and manages symptoms and reduces episodes of crisis.
• Reducing emergency room and hospital visits.
• On-staff Pharmacist to help with drug therapy protocols.
• Caregiver support, increasing confidence to manage illness at home.

Many healthcare providers have made heart-health a focus to help Americans make improved health choices for reducing their risks of the disease. However, heart failure-related diseases are most common in the elderly population and that number continues to increase. Heart ‘n Home would like to work along side you in caring for end-stage heart disease patients. Call us today if you think someone may benefit from our hospice and palliative care services.

Tips for lowering your risk of heart disease:
• Watch your weight.
• Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke.
• Control your cholesterol and blood pressure.
• If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
• Get active and eat healthy.

High-Blood-Pressure

About High Blood Pressure

folder_openHeart Health
turned_in_not,
commentNo Comments

Known as the “silent killer,” high blood pressure (HBP) often shows no obvious symptoms. There are over 3 million cases of high blood pressure per year and it is most common in people over the age of 65.  If you have high blood pressure, you are not alone. Nearly half of American adults have HBP. If you are unsure if you have high blood pressure, the best way to find out is to get it checked. High blood pressure or hypertension means the pressure in your arteries is elevated. Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against blood vessel walls. When left untreated, the high blood pressure forcing through your circulatory system can put you are greater risk for heart attack, stroke, and other health risks.

Those at a higher risk:

  • Have relatives with HBP
  • African Americans
  • Are over the age of 35
  • Overweight individuals
  • Aren’t physically active
  • Eat too much salt
  • Drink too much alcohol
  • Have diabetes, gout, or kidney disease
  • Are pregnant
  • Taking birth control

Taking your medication:

  • You may be prescribed multiple medications.
  • Medicine is most effective when taken regularly.
  • Ceasing to take medication without consulting your physician can be dangerous.
  • Even after your blood pressure is lowered, you may still need to take medicine – perhaps over a lifetime, to keep a normal blood pressure.

Remembering to take medications:

  • Take them at the same time daily.
  • Take with meals or other reoccurring daily events.
  • Use a weekly pill box.
  • Use a calendar.
  • Leave notes to remind yourself.

Side Effects

  • Weakness, tiredness, or drowsiness
  • Impotence
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Depression, sluggishness, trouble sleeping, nightmares
  • Slow or fast heartbeat
  • Skin rash
  • Loss of taste or dry mouth
  • Dry, constant cough, stuffy nose, or asthma symptoms
  • Ankle swelling, leg cramps, or joint aches
  • Headache, dizziness or swelling around the eyes
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Fever or anemia

Preventing high blood pressure:

  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Increase physical activity.
  • Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy foods.
  • Consume less salt.
  • Limit alcohol intake.
  • Avoid smoking.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.

Menu