Heart fail­ure

Costa Levante News - - HEALTH - Dr. Camp­man

Heart fail­ure means that the heart is not able to pump blood around the body prop­erly. It usu­ally hap­pens be­cause the heart has be­come too weak or stiff.

It's some­times called ‘ con­ges­tive’ car­diac fail­ure, although this name isn't widely used to­day.

Heart fail­ure means that your heart needs some ex­tra sup­port to help it work bet­ter. It can oc­cur at any age, but com­monly oc­curs in older peo­ple.

Heart fail­ure is a long­term con­di­tion that tends to get slowly worse with time. It can't usu­ally be cured, but the symp­toms can often be con­trolled for many years. Are mainly:

Feel­ing breath­less, at rest, or after ac­tiv­ity, and is some­times worse when ly­ing down.

Feel­ing gen­er­ally tired and find­ing ex­er­cise ex­haust­ing.

Swollen an­kles and legs, often less in the morn­ing, and worse later in the day.

Symp­toms can some­times de­velop quite quickly (acute heart fail­ure) or grad­u­ally over weeks or months (chronic heart fail­ure). Can in­clude:

A per­sis­tent cough, which can be worse at night Wheez­ing A bloated ab­domen Loss of ap­petite Weight loss or gain Feel­ing con­fused Pal­pi­ta­tions or an reg­u­lar and some­times heart rate Feel­ing dizzy or faint De­pres­sion or anx­i­ety ir­fast You should see your GP if you ex­pe­ri­ence per­sis­tent or grad­u­ally wors­en­ing symp­toms of heart fail­ure.

The symp­toms can some­times be caused by other, less se­ri­ous con­di­tions, so it is im­por­tant to get them checked out

Nor­mally upon hav­ing symp­toms of heart fail­ure, your GP will ask you to de­scribe them and will then per­form a phys­i­cal ex­am­i­na­tion. If they sus­pect heart fail­ure, you maybe re­ferred to a spe­cial­ist for fur­ther tests.

If your symp­toms are se­vere or sud­denly ap­pear, then you should seek ur­gent med­i­cal as­sis­tance, or an am­bu­lance if very se­vere, as you may need treat­ment in Hos­pi­tal. Tests you may need, to di­ag­nose heart fail­ure in­clude:

Blood tests – to de­tect whether heart fail­ure is the prob­lem, or an­other ill­ness.

An elec­tro­car­dio­gram (ECG) – this records the elec­tri­cal ac­tiv­ity of your heart.

An echocar­dio­gram – is a type of ul­tra­sound scan where sound waves are used to ex­am­ine your heart.

Breath­ing tests – you may be asked to blow into a tube to check whether a lung prob­lem is con­tribut­ing to your breath­less­ness; com­mon tests in­clude spirom­e­try and a peak flow test.

A chest X­ray – to check the size of your heart, to check for en­large­ment, also there may be fluid in your lungs (also a sign of heart fail­ure), to check whether a lung con­di­tion could be caus­ing your symp­toms.

The Bri­tish Heart Foun­da­tion has a web­site, where you can read more about this. When you're di­ag­nosed with heart fail­ure, your doc­tor will usu­ally be able to tell you what stage it is.

The stage de­scribes how se­vere your heart fail­ure is. It's usu­ally given as a class from 1 to 4, with 1 be­ing the least se­vere and 4 be­ing the most se­vere:

class I – you have no symp­toms dur­ing nor­mal phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity

class II – you are com­fort­able at rest, but nor­mal phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity trig­gers symp­toms class III – you are com­ fort­able at rest, but a lit­tle phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity trig­gers symp­toms

class IV – you are un­able to carry out any phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity with­out dis­com­fort and you may have symp­toms even when at rest

Know­ing at which stage your heart fail­ure is, will aid the doc­tors to de­cide which course of treat­ment to fol­low.

The main course of ac­tion is to en­sure that you fol­low a healthy life­style, and to take the cor­rect med­i­ca­tion pre­scribed for you. Some­times a de­vice is needed to con­trol the rhythm of your heart; this can be im­planted into your chest. Some­times an op­er­a­tion is needed. There are many com­bi­na­tions of treat­ment and these usu­ally need to be fol­lowed for the rest of your life. If you have been di­ag­nosed Send your med­i­cal queries or prob­lems to: ic­[email protected]­mail.com or see ad­vert be­low . with heart fail­ure, there are some healthy life style changes that can help re­lieve your symp­toms and re­duce your risk of be­com­ing even more se­ri­ously ill. It is often rec­om­mended to Fol­low a healthy diet Stop smok­ing Mod­er­ate al­co­hol in­take Re­duce your salt in­take Ex­er­cise reg­u­larly With heart fail­ure, it is very im­por­tant to look after your own health and well­be­ing, and to seek sup­port as and when it is needed.

You may be given an op­por­tu­nity to at­tend a re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion pro­gramme. This teaches you the best course of ac­tion, as in ex­er­cise, re­ed­u­ca­tion, re­lax­ation and emo­tional sup­port.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Spain

© PressReader. All rights reserved.