Congestive Heart Failure
Heart Failure is a heart disease prevalent with senior citizens older than 65 years. One study of 2017 reports that heart failure is a globally widespread disease affecting about 26 million people.
The heart is a very important body organ. The organ is responsible for pumping oxygenated blood and nutrients to all cells in the body. The electrical impulses enabled by the nervous system helps the heart muscles contract and expand while pumping blood. All other body organs and tissues depend on blood supply from the heart. What then is heart failure?
Heart Failure Definition
Heart failure is a disease that affects the efficient performance of the heart. The disease either weakens the heart muscle or makes the heart too stiff to adequately pump and circulate the blood to and from the heart.
Most of the heart failure cases are chronic and progressive. In other cases, heart failure can be acute, meaning it can happen suddenly without symptoms and also may only last for a short-term.
Different from what the name of the disease means, your heart does not entirely fail to function. It only reduces its performance.
Types of Heart Failure
Heart failure can happen differently due to the way it affects the heart. Also, heart failure can either be systolic or diastolic as we shall explain here below:
Left-Sided Heart Failure
The oxygenated blood from the lungs enters the heart through the left atrium and onto the left ventricle for blood supply to other parts of the body. The left side requires to work efficiently to keep the whole body supplied with oxygenated blood and the nutrients. If the left side of the heart fails to pump enough blood, it then starves the entire body of the required blood.
With the left-sided heart failure, the left ventricle fails to contract enough, and hence pump out insufficient blood to the rest of the body. Medically, it means the heart has "reduced ejection fraction." Such dysfunction is known as systolic heart failure.
On the other hand, the heart left ventricle muscle becomes stiff and hence fails to relax effectively. The left ventricle then fails to fill with enough blood which results in the reduced blood supply in the circulation. The condition is diastolic dysfunction also known as diastolic heart failure.
Right-Sided Heart Failure
The 'used' or deoxygenated blood from the body enters the heart through the right atrium to the right ventricle which then pumps it to the lungs for oxygenation.
The right ventricle can fail to pump enough blood out to the lungs as it should, which can cause congestion in the body. One of the reasons for right-sided heart failure is as a result of left-sided heart failure. The pressure caused by the left side of the heart can affect the right side as well.
Congestive Heart Failure
Congestive heart failure is a disease type under heart failure disease. Heart failure is wrongly referred to as congestive heart failure. Congestive is as a result of progressive heart failure.
When the entire body's blood circulation slows, the body retains fluid to collect in the legs at the ankles and the lungs. The fluid buildup can cause pressure to the lungs resulting in labor breathing and wheezing. The legs and ankles swell due to fluid buildup.
What is the Cause of Heart Failure?
Heart failure disease is the result of other health conditions that could affect the cardiovascular system. Some of the diseases are:
- Coronary Artery Disease
- Congenital heart
- Heart inflammation
- Heart muscle defects
- Heart valves malfunction
- Thyroid disease
- Lungs diseases
- Excess alcohol/smoking/drug abuse
What are the Symptoms of Heart Failure?
- Heart failure symptoms may include:
- Irregular heartbeat
- Shortness of breath
- Persistent cough or wheezing
- Legs, feet, and ankles swelling
- Constant urination at night
- Fluid retention causing rapid weight gain
- Weakness and Fatigue
How is Heart Failure Diagnosed?
Your doctor may suggest some or all of the following tests to determine the extent of your heart failure.
Electrocardiogram – Also known as ECG measures the performance of electrical impulses of the heart.
Blood tests – Your doctor may require several blood tests to determine how much the disease has affected your other organs and tissues.
Echocardiogram – Echocardiogram is a video test that picks heart images by the use of sound waves. The images can then portray the effect of heart failure on the heart.
X-ray – A chest x-ray can be conducted to establish the condition of the heart, whether enlarged or the extent of congestion.
Heart catheterization – The test checks the functioning of the blood vessel. An injection containing some dyed content is inserted inside your blood vessel. The test can indicate any arteries that are weak or blocked.
Stress Test or Exercise – Exercise test enables your doctor to determine the response of your heart when put under pressure of activities.
Heart Failure Treatment
Can heart failure be cured? The doctors say that heart failure cannot be cured but treatment can manage the symptoms.
The initial stage of your heart failure treatment may be to determine the disease that causes your heart failure. Your doctor may want to deal with the causing factor first to get to the heart failure.
The following as some of the treatments your doctor may prefer using depending on the type of your heart failure.
Some of the following lifestyle changes can alter the heart failure symptoms to slow the progression of the disease and hence improve your life quality.
- Stop smoking (if you smoke)
- Healthy diet especially the diet best for the heart
- Limiting alcohol use
- Limiting caffeinated drinks
- Limiting fluid intake (Depending on your fluid buildup)
- Avoiding stress
- Managed physical exercises
Medication for your heart failure can depend on the cause of the disease. Also, the progression and the stage of your heart failure may direct the doctor to the type of medication useful for your specific heart failure condition.
For instance, you can be in the congestive heart failure stage. In that case, your doctor can add on top of your other medications, diuretic drugs to assist reduced fluid buildup.
Depending on your heart failure and the underlying cause condition, your doctor may suggest a specific surgery if need be.
Heart Failure Complementary and Alternative Therapy
There are various alternative treatments for heart health issues. However, you may require consulting your health practitioner for the best therapy and advice. The following are some of the recommendations from our natural health practitioner, Yvonne Dollar Perc.
DNA Testing for Congestive Heart Failure
We do DNA health testing which could help detect this potential and many others. If you are concerned that you might have the possibility, then give us a call and we can set up a DNA health assessment test. The Gene MTRR is a key factor in Heart Health especially with Homocysteine Levels
Key Genes: MTRR (Homocysteine/Healthy Heart Gene or MTRR rs1801394)
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE MTRR GENE?
The MTRR gene encodes for the MTRR enzyme, which specifically supports cardiovascular health by regulating homocysteine levels.
We look at live and dry blood samples specifically for blistering - a localized area in the sample that appears raised/bulging. This pattern is connected to cardiovascular health challenges, including circulation problems, stress on the heart, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeats, narrowing of blood vessels, etc.
Natural Health Products That Support Heart Function
Rejuvenaid Helps to maintain proper muscle function and tissue formation and to form red blood cells, supports energy production, and helps to maintain heart muscle function.
CoQ10 Helps to maintain and/or support cardiovascular health. Many Co-Q10 products are marketed in a crystalline state, a form in which the coenzyme's absorbability is far less than ideal. Nature's Sunshine uses a patented lipid blend to keep Co-Q10 from crystallizing, and it yields maximum bioavailability.
Hawthorn Traditionally used in Herbal Medicine to help maintain and support cardiovascular health dating back as far as the 17th century.
Your life revolves around the health of your heart. Be in control of what you eat and how you live. It's never too early to make drastic changes from any destructive lifestyle that can cause heart failure or worsen your condition.
As we had mentioned earlier, one of the heart diseases that can lead to heart failure is high blood pressure or hypertension. When your heart is subjected to high blood pressure, it tends to overwork trying to ease the pressure. When that happens, your heart can strain and weaken the heart muscles. The result of weak heart muscles is heart failure.
Would you like to read more about high blood pressure? Our next in heart disease series is high blood pressure. You don't want to miss the intriguing informational topic. Stay tuned right here…
You have only one heart and one life. Take care of it to take care of your life. Maintain your heart health by eating a healthy hearty diet and living a healthy lifestyle.
At Island Health Works we mainly focus on your maximum quality health. While taking care of your health, we use certified natural products from high-quality sources.
For more information concerning your health, talk to our own Natural Health Practitioner – Yvonne Dollard Perc. Yvonne can guide you through natural health therapy you may require.
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Editor: Yvonne Dollard Perc
Research Assistant: Elizabeth Njuguna
Designer: Sherry Robb
To learn more, contact Yvonne Dollard Perc at Island Healthworks. Yvonne offers phone consultations where she will develop an individualized health care program and lifestyle plan tailored to your specific needs through a personal health and lifestyle analysis.
Call 250-468-7685 to speak with Yvonne and set up a phone consultation!
Yvonne offers in-person consultations with assessment of your specific needs, health and lifestyle coaching, and the best of integrative natural health care. To book your in person consultation, please call 250-468-7685!
This article is intended for educational purposes and the information contained within is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure any disease or health problem. Please seek appropriate medical attention for any health complaints. We cannot take responsibility for your health care decisions. Our intent is only to offer health information to help you with your search for better health.