Your Doctor's Exam for Heart Failure
Heart Failure and Blood Pressure continued...
Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg), which refers to how high the pressure in the arteries can raise a column of mercury in a sphygmomanometer, a device for measuring blood pressure.
Normal blood pressure for an adult, relaxed at rest, is about 100-120 over 80. The 100-120 is the systolic pressure; the diastolic pressure is 80. Blood pressure may increase or decrease, depending on your age, heart condition, emotions, activity, and the medications you take. One high reading does not mean you have high blood pressure. It is necessary to measure your blood pressure at different times while resting to find out your typical value.
Heart Failure and the Physical Exam
Your doctor can also tell about your heart's function by examining other parts of your body such as your arms, legs, and skin.
Your doctor may detect fluid in the lungs using the stethoscope. In addition, people with heart failure may have distended or enlarged neck veins, swelling of the legs (edema) or abdomen, or an enlarged liver indicating too much fluid.
Heart Failure and Blood Tests
Your doctor may recommend blood tests to check your cholesterol and other markers such as BNP, or B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) blood test, that may indicate heart disease.