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Heart Failure Health Center

Medical Reference Related to Heart Failure

  1. Topic Overview

    What is heart failure?Heart failure means your heart muscle does not pump as much blood as your body needs. Failure does not mean that your heart has stopped. It means that your heart is not pumping as well as it should.Because your heart cannot pump well, your body tries to make up for it. To do this: Your body holds on to salt and water. This increases the amount of blood in your bloodstream. ..

  2. Topic Overview

    If you have heart failure,symptoms start to happen when your heart cannot pump enough blood to the rest of your body. Shortness of breath While shortness of breath is the most common symptom of heart failure,it may be difficult or impossible to distinguish it from shortness of breath caused by other health problems such as emphysema or severe anemia. Your doctor can help you determine why ...

  3. Topic Overview

    Heart failure is a very serious illness that can cause life-threatening complications and significantly limit your life span. Fortunately,many drugs have been shown to slow the progression of heart failure,and several drugs (angiotensin-converting enzyme [ACE] inhibitors,diuretics,beta-blockers) have been shown to prolong survival. Each of these medicines has risks and benefits that you and ...

  4. Surgery

    People who have heart failure with chest pain (angina) or who have had a heart attack in the past may benefit from coronary artery bypass surgery or angioplasty to open clogged arteries. Some people may have surgery to repair specific underlying causes of heart failure, such as damaged valves. In cases that have a specific treatable cause, surgery sometimes can greatly improve or eliminate heart .

  5. Health Tools

    Health tools help you make wise health decisions or take action to improve your health.Actionsets are designed to help people take an active role in managing a health condition. Activity and exercise for heart failure Avoiding triggers for sudden heart failure Eating less sodium when you have heart failure Taking your medicines properly when you have heart failure Watching your fluid intake when .

  6. Cause

    Heart failure is caused by diseases or other factors that affect the pumping ability of the heart, specifically the left lower chamber (left ventricle). When the heart cannot pump well, it is called systolic heart failure. Things that affect how the heart pumps include:Coronary artery disease (CAD) and heart attack (most common causes).Damage from poorly controlled high blood pressure or ...

  7. End-of-Life Decisions

    Although heart failure treatment is increasingly successful at prolonging life and reducing complications and hospital stays, heart failure can be a progressive, fatal condition. Many important end - of - life decisions can be made while you are active and able to communicate your wishes.More informationHow can I help make decisions about long - term care?How can I prepare for end - of - life issu

  8. Joan's story

    Joan figured she would need months to recover physically from the heart attack 2 years ago that led to her heart failure. She didn't realize she would need just as much time to recover emotionally. "I was only 52 when I had the heart attack," she says. "Heart disease runs in my family,but I thought I'd been taking care of myself. It just hit me out of the blue. And then I got heart failure ...

  9. Topic Overview

    Many people with heart failure have trouble sleeping. You may have insomnia because of trouble breathing or because of depression or anxiety. Some people with heart failure have sleep apnea,which means they stop breathing for 10 seconds or longer several times a night. This reduces the amount of oxygen their body gets. Untreated sleep apnea can lead to health problems or make problems that ...

  10. Healthy Eating: Eating Less Sodium

    When you have heart failure, you need to eat less sodium, which is a component of salt. You will feel better and will lower your risk of being hospitalized by following the suggestions in this Actionset.Key pointsYour doctor may limit your sodium intake to less than per day.Keeping track of your sodium intake is the surest way of evaluating your diet.Processed foods and restaurant foods typically

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