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Heart Failure Health Center

Medical Reference Related to Heart Failure

  1. What Increases Your Risk

    Heart failure is generally the result of another disease, often coronary artery disease. Anything that increases your risk for developing that underlying disease is a risk factor for heart failure. This includes:Risk factors for coronary artery disease and heart attack.Risk factors for high blood pressure.Risk factors for heart valve disease.Risk factors for diabetes (because diabetes can ...

  2. History and Physical Exam for Heart Failure

    Your medical history includes anything about your past and present health-conditions you used to have or conditions you have now. Tell your doctor about medical problems of any type, including any surgery that you have had. When giving your doctor your medical history, be complete and detailed in your descriptions. Even if an illness is completely gone or does not seem important to you, knowing ..

  3. Heart Failure: Avoiding Triggers for Sudden Heart Failure

    Key pointsSudden heart failure can be prevented by avoiding the triggers that cause it.Not all people are sensitive to or react to the same triggers. What may cause sudden heart failure in one person may not cause another person any difficulty.To avoid sudden heart failure: Pay attention to your symptoms. Changes in your weight, difficulty breathing, decreased appetite, and swelling (usually ...

  4. 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

  5. Get started

    Heart failure usually gets worse over time. But there are many things you can do to feel better,stay healthy longer,and avoid the hospital. Self-care means managing your health by doing certain things every day,like weighing yourself. It's about knowing which symptoms to watch for so you can avoid getting worse. When you practice good self-care,you know when it's time to call your doctor ...

  6. Prevention

    The best way to prevent heart failure is to make changes in your lifestyle that lower your risk of developing heart disease. It is also important to control certain medical conditions, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, to lessen your chances of developing heart failure. Heart disease caused by narrowing and hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) in the blood vessels of the heart and ..

  7. Medications

    You probably will need to take a combination of medicines to treat heart failure, even if you do not have symptoms yet. Medicines do not cure heart failure. However, they can help you manage your symptoms.The goals of drug treatment are to relieve or control symptoms of heart failure, improve daily function and quality of life, slow the progression of the disease, and reduce the risk of ...

  8. Topic Overview

    Most people with heart failure can still have an active sex life. But sexual problems are common. Your interest may drop,or you may have shortness of breath or other symptoms that limit your ability to have sex. Men may have erection problems. To make sex easier on you and your heart: Avoid sexual activity when: It's very hot or humid outside. You're under stress. You've just had a meal. ...

  9. Topic Overview

    The following is a classification for heart failure devised by the New York Heart Association (NYHA). It is important to be familiar with this classification,because it may be referred to during the course of your care. Classification of heart failure symptoms Class I People whose physical activity is not limited. Ordinary physical activity does not cause undue fatigue,heart palpitations,...

  10. Joyce's story

    Joyce's first symptom of heart failure hit hard-and suddenly. "I woke up one morning and couldn't breathe," she says. "I was real shaky,and I couldn't lie down at all." Joyce,83,went to the hospital and was diagnosed with heart failure. Then 3 days later,a pacemaker was placed in her chest. Her doctor explained that she had an irregular heartbeat and that a pacemaker could fix it. "My ...

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