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How do doctors diagnose heart failure?

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Doctors diagnose heart failure by taking a medical history and conducting a physical exam and tests. During the medical history your doctor will want to know if:

During the physical, the doctor will check your blood pressure, use a stethoscope to hear sounds associated with heart failure in the heart and lungs, and look for swollen neck veins, an enlarged liver, and swollen feet.

  • You have any other health problems such as diabetes, kidney disease, angina (chest pain), high blood pressure, or other heart problems
  • You smoke
  • You drink alcohol, and if so, how much
  • You are taking medications

SOURCES: 

Silver, W., “Success With Heart Failure: Help and Hope for Those with Congestive Heart Failure,” HarperCollins, 3rd edition October 16, 2002. 

American Heart Association.

Reviewed by Suzanne R. Steinbaum on October 29, 2017

SOURCES: 

Silver, W., “Success With Heart Failure: Help and Hope for Those with Congestive Heart Failure,” HarperCollins, 3rd edition October 16, 2002. 

American Heart Association.

Reviewed by Suzanne R. Steinbaum on October 29, 2017

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How are blood tests used to diagnose heart failure?

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