Spot and Stop Heart Failure


ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Heart failure affects nearly 5.7 million Americans, and it’s a problem that’s on the rise. The number of deaths from this condition has more than doubled since 1979. But there are ways you can detect and prevent the signs of heart failure.

It beats one hundred thousand times a day, pumping one-point-five gallons of blood every minute! But when heart failure strikes, your heart stops doing its job.

Sitarmesh Emani, MD, a Cardiologist at OSU’s Wexner Medical Center shared, “As a consequence, there’s often a build-up of excess fluid into the lungs, into the stomach, into the legs.”

Symptoms to watch out for include shortness of breath, coughing, fatigue, swelling in the body, confusion, and a lack of appetite.

“The most common cause in the united states for congestive heart failure is a history of coronary artery disease, or commonly known as heart disease, blockages.” Dr. Emani continued.

To lower your risk, stop smoking. After just one year of quitting, your risk of heart disease is reduced by 80 percent! Also, exercise at least two and a half hours a week. Eat heart healthy foods such as veggies, fruits, and lean meats. Limit alcohol to no more than two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women. And, keep other conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure under control. Heart failure can be serious, but with the right care, you can usually live a long and full life!

Treatments for heart failure typically include medicines called diuretics, or “water pills”, to remove excess fluid and other drugs to strengthen the heart. Some patients might require devices to help their heart pump better. If the situation is severe, a person might need a heart transplant.

Contributors to this news report include: Julie Marks, Producer; Roque Correa, Editor.

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REPORT #2444

BACKGROUND: Heart failure can be caused by coronary heart disease, heart attack, cardiomyopathy, and conditions that overwork the heart, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease, thyroid disease, and or heart defect. The types of heart failure are systolic (heart muscles don’t squeeze with enough force) and diastolic (heart squeezes normally, but the main pumping chamber does not work properly). In addition, there are also stages to a heart failure. Stage A is when one is at risk for heart failure, stage B is when there are no symptoms of  heart failure but there is a diagnosis of systolic left ventricular dysfunction, which means the left chamber does not work. Stage C is when you have symptoms of systolic heart failure along with shortness of breath, fatigue, and less ability to exercise. Lastly, stage D is when you have systolic heart failure and advanced symptoms after receiving medical care.


HEART DISEASE PREVENTION: There are many ways to lower the risk of coronary heart disease. The best way is to stop smoking and avoid secondhand smoke. Exercise will also boost heart health and improve cholesterol and blood pressure.  Start a heart-healthy diet and stay active to maintain a healthy weight. The two nutrients that make the blood cholesterol rise are saturated fat and trans fat. The good fats are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and they actually help lower blood cholesterol levels. Some sources are avocadoes, peanut butter, and salmon. A heart-healthy diet consists of eating fat-free or low-fat dairy products, fish, fruit, legumes, whole grains and vegetables. It’s also important not to eat more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day. If you have diabetes, high cholesterol or high blood pressure, you need to maintain these conditions with a healthy lifestyle and medicine.  Reducing stress is another tactic that can be done with meditation, yoga, or even talk therapy.  Aspirin can help lower the risk of a heart attack or a stroke, but it can also lead to serious bleeding so it’s best to take it on the advice of your doctor.

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MEDICAL PROCEDURES: Sometimes a healthy lifestyle is not enough for patients who have coronary heart disease.  In this case statin medications may need to be prescribed to control or lower your cholesterol. Your doctor may also prescribe other medications to reduce your heart’s workload, prevent blood clots or lower blood pressure in order to decrease your chance of having a heart attack. Depending on your symptoms, your doctor may request a procedure or surgery be done. Percutaneous coronary intervention, commonly known as angioplasty, it is a nonsurgical procedure that opens blocked or narrowed coronary arteries. Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG) is a type of surgery in which arteries or veins from other areas in your body are used to go around your narrowed coronary arteries. Cardiac rehabilitation may be used for angina or after CABG angioplasty or after a heart attack. Almost everyone diagnosed with coronary heart disease can benefit from cardiac rehab. Rehab consists of two parts: education, counseling and training as well as exercise training.


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Marti Leach