What is Heart Failure? What are its stages? How to Treat? You can get information about the subject in our article titled. Heart failure is a long-term disease in which the heart does not always pump blood well enough to meet the body's needs. Treatment; It includes exercise and medication initially, and possible surgical procedures when heart failure worsens. The course of the disease depends on a number of factors, including how well the person takes care of themselves.
Heart failure or congestive heart failure is a long-term disease that worsens over time. Although the name of the disease may indicate that the heart has stopped working, heart failure means that the heart cannot pump blood as it should. When the heart has less pumping power, this can damage a person's organs and cause fluid accumulation in the lungs.
Approximately 6 million Americans experience heart failure, and more than 870,000 people are diagnosed with heart failure each year. Heart failure (congestive heart failure) is one of the leading causes of hospitalization in people older than 65 years.
There are many causes of heart failure, but the disease is generally divided into the following types:
Congestive heart failure is a condition in which the heart cannot handle the volume of blood. Congestive heart failure causes accumulation in other parts of the body, most commonly in the lungs and lower extremities (feet/legs).
Some of the complications resulting from heart failure include:
Heart failure is a chronic condition that worsens over time. There are 4 stages of heart failure (Stage A, B, C and D). The stages range from "high risk of developing heart failure" to "advanced heart failure."
Stage A: Stage A is considered pre-heart failure. Stage A means a person is at high risk of developing heart failure because they have a family history of heart failure or have one or more of the following medical conditions:
Stage B: Stage B is considered pre-heart failure. This means that the doctor diagnosed systolic left ventricular dysfunction, but the patient never had symptoms of heart failure. Most people with stage B heart failure have an echocardiogram (echo) that shows ejection fraction (EF) of 40% or less. This category includes people with heart failure and reduced EF (HF-rEF) from any cause.
Stage C: People with Stage C heart failure are diagnosed with heart failure and have signs and symptoms of the condition now or in the past. There are many possible symptoms of heart failure. The most common are:
Stage D and Reduced EF: People with Stage D HF-rEF have advanced symptoms that do not improve with treatment. This stage is the final stage of heart failure.
The main symptoms of heart failure are:
There may be times when symptoms are mild or no symptoms at all. This does not mean that heart failure no longer exists. Heart failure symptoms can range from mild to severe and may appear and disappear from time to time.
Unfortunately, heart failure often gets worse over time. As it gets worse, more or different symptoms appear. Those who have new symptoms or whose existing symptoms worsen should definitely report this to their doctor.
Although the risk of heart failure does not change as you get older, the likelihood of experiencing heart failure is higher as you get older.
Many medical conditions that damage the heart muscle can cause heart failure. Diseases that can commonly cause heart failure include:
To determine whether a person has heart failure, the doctor needs to know the person's symptoms and medical history. To diagnose heart failure, the doctor may ask questions such as:
Do you have health conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease, chest pain (angina), high blood pressure, high cholesterol, coronary artery disease or other heart problems?
The doctor will also perform a physical examination on the patient and look for signs of congestive heart failure and heart disease, which can cause your heart muscle to weaken or harden.
Ejection fraction (EF) is one way to measure the severity of the condition. If the EF is below normal, it may mean that you have heart failure. Ejection fraction tells the doctor how good a job the left or right ventricle is doing at pumping blood. Generally, the EF value relates to how much blood the left ventricle pumps since it is the main pumping chamber of the heart.
Several non-invasive tests can measure EF. With this information, the doctor can decide how to treat the patient or understand whether a treatment is working as it should.
A normal left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) is 53% to 70%. For example, an LVEF of 65% means that 65% of the total amount of blood in the left ventricle is pumped out with each heartbeat. EF may increase and decrease depending on the condition of the heart and how well the treatment is working.
There are various tests to see how bad your heart failure is and what is causing it. Commonly used tests include:
Treatment depends on the type of heart failure you have and, in part, what is causing it. Medications and changes in lifestyle behaviors are part of every treatment plan. The doctor will talk to him about the best treatment plan for the patient. The form of treatment is the same for men and women, regardless of gender.
As heart failure worsens, the heart muscle pumps less blood to the organs and the next stage of heart failure progresses. Since it is not possible to go backwards in the stages of heart failure, the aim of the treatment is to prevent the patient from progressing through these stages or to slow down the progression of your heart failure.
The usual treatment plan for people with stage A heart failure is as follows:
The usual treatment plan for people with stage B heart failure is as follows:
The usual treatment plan for people with stage C HF-rEF is as follows:
If treatment causes symptoms to improve or stop, continued treatment is necessary to slow progression to Stage D.
The usual treatment plan for people with Stage D heart failure includes the treatments listed in Stages A, B, and C. Additionally, more advanced treatment options need to be considered, including:
For people with Stage C and Stage D heart failure and preserved EF (HF-pEF), treatment is as follows:
It is also very important for patients to manage other health conditions, such as:
Some diseases have signs and symptoms similar to heart failure. Those with new or worsening symptoms should report this to their doctor.
Although some risk factors such as age, family history or race cannot be controlled, the best thing a person can do to prevent heart failure is to change their lifestyle. Things that can be done are as follows:
Congestive heart failure does not prevent people from doing things they enjoy if proper care is provided. The course of the disease largely depends on the following.
One study says people with heart failure have a life expectancy that is 10 years shorter than those without heart failure. Another study shows that survival rates for people with chronic heart failure are 80% to 90% in the first year, but this drops to 50% to 60% by the fifth year and 30% by 10 years
In a different study, it was found that people with heart failure who were discharged from the hospital had a life expectancy ranging from 3 to 20 years, depending on various factors such as age and gender. In addition to all these, it is important to look at the patient's specific condition when evaluating the course of the disease.
With the right care and treatment plan, many adults can continue to enjoy life even though heart failure limits their activities. How well the patient feels depends on:
The patient should take care of himself by doing the following.
Those with heart failure can take various steps to improve their heart health. The patient should take his medications as recommended, switch to a low-sodium diet, be physically active, notice sudden changes in his weight, adopt a healthy lifestyle, not neglect follow-up appointments, and monitor his symptoms. Those with questions or concerns about medications used, lifestyle changes, or other parts of the treatment plan should see a doctor.