Heart Failure

Heart failure may sound final, but with treatments and technology coupled with the expertise of INTEGRIS Health heart failure cardiologists, it’s anything but.

Heart Failure by INTEGRIS Health

Congestive heart failure is a long-term condition in which the heart is no longer able to pump oxygen-rich blood to the rest of the body. Over time, blood and other fluids will collect in your lungs and legs. Understanding the signs, symptoms, and treatments can help you better manage the condition.

Signs and Symptoms of Heart Failure

Symptoms of heart failure can range from severe, mild or none. Symptoms can also fluctuate as they may come and go over time. It’s important to know that congestive heart failure typically gets worse for patients over time. Additional health complications can increase the severity or chances of heart failure. Common symptoms of heart failure include the following:

  • Shortness of breath during rest, exercise, or lying flat
  • Weight gain
  • Swollen feet and ankles
  • Swollen liver or abdomen
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Persistent cough
  • Reduced urination

Types of Heart Failure

There are several different types of congestive heart failure

  • Left-sided-heart failure
    • Systolic failure: This is when the left ventricle can’t pump with enough force to push enough blood into circulation. When the left ventricle loses the ability to contract normally, it’s known as heart failure with reduced ejection, or HFrEF.
    • Diastolic failure: This is when the left ventricle can’t relax because the muscle is too stiff and can’t properly fill with blood between each beat. This is also known as heart failure with preserved ejection.
  • Right-sided heart failure
    • Right-sided heart failure is a result of the left ventricle failing. When the heart can’t pump enough blood out, increased fluid pressure is transferred back through the lungs which damages the heart’s right side. When the right side loses power to pump blood, it backs up into the body’s veins.
  • High-output heart failure

Causes of Heart Failure

Causes for heart failure can be linked to a multitude of other conditions including the following:

Additionally, heart failure can be caused suddenly due to a medication or reaction. This includes the following:

  • Allergic reaction
  • Blood clots in the lungs
  • Severe reaction
  • Use of certain medicines
  • Viruses that attack the heart muscle

Risk Factors of Heart Disease

Other diseases and conditions that may increase the risk of heart failure

Stages of Heart Disease

Heart failure is categorized into four stages ranging in severity. From having a high risk of developing the condition to having advanced heart failure.

Stage A Heart Failure

Stage A determines that you’re at a high risk of developing heart failure. This could be your family’s history of congestive heart failure, or you have one or more of the follow medical conditions:

  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Coronary artery disease
  • History of alcohol use disorder
  • History of rheumatic fever
  • Family history of cardiomyopathy
  • History of taking drugs that can damage your heart muscle such as some cancer drugs

Stage B Heart Failure

Stage B means your left ventricle isn’t working properly or is structurally abnormal. However, you may not be showing any heart failure symptoms at this time. Speaking with your doctor about ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) inhibitors or ARB (Angiotensin Receptor Blockers) is recommended.

Surgery options should be discussed with your doctor for coronary artery or valve disease.

Stage C Heart Failure

Stage C heart failure is for patients who have a congestive heart failure diagnosis and are showing signs and symptoms of the condition.

At this time, it’s encouraged to speak with your doctor about the possible ways to manage and treat your condition.

  • Diuretics (water pills) and digoxin for symptom management
  • Aldosterone inhibitor may be prescribed when symptoms remain severe with other therapies
  • Reduced sodium diet
  • Monitor weight
  • Restrict fluids
  • Pacemaker or ICD may be recommended

Stage D Heart Failure

Stage D heart failure are for patients with advanced symptoms and won’t improve with treatment as this is the final stage.

How to Diagnose Heart Failure

These are common tests that are used to identify heart failure. These tests can help determine the stage and cause of the condition.

  • Blood tests
  • Cardiac catheterization
  • Chest X ray
  • Echocardiogram
  • Cardiac computed tomography
  • Electrocardiogram
  • Multigated acquisition scan
  • Stress test
  • Genetic testing

Medications for Heart Failure

Medication can be used to help manage and treat the condition. These medications depend on the cause and symptoms of heart failure. It’s important to talk with your doctor about these medications before starting.

  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
  • Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs)
  • Angiotensin receptor plus neurolysin inhibitors (ARNIs)
  • Beta blockers
  • Diuretics
  • Potassium-sparring diuretics
  • Sodium-glucose cotransporters-2
  • Digoxin
  • Hydralazine and isosorbide dinitrate
  • Vericiguat
  • Positive inotropes
  • Other medicines

Surgical or Other Procedures

Depending on the severity of your condition, your doctor may recommend surgery or another procedure.

Life After Heart Failure

Heart failure may sound final, but with our treatments and technology coupled with the expertise of Advanced Cardiac Care heart failure cardiologists, it's anything but. Our physicians and specialists have extensive experience in diagnosing and treating heart failure with cutting edge technologies and therapies - including LVAD therapy and heart transplant.

For Referral Information please call 405-713-9911 or toll free at 855-258-3269.

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