submitted by Shahzad Ahmed MD, FACC, FSCAI, RPVI, Interventional Cardiologist, Director Cardiology, LBH
If you have heart failure, you are not alone. More than six million Americans have heart failure. Heart failure does not mean that your heart has stopped beating, it refers to a number of conditions that can affect how your heart functions.
Heart failure makes it harder for the heart to pump enough blood to meet your body’s need for oxygen. That is why most people with heart failure have trouble breathing, especially when they are active. Even small tasks like climbing stairs or grocery shopping result in fatigue and trouble breathing. Heart failure is a lifelong condition, and you play a very important role to stay well.
HEART FAILURE TYPES
Heart failure with reduced ejection fraction HFrEF: This is a condition where your heart muscle is weak to pump enough blood to meet your body oxygen requirements.
Heart failure with reduced ejection fraction HFpEF: This is a condition where your pumping ability is normal; however, your heart cannot relax to fill with enough blood. As a result, less blood full of oxygen and nutrients is pumped out to your body.
With heart failure with preserved ejection fraction, pressure inside your heart increases and can push fluid back into the lungs and other parts of your body.
HOW YOU MANAGE HEART FAILURE
The good news is that heart failure can be managed and there are many treatment options for both heart failure with reduced ejection fraction and heart failure with preserved ejection fraction. Proper treatment of heart failure can make you feel healthy and live a normal life.
Treatment of heart failure depends on underlying conditions. For example, if you have blockage in your heart arteries, fixing those blockages might help you to feel better. If you have valvular problem, fixing that valve problem can make you feel better.
In general, if you have heart failure the treatment usually includes lifestyle changes, medications, cardiac rehab, and surgical procedures. If you have a heart failure, you should follow with your doctor on regular basis and review medications and plan in detail. You should prepare your questions for the doctor to ask at each visit.
Dr. Ahmed is currently accepting new patients at BMC Cardiology Practice, 501 Bath Road in Bristol. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 215-785-5100.