How to Live Longer With Heart Failure

A diagnosis of heart failure does not imply that the heart has stopped beating. Heart failure is a condition in which the blood flow from the heart decreases, producing a decline in blood flow throughout the body and causing congestion in the body’s tissues. This congestion can result in swelling in the ankles, legs or stomach, as well as fluid in the lungs, which can make breathing difficult.

Although heart failure can be caused by unknown factors, some of the major causes of heart failure are cardiomyopathy, coronary artery disease (CAD), hypertension, valvular heart disease and other temporary and treatable conditions such as thyroid, obesity, pregnancy, arrhythmias, etc.

Although the life expectancy of congestive heart failure patients varies based on the severity of the disease and factors such as heredity, age, etc., advancements in technology and treatment choices have now enabled many people to live longer.

Book an appointment with the best heart specialist in Chandigarh to get expert advice and the best heart failure treatment:

To understand how to live longer with heart failure, you need to first know the important signs and symptoms to monitor each stage of heart failure, change your lifestyle a little and take your medications and therapies on time.

Contents:Stages of Heart FailureHow to live longer with heart failure?

Stages of Heart Failure

Heart failure is a chronic, long-term heart health problem that can worsen over time. Therefore, the sooner you start making lifestyle adjustments to treat your disease, the higher are your chances of living longer. Below mentioned are the four stages of heart failure along with the measures that you should take to stay healthy.

Stage A

Stage A is often referred to as “pre–heart failure.” This stage means that the patient is at risk of developing heart failure due to conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, early CAD, or a family history of cardiomyopathy.

This is the right stage to start thinking about changing your diet, controlling your salt intake, lowering alcohol consumption, doing an appropriate amount of exercise to stay fit, and taking your medications on time.

Stage B

This is a critical juncture in the development of heart failure. Stage B implies that your heart has already undergone certain alterations that might lead to heart failure. Patients at this stage are more likely to have had a heart attack or some other type of heart disease. Along with doing everything that is to be done in Stage A, surgery or intervention may also be required.

Stage C

This is the stage when the patient is diagnosed with heart failure and is experiencing symptoms such as shortness of breath, difficulty in exercising, waking up short of breath after lying down, and swelling in the legs and feet.

Patients at this stage can live a longer life if they are put on proper drug regimes. Cardiac rehabilitation can also assist patients with stage C heart failure.

Stage D

Stage D is the most advanced stage of heart failure. These are the patients who may need a heart transplant, mechanical heart pump or other such critical treatments. Patients at this stage of heart failure should regularly consult a heart specialist in Chandigarh to identify the best treatment for them.

In every appointment with the cardiologist, the patients and their family members should ask as many questions as possible to know what changes they need to bring in their lifestyle and to open up the best treatment choices for them.

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How to live longer with heart failure?

There are indeed a set of changes that you need to bring in your lifestyle if you are diagnosed with heart failure, but this does not mean that you stop living altogether. Try to take out time for the activities that you enjoy, along with doing what is right for your heart.

Lifestyle changes that can delay the course of heart failure are as follows:

  • Exercise for at least 30 minutes five days a week. Avoid doing exercises that make you breathless.
  • Control high blood pressure
  • Quit smoking
  • Reduce your consumption of alcohol
  • Manage stress and recognize if you have depression or anxiety
  • Get adequate rest
  • Conserve your energy
  • Take your medicines exactly as directed by your doctor
  • Follow a low sodium diet
  • Consult your cardiologist regularly

Ask a Heart Specialist in Chandigarh: What You Need to Know About Your Heart Health

Heart health is a major concern for all of us. There are some things about the heart that we know and some myths about it that we believe. In this article, we will discuss all the information that you need to know about your heart health.

1. Symptoms of Heart Attack
2. Myths regarding Heart Health
3. How to prevent Heart Disease?

Symptoms of Heart Attack

Most people think that there are only a set number of symptoms that people come across while having a heart attack such as chest pain and soreness in the left arm. But the heart can warn us in many other ways as well. In most cases, the following symptoms can help you discover if a person is having a heart attack:

  • Uneasiness and shooting pain in chest; spreading towards arms, shoulders, neck, jaw, back and stomach.
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating
  • A feeling of nausea (found mostly in women)
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness and fainting
  • Numbness and tingling sensation in the arm (usually left)
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Change in mental state (usually in older people)
  • Skin growing pale

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Myths regarding Heart Health

Myth 1: Having heart disease is the end

Fact: This is certainly not the case. Even after you have been diagnosed with heart disease, you may be able to reverse the harm in many situations. Moreover, your lifestyle plays a critical role in doing so.

Exercising, eating a nutritious diet rich in fruits and vegetables, limiting processed foods, and quitting smoking, etc. can help to prevent heart disease.

Myth 2: A heart disease has a similar effect on men and women

Fact: Many research studies have shown that heart diseases can affect men and women in different ways and they may have different symptoms. Men usually show typical symptoms such as chest pain, breathlessness and sore arm but women can show unusual symptoms such as nausea and indigestion.

Myth 3: Young people are not at risk of heart attack

Fact: One of the most widespread fallacies that people, especially women tend to believe is that they are not vulnerable to heart disease. They believe it is a condition that affects elderly people.

But risk factors such as obesity, Type II diabetes, and hypertension are now showing up in younger men and women too. Therefore, heart disease may develop if these variables become more prevalent at a younger age, which makes taking precautions even more important.

Myth 4: You should not exercise if you have heart disease

Fact: In most cases, doing exercise does not harm a heart patient. Following a heart problem, patients are usually urged to enter rehabilitation and begin exercising within two weeks. There are a relatively small number of persons that have major long-term limits on never exercising. 

Exercise slows the course of heart disease and lowers the risk of another heart attack for people who have had one. You may begin with 10 minutes of exercise each day and gradually increase the time. However, it is best to consult your heart specialist in Chandigarh for the right guidance. 

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How to Prevent Heart Disease?

Coronary artery disease is usually preventable. Following are some lifestyle changes that you should incorporate in your life to prevent heart diseases:

  • Eat a healthy diet: Increase your intake of whole grains, chicken, fish, fruits, vegetables and decrease your intake of red meat, saturated fats and sugar. Depending on individual health, a doctor may be able to guide you better on what you should eat and what you should avoid. 

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  • Exercise: It is advised that you exercise regularly to improve your health. The chances of heart attacks increase if you are obese and so adequate efforts should be made to lose weight. However, it is suggested that you talk with your doctor before starting a fitness plan. 
  • Keep your cholesterol, blood pressure and diabetes in control: High cholesterol, Blood pressure, Hypertension, and Diabetes can increase the risk of having a heart attack. Hence it is recommended that you keep your health in check.
  • Quit Smoking: Smoking doubles or more the chances of a heart attack. Hence if you do smoke, it is advised that you quit immediately.
  • Limit alcohol: One drink a day is often recommended by doctors to reduce the risk of a heart attack. But if you drink more alcohol daily, it can damage your heart and cause other health problems.