Congestive Heart Failure Primer

Dimensions Magazine

Help Support Dimensions Magazine:

moore2me

Lions don't need to spank
Joined
Nov 8, 2005
Messages
5,611
Location
Banned from facebook,
A friend of mine has been diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure and is not sure how to go about living with such a disease. We have talked and perhaps thought the good people of this Forum may be able to suggest some help and tips or inspirational stories. I do not have Congestive Heart Failure but my mother-in-law had it for a year before she died of cancer. (Living with two complicated chronic diseases was very difficult for her and she was one of the cases that was hard to manage.)

I have done some research at several different respected agencies that deal with heart disease. One is the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), the other is the American Heart Assn, and the third is the Texas Heart Hospital. The following info is from these sources as referenced.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(From CDC)
Get vaccinated!
From http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p2015.pdf

Who needs a second dose of PPSV? ( Pneumococcal PolySaccharide Vaccine)
Who needs to be vaccinated with PPSV?
1. Vaccinate all previously unvaccinated adults age 65 years and older.
2. Vaccinate all adults ages 19 years and older who smoke cigarettes.
3. Vaccinate persons ages 2–64 years who • have chronic cardiovascular disease (e.g., congestive heart failure, cardiomyopathy), chronic pulmonary disease (e.g., COPD, emphysema, adults with asthma), or diabetes mellitus,


From http://www.heart.org/idc/groups/heart-public/@wcm/@adv/documents/downloadable/ucm_301639.pdf

The above link from the American Heart Assn leads to a page that describes controls for heart disease, stroke, and other forms of cardiovascular disease (CVD) including congestive heart failure. Improved treatment of people with these chronic diseases and improved diagnosis of new patients who are unaware they have the disease are the keys to longer life, better quality of life, and less cost of patient treatment. Some of the advances are listed below:


MANY DEATHS AND DISABILITIES FROM CVD CAN BE PREVENTED BY
1. Getting early diagnosis and correct treatment (the following may add 10 yrs to your life).
2. Not smoking.
3. Controlling blood sugar.
4. Controlling blood pressure - One in three U.S. adults has high blood pressure. About 69% of people who have a first heart attack, 77% who have a first stroke, and 74% with congestive heart failure have blood pressure above 140/90 mmHg. If you do not have a blood pressure monitor, buy one. People with large arms do better using the wrist type of automatic monitor (or check with your doctor).

5. Controlling cholesterol – if your cholesterol is of 200 mg/dLor higher. A 10% decrease in these levels may result in about a 30% cut in the incidence of coronary heart disease. There are good cholesterol lowering drugs on the market. Some of these drugs qualify for the $4 a month generic prescription rate. Diet modification is also useful in lowering cholesterol. A goal is to lower your LDL cholesterol. If you haven’t had your cholesterol checked, ask your doctor to do so.


6. Self education - Only 27% of respondents in a 2005 study knew heart attack signs and symptoms and would call 9-1-1 first if someone was having a heart attack or stroke. Women may have different heart attack symptoms than men.

7. Proper emergency care - Less than 5% of those eligible for tPA - the only emergency treatment approved by the FDA for the most common type of stroke - receive it. Patients treated with tPA within 3 hours of onset of stroke symptoms are 30% more likely to have minimal or no disability at a 3-month followup. (tPA is a clot busting drug for stroke victims).
 

Orchid

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2009
Messages
953
Location
Europe
Hello Moore2Me
some useful links on CHF
www.mayoclinic.com/health/heart-failure/DS00061
www.webmd.com/heart-disease/heart-failure/default.htm
www.chfpatients.com
there is also a large forum site MedHelp/forums on the left side patients anwer questions the right side of the forum is Ask A Doctor see CHF sections
=======================================
living with CHF some practical advice helpful tips
=======================================
-get a good cardiologist
-the heart meds should be taken regularly on time
-when you feel dizzy sit down or lay down
- if you go pre syncope feel that you are going to faint seek help
- lots of pillows on the bed eases breathing congestion
- if you feel airless a ventilator or open window helps
-for those on oxygen beware fire hazard like scented candles etc
- good nutrition hospitals have booklets on healthy heart eating
-sleep very important
-if you can not sleep still get some rest
-live life by the day know your body
-if in doubt ask ?
- get the flu vaccin yearly
-if you are on fluid restriction watch things like grapes cucumber melon yoghurt soup etc this also counts as fluids
-weigh daily if you gain weight it might be water
-if you are on diuretics use as prescribed
-with heart failure you get sort of indigestion so eat small meals avoid fatty foods which are heavy to digest
-there is less oxygen to the brain so one gets sort of brain fog
-take life day by day
Moore2Me more things will come to me will post again , greetings Orchid:)
 

Orchid

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2009
Messages
953
Location
Europe
save the pdf to your pc and also print out a paper copy of 29 page book on living with CHF
www.omhs.org/docs/pdf/CHF Patient Education Book.pdf

do keep a packed hospital bag ready with sleepwear toiletries slippers etc on standby for whenever you are rushed of to hospital at a moments notice
refresh the bag regularly or adjust to the seasons

when there is a heatwave consult your dr about the fluid intake to avoid dehydration

very hot weather or very cold weather should be avoided by CHF patients makes you feel even more unwell
 

moore2me

Lions don't need to spank
Joined
Nov 8, 2005
Messages
5,611
Location
Banned from facebook,
Great advice Orchid! This CHF is a whole lot more complicated than I thought it was. I never realized that you guys had so many different complications to watch. (Now I understand more about the Christmas ham story.)

Thanks for taking the time to research and post the links too. I know your energy is limited and you do not always feel good. Thanks for taking some of your precious time and energy to help the rest of us.

You're a peach! :wubu:
 

Orchid

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2009
Messages
953
Location
Europe
Hello Moore2Me
hope you are ok ? how is it with your friend with the CHF hope she is ok ?
Friendly greetings Orchid.
 

moore2me

Lions don't need to spank
Joined
Nov 8, 2005
Messages
5,611
Location
Banned from facebook,
Hello Moore2Me
hope you are ok ? how is it with your friend with the CHF hope she is ok ?
Friendly greetings Orchid.
Hi Orchid, I talked to my friend yesterday and she said she's doing much better. As everyone else in the south this summer, we are mostly staying in A/C'd spaces - most days now have ozone alerts that tells people with breathing problems to avoid outdoor activities. She is having no increased shortness of breath and certainly no swelling. I may have even kicked a chronic infection, as my blood sugars have been better-than-ever for almost 2 weeks - sounds like a good case of health management and following the doctor's protocols.

How about you Orchid? How are you doing?
 

Orchid

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2009
Messages
953
Location
Europe
mildly dizzy and a bit tired , got rid of 1.6 kg water yesterday but still holding on to water , over here we have on and off heatwaves, interchanged by spells of cold & cool weather and heavy rains , quite a strange summer.
take care of yourself , greetings Orchid :)
 

imfree

In Remembrance
Joined
Feb 6, 2007
Messages
9,310
Location
,
It looks like it's this way. The heart muscle thickens from the strain of pumping blood through the extra 200,000 miles of blood vessels in each pound of extra fat. The volume of blood pumped with each beat decreases as the muscle thickens. The heart gradually loses the ability to keep the body oxygenated. That includes the heart muscle. In end stage CHF shortness of breath becomes severe, even to the point of being out of breath while at rest. Arrhythmia sets in and the heart suddenly stops. CHF cannot be cured or reversed unless it's caused by an infection, for instance, but not when it's caused by an over-sized, overworked heart muscle. Shortness of breath sets in incrementally. I have been in CHF at least a few years, I know at the very least, since late 2009. I got shorter of breath a little more each year as I gained weight throughout my entire adult life. I'm nearly to the point of being out of breath at rest. My heartbeat does not feel steady. I'd love for it to just be stress. I pray for God's Mercy on me and long for His Grace. I pray for all of us.
 

imfree

In Remembrance
Joined
Feb 6, 2007
Messages
9,310
Location
,
I have managed to shed over 40 lbs of what I think is mostly fluid, in these past 3 weeks, or so. I also spoke with the home oxygen tech at the VA, whom I saw a little over a month ago and confirmed that I was allowed to go from 2 Liters Per Minute to 3LPM on my oxygen. I went to 3LPM full time with the tech's approval, day before yesterday. It's a fight, but I'm really trying hard and doing my best to manage fluid, sodium, and food serving sizes to shed fluid and weight. I'm breathing a little better and getting much better oxygen saturation readings.
 
Top