People display a kind of discouragement when they are diagnosed with heart failure. They often seem to believe that their life is about to end. But the word heart failure does not mean that the heart has stopped working. Heart failure may not be fatal. It is a widespread problem, and it is estimated that eight to ten million people in India suffer from heart failure. Heart failure is the slow, progressive weakening of the heart muscle and can result from preexisting comorbidities such as diabetes and hypertension. It is essential to understand the genesis of heart failure due to the increase in mortality to more than thirty percent in the absence of treatment. Still, there is a silver lining since treatment options are available for every stage of heart failure. To keep this ray of hope alive, The Times of India has launched Beat Heart Failure in partnership with Novartis which aims to educate people about heart failure, its management and treatment options. The campaign has been running successfully for more than two and a half years. In an effort to raise awareness among the masses, doctors from top hospitals in various parts of the country have joined the initiative to tackle common myths and misconceptions associated with the disease.
In the ongoing series, Doctors from NHMMI Narayana Super Specialty Hospital, Smart City Hospital and Vishesh Jupiter Hospital have joined the campaign – Dr. PK Hari Kumar – Senior Cardiothoracic Vascular Surgery Consultant Dr. Swapnil Garde – Chief Interventional Cardiologist Dr Shailendra Trivedi – Director – Department of Cardiology https://fb.me/e/1rN3R3fIX A heart attack is not heart failure. Heart failure is a progressive weakening of the heart muscles when the heart cannot pump blood efficiently to meet the body’s metabolic needs, Dr. Trivedi explained. Many causes, including metabolic and other, can lead to progressive weakening of muscles leading to heart failure. Symptoms in patients may vary depending on the extent of damage to the heart. Heart failure, if detected early, can be reversed, but delay can lead to complications and serious damage to the heart muscle.
Pre-existing comorbidities such as diabetes, hypertension and obesity are the leading causes of heart failure worldwide. In India, the death rate is higher than the global average, due to an increase in infections such as rheumatic heart disease caused by streptococcal pneumonia and pericardial tuberculosis, Dr Garde said.
Myocarditis or inflammation of the middle layer of the heart due to viral infections can cause heart failure. The heart has four valves that prevent the backflow of blood. Any deficiency in the valves can precipitate heart failure. There can be defects in the heart, such as a hole in the heart (in medical terms, a patent foramen ovale) or aortic stenosis, and other imperfections can cause heart failure, Dr Kumar said. .
Many people are unaware of the signs and symptoms in early old age. The disease has already set in when the patient comes to the doctor. Prompt treatment is essential. The earlier the diagnosis and treatment, the sooner the damage can be repaired.
Common symptoms of heart failure include swelling in the feet, shortness of breath, shortness of breath on exertion to climb stairs, and increasing fatigue. The patient also complains of difficulty in lying upright.
Heart failure can be acute or chronic. Acute heart failure sets in within hours and the most common root causes are heart attacks, damage to blood vessels and valves, and infectious sources. The vascular causes of heart failure are due to changes in hemoglobin. A patient with chronic heart failure may present with acute heart failure known as acute exacerbation with diabetes and hypertension.
The doctors consulted insist on the attention paid to risk factors. People with a family history of heart disease should be extra vigilant and get checked regularly. The American Diabetes Association states that people with diabetes are already in the early stage of heart failure. Even if the patient has no visible symptoms, people in stage one will do well with regular screening by a cardiologist. The diagnostic tests that doctors use to detect heart failure are electrocardiograms, stress tests, angiograms and 2D echo. In all likelihood, these tests will confirm structural and functional changes to the heart. Doctors may do a heart MRI and other tests to determine the extent of heart failure.
Once a patient has symptoms of heart failure, treatment is aimed at reducing swelling in the legs and reducing congestion in the lungs. The initial focus on symptom management helps reduce patient fears and increases patient confidence. Doctors start with optimal medical treatment. There is a wide range of drugs. Drug therapy is aggressive in severe lesions. Medical management is proving increasingly effective and excellent results in the treatment of heart failure multiply when patients stick to the prescribed discipline.
Surgical options for the management of heart failure include stent insertion, revascularization, valve replacement, cardiac resynchronization therapy devices, and implantable cardioverter defibrillator. If the patient is in end-stage heart failure, left ventricular assist devices are used as a gateway to transplantation. Destination therapy is heart transplantation in the last stage of heart failure.
It is not only in adults, but it is also important to diagnose children born with heart problems. However, a child can lead a life like any average child, after treatment and surgery for a hole in the heart. Patients with severe heart muscle damage have positive and reassuring results on treatment with surgery and drugs, Dr. Kumar pointed out.
The doctors ended the discussion with a positive message to remain hopeful if diagnosed with heart failure. It is necessary to assess the risk and extent of cardiac damage and start treatment accordingly. Managing risk factors is crucial to preventing further harm.
Remember that heart failure is not about stopping. It’s about starting life in a new way. To learn more about how to manage heart failure, visit www.toibeatheartfailure.com Disclaimer: “The views and opinions expressed in the article by the panelists/experts are based on their independent professional judgment and are disseminated in the public interest. These views should not be considered a substitute for professional advice from a licensed physician. The purpose of this article is not to promote any medical procedures or drugs and/or or to recommend a certain physician. For any specific health concerns, please consult your licensed physician.”
(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)