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What is heart failure?

Touro is experienced with diagnosing and treating numerous heart-related conditions including heart failure. Our patients have come to trust us for our ability to create effective treatment plans for heart failure. The heart is a muscle which pumps oxygen-rich blood throughout your body. Heart failure prevents it from doing its job as well as it should or causes a condition called congestive heart failure. Both situations are serious and require immediate medical attention.

The types of heart failure

Heart failure essentially means that not enough oxygen-rich blood travels throughout your body to the other organs with each beat. The heart’s purpose is vital, so it is imperative to act quickly if you were diagnosed with heart failure. There are two types of heart failure.

Systolic Heart Failure

This condition occurs when the heart muscle becomes weak and enlarged. When the ventricles contract, it isn’t capable of pumping enough blood throughout the body. The measurement of how much blood your heart pumps with each beat is called ejection fraction – and with systolic heart failure, that measurement is lower than expected. The byproduct is backed-up blood in the lungs, shortness of breath, and eventually edema, or ankle swelling.

Diastolic Heart Failure

In this case, the heart muscle becomes stiff instead of weakened. As a result, it cannot relax between contractions. It keeps blood from filling up the ventricles as needed. Even though the ejection fraction is often in the normal range, the condition still causes a backup of blood in the body. The backup can impact numerous organs, such as the liver.

doctor talking to female patient

The signs and symptoms of systolic and diastolic heart failure

Fortunately for you, there are several signs and symptoms of heart failure. Keeping a close eye on your heart health is an excellent idea. Some of the symptoms include rapid weight gain caused by fluid buildup and shortness of breath. Many patients experience a fast heart rate and a lingering cough. Others will notice swelling in the feet, legs, or abdomen. Nearly all patients suffer from extreme fatigue. Lastly, many will notice frequent nausea or loss of appetite.

How we treat heart failure

Heart failure is treatable. At Touro Heart Care, we will use various treatment methods and counseling to help patients turn their heart health around. If heart failure stems from a valve problem or coronary heart disease, we might need to perform a procedure. While many heart failure cases do not have a cure, lifestyle changes will help manage the condition. For instance, patients can control their blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Quitting smoking and losing weight (if needed) are excellent options. Exercise and a healthier diet are two staples of controlling heart failure. We will discuss your options with you and devise an effective plan.

Get in touch! We’re ready to help you reclaim your heart health.