What is Heart Failure?
Heart Failure (sometimes called congestive heart failure or CHF) is a decline in the ability of the heart to pump blood to your body. It can be caused by blockages in the blood vessels to your heart (coronary artery disease), high blood pressure, problems with the valves in your heart, heart muscle disease (cardiomyopathy) or inflammation (myocarditis). Other causes include severe lung disease, diabetes, and birth defects.
Do I have Heart Failure?
Symptoms of heart failure include:
- Shortness of breath, especially brought on with light exercise (walking)
- Coughing without a cold, especially if it is worse when you lay down
- Not being able to walk more than a few blocks without stopping
- Frequent tiredness or fatigue
- Swelling of the feet, ankles, legs, or abdomen.
If I have Heart Failure what should I do?
- Lifestyle changes - You should eat a heart healthy diet, limit salt intake,
- Medications - There are many medications which can help treat heart failure and reduces your symptoms. Your doctor can prescribe them basis on your symptoms.
- My doctor has told me I have heart failure and I am taking several medications, but I still don't feel better. What should I do?
You should speak with your doctor about your concerns. You may need to be referred to a cardiologist, such as Dr. Doug. If you would like our office to contact you, click here to send us an email.
There are other advanced options which may be appropriate for you. These include pacemakers, implantable cardioverter/defibrillators (ICDs), a heart transplant or mechanical circulatory support using a ventricular assist device.
Ventricular assist devices (VADs) are blood pumps which take over some or all of the function of the heart in people suffering from heart failure or who are awaiting a heart transplant. In conjunction with the INTEGRIS Nazih Zuhdi Transplant Institute's heart transplant program and the INTEGRIS Heart Hospital, INTEGRIS offers the most comprehensive heart failure program in Oklahoma.