Although many forms of heart failure cannot be cured, medication can occasionally alleviate symptoms and allow you to live a longer life. You and your doctor can work together to make your life easier. Pay attention to your body and how you feel, and let your doctor know whether you feel better or worse. He or she will be able to tell you if your condition is getting better and suggest changes that may help it get better even more quickly.
Heart failure can be classified by how much fluid is in the lungs, the cause of the fluid buildup, and the type of muscle damage occurring. Here are the most common types:
Classification by Lung Fluid Levels
If you have heart failure with normal lung function, your doctor will check your fluid levels every six months. If you're keeping an eye on them and they're still high, your doctor may recommend changing your diet or starting exercise to see if that reduces the fluid further.
If your heart failure causes you to cough up mucus, you'll need to be treated with medications to clear the mucus from your system. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics or mucolytics (drugs that break down mucus) for this purpose. Also, make sure to follow your doctor's instructions about breathing exercises or other methods to clear your airways of mucus.
Classification by Cause
Although not all disorders that cause heart failure can be corrected, medicines can alleviate the symptoms of heart failure and help you live longer. Exercise, limiting salt in your diet, controlling stress, and losing weight are all examples of lifestyle improvements that can enhance your quality of life. In addition, there are many medical treatments available for those who have chronic heart failure. These include medications to control blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as artificial hearts and lungs. However, none of these approaches restores muscle mass or improves cardiac function. Heart transplantation is considered the final option for those with end-stage heart disease.
Yes, heart failure can be reversed. One important factor in achieving this goal is identifying which patients will benefit from such a procedure. Experts believe that if the heart has not already started to fail, then it may be possible to restore some or all of the lost muscle using regenerative medicine techniques. This approach would involve removing any remaining healthy muscle tissue, adding new muscle tissue, and then replacing the old tissue with scar tissue. Scientists are currently testing different types of stem cells in animals with heart failure to determine which might be best for treating people too. Also, research is exploring ways to stimulate the body's own repair mechanisms or bypass them completely by installing new hearts using prosthetic devices.
Heart failure is a complex condition that affects the heart's ability to pump blood throughout the body.
Although advanced heart failure cannot be cured, it can be treated. Treatments can alleviate your symptoms and assist your heart in pumping as efficiently as possible. However, therapies include hazards as well as advantages, so consider your options thoroughly with your doctor. In addition, there are ways to manage the consequences of the disease as well as its cause. This includes controlling high blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose levels to prevent further damage to the heart.
With proper treatment, most people with heart failure can live quite comfortably for many years. If you are being treated for heart failure and your physician feels that you are stable enough for discharge, then you may be released from the hospital. However, even if you are not currently sick, heart failure can still be dangerous without treatment. So it's important to work with your doctor to decide on a course of action that is right for you.