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Is Your Heart Failure Diastolic, Systolic, or Both?

 

Diastolic Heart Failure:

Is when the heart muscle becomes stiff. It doesn't usually relax between contractions, which keeps the ventricles from filling with blood. Ejection fraction is often in the normal range of around 50% or more.

Systolic Heart Failure:

Is when the heart muscle becomes weak and enlarged. It can't pump enough blood forward when the ventricles contract. Ejection fraction is lower than average, often in the range of 45% or less. 

Left-Sided Heart Failure:

Symptoms:

  • Cough (produces frothy or blood-tinged mucus)

  • Decreased urine production

  • Difficulty lying down; need to sleep with the head elevated to avoid shortness of breath

  • Fatigue, weakness, faintness

  • Irregular or rapid pulse

  • A sensation of feeling the heartbeat (palpitations)· Shortness of breath

  • Waking up due to shortness of breath (paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea)

  • Weight gain from fluid retention

Left-sided heart failure is a life-threatening condition in which the left side of the heart cannot pump enough blood to the body. Causes Heart failure may affect the right side, the left side, or both sides of the heart.

 

The left side of the heart receives blood rich in oxygen from the lungs and pumps it to the remainder of the body. As the ability to pump blood forward from the left side of the heart decrease, the rest of the body does not receive enough oxygen, especially when exercising.

Results in fatigue. Besides, the pressure in the veins of the lung increases, which may cause fluid accumulation in the lung. Results in shortness of breath and pulmonary edema.

Medicines include:

  • Beta-blockers to prevent death in individual patients

  • Digitalis to help slow heart rhythms and increase the heartbeat

  • Diuretics to help the body get rid of extra fluid

  • Spironolactone or eplerenone to prevent salt retention and help patients with severe heart failure

  • ARBs, ACE inhibitors, long-acting nitrates, and hydralazine to reduce the stress on the heart and to prevent further muscle damage and scarring.

  • Digoxin increases muscle strength and slows down abnormally fast heart rates.

Right Sided Heart Failure:

Right-sided heart failure is a condition in which the right side of the heart loses its ability to pump blood efficiently. Causes In right-sided heart failure, the right ventricle fails its pumping function, and blood may back up into other areas of the body, producing congestion. Congestion affects the liver, the gastrointestinal tract, and the limbs. Also, the right ventricle may be unable to pump blood efficiently to the lungs and the left ventricle.

Symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath

  • Swelling of feet and ankles

  • Urinating more frequently at night

  • Pronounced neck veins

  • Palpitations (sensation of feeling the heartbeat)

  • Irregular, fast heartbeat

  • Fatigue

  • Weakness

  • Fainting

 

Many people admitted to the hospital with heart failure do not follow a recommended low-salt diet or take heart failure medicines as prescribed.

 

Medicines that may used include:

 

Diuretics (water pills) can help reduce fluid accumulation. Furosemide, torsemide, or bumetanide can improve moderate to severe symptoms. Hydrochlorothiazide, chlorthalidone, and chlorothiazide for mild symptoms. Another drug, spironolactone, can prevent salt retention and help patients with acute heart failure. Medications that reduce your heart's workload include ACE inhibitors, ARBs, and drugs such as hydralazine and long-acting nitrates.

 

They can prolong the life of very sick patients with failing hearts. Beta-blockers (such as metoprolol or carvedilol) can help prevent death in some heart failure patients. Digitalis may be prescribed to increase the muscle contraction of the heart and may help avoid hospitalization.