Signs and Symptoms of Heart Failure

Shortness of breath or trouble breathing Fatigue (tiredness) Swelling in the ankles, feet, legs, abdomen, and veins in the neck

‡ these symptoms are the result of fluid buildup in your body. ‡ starting, you may feel tired and short of breath after routine physical effort, like climbing stairs. ‡ As your heart grows weaker, symptoms get worse.

and a cough ‡ The cough get worse at night or lying down. . frequent urination. ‡ condition in which too much fluid builds up in your lungs.‡ Fluid buildup from heart failure also causes weight gain. ‡ This cough may be a sign of acute pulmonary edema.

.Acute pulmonary edema requires emergency treatment.

and the results of tests. ‡ Find out whether you have a disease or condition that can cause heart failure. or diabetes . high blood pressure. a physical exam. .DIAGNOSIS OF HEART FAILURE ‡ Heart failure based on your medical and family histories. such as coronary heart disease (CHD).

‡ Early diagnosis and treatment can help people who have heart failure live longer. more active lives. .‡ Rule out other causes of your symptoms ‡ Find any damage to your heart and check how well your heart pumps blood.

when they occur. Your answers will help show whether your symptoms limit your daily routine. ‡ Your doctor want to know which signs and symptoms you have. and. how long you've had them. if so.Medical and Family Histories ‡ Your doctor will ask whether you or others in your family have or have had a disease or condition that can cause heart failure. and how severe they are. how much « .

and the veins in your neck . . ‡ Listen to your lungs for the sounds of extra fluid buildup . feet.Physical Exam ‡ During the physical exam. abdomen. ‡ Look for swelling in your ankles. legs. doctor will: ‡ Listen to your heart for sounds that aren't normal .

If you have signs and symptoms of heart failure. Also may refer you to a cardiologist. .Diagnostic Tests No single test can diagnose heart failure. your doctor may recommend one or more of the following tests.

EKG (Electrocardiogram) ‡ An EKG is a simple. painless test that detects and records the heart¶s electrical activity. ‡ EKG may show whether the walls in your heart's pumping chambers are thicker than normal. ‡ The test shows how fast the heart is beating and its rhythm (steady or irregular). .

‡ EKG also can show signs of a previous or current heart attack. .

Chest X Ray ‡ A chest x ray takes pictures of the organs and structures inside your chest. and blood vessels. ‡ Also test can show whether your heart is enlarged. . lungs. or whether have lung disease. have fluid in your lungs. such as your heart.

BNP Blood Test ‡ This test checks the level of a hormone in your blood called BNP. . The level of this hormone rises during heart failure.

‡ The test provides information about the size and shape of your heart.Echocardiography ‡ Uses sound waves to create a moving picture of your heart. ‡ How well your heart chambers and valves are working. . ‡ Can identify areas of poor blood flow to the heart.

‡ Echo may be done before and after a stress test . and previous injury to the heart muscle caused by lack of blood flow.‡ Areas of heart muscle that aren't contracting normally.

‡ Test often is done with echo to give a more complete picture of blood flow to the heart and lungs. . ‡ Doppler ultrasound often is used to find out whether you have right-side heart failure (this is when the heart can't fill with enough blood).Doppler Ultrasound ‡ A Doppler ultrasound uses sound waves to measure the speed and direction of blood flow.

. or hung around your neck. kept in a pocket. ‡ Can be clipped to a belt.Holter Monitor ‡ Records your heart¶s electrical activity for a full 24.or 48-hour period. ‡ You wear small patches called electrodes on your chest that are connected by wires to a small.

‡ During a nuclear heart scan. radioactive substance called a tracer is injected into your bloodstream through a vein. a safe.Nuclear Heart Scan ‡ Shows how well blood is flowing through your heart and how much blood is reaching your heart muscle. .

‡ Tracer travels to your heart and releases energy ‡ Nuclear heart scan can show where the heart muscle is healthy and where it¶s damaged. .

flexible tube called a catheter is put into a blood vessel in your arm.Cardiac Catheterization ‡ During cardiac catheterization (KATH-eter-i-ZA-shun). or neck and threaded to your heart. ‡ This allows your doctor to look inside your coronary (heart) arteries. thin. groin (upper thigh). a long. .

. and use x rays to look at your coronary arteries. your doctor can check the pressure and blood flow in your heart chambers. collect blood samples.‡ During this procedure.

‡ A dye that can be seen on x ray is injected into your bloodstream through the tip of the catheter . .Coronary Angiography ‡ Usually is done with cardiac catheterization.

‡ The dye allows your doctor to see the flow of blood to your heart muscle. . ‡ Angiography also shows how well your heart is pumping.

Stress Test ‡ During stress testing. ‡ You may walk or run on a treadmill or pedal a bicycle. . you exercise (or are given medicine if you can't exercise) to make your heart work hard and beat fast.

‡ The test produces both still and moving pictures of your heart and major blood vessels. magnets. ‡ A cardiac MRI can show whether parts of your heart are damaged.Cardiac MRI ‡ Magnetic resonance imaging) uses radio waves. . and a computer to create pictures of your heart as it¶s beating.

imaging tests. and tests to stimulate the thyroid.Thyroid Function Tests ‡ Thyroid function tests show how well your thyroid gland is working. . ‡ These tests include blood tests. ‡ Having too much or too little thyroid hormone in the blood can lead to heart failure.

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