slideshow widget

Monday, June 25, 2018

Heart Failure: What Are Treatments?

Bronchodilators are a top-line treatment for heart failure.

Just kidding!

However, some studies do show that some bronchospasm may result from heart failure. But, this bronchospasm is secondary to fluid overload. A bronchodilator will not treat heart failure. It may relieve some of the shortness of breath if it is caused by bronchospasm.

So, you can only treat heart failure with heart failure medicine.

Here's what the Mayo Clinic says:
"You can't reverse many conditions that lead to heart failure, but heart failure can often be treated with good results. Medications can improve the signs and symptoms of heart failure."
Treatment for heart failure includes.
  1. Medicine. Medicines used to treat heart failure are those that strengthen the strength and contractility of the heart, such as Digoxin. They also include medicines to lower the blood pressure or to make patients pee, such as Lasix or Bumex. These are medicines that are often taken every day to prevent heart failure symptoms or to make symptoms less severe when they do occur. For a list of other medicines used to treat heart failure, check out my post, "Heart Failure Medicine).
  2. Lifestyle changes. These would include such things as quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, limiting salt intake (to lower blood pressure), exercising to the best of your ability, taking your blood pressure medicines as prescribed by your physician, as well as taking all your meds as prescribed. You'll also need to manage stress, manage depression, manage anxiety, lose weight, control diabetes, and lose weight if you're too overweight.
  3. Surgery. Cardiac anomalies, such as leaky valves and tetrology of felot can be corrected with surgical procedures. 
  4. Supplemental oxygen. This may be needed during exertion and at night while sleeping. It will probably also be needed during flare-ups. 
  5. BiPAP. This reduces preload and afterload to reduce the work the heart has to do. This can often be worn at night time to improve oxygenation and reduce nighttime dyspnea. It can also be used in hospitals to reduce resistance to breathing and to make breathing easier in order to buy time for the medicines used by physicians to work their magic. 
  6. Intubation. It is usually not needed if the patient presents to the emergency room in plenty of time to get adequate treatment. Intubation is often avoided by using BiPAP. 

No comments: