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There are currently 21 answered questions available, displayed from newest to oldest.
I recommend speaking with your doctor in regards to difficult questions such as life expectancy. There are many variables that must be taken into consideration to get an estimate of survival and life expectancy. Generally speaking, based solely on the diagnosis of heart failure the Framingham study found that from 1990-1999 the mortality after heart failure diagnosis was 11% at 30 days, 28% at 1 year, and 59% at 5 years.
Sanjeev, great question! In severe cases of heart failure your doctor may recommend a reduced water and sodium intake to prevent stress on your heart, please see our Diet section for more information on sodium restriction. Once your doctor has prescribed a fluid limit (for example a common limit is 2 liters per day), you can use a container such as a water bottle with the allotted limit and monitor your intake. Additionally any food with a high liquid content should also count as liquid, such as soups, ice cream, and jello. If someone has a low concentration of sodium in the blood, fluid restriction may be particularly important.
First and foremost we cannot diagnosis a potential disease process through described symptoms alone. It is important for your sister to visit a healthcare professional where medical testing can be performed such as, lab tests, chest x-rays, and physical assessment. Although her symptoms of extremity swelling, shortness of breath and fatigue are associated with fluid congestion in heart failure patients, they can also be associated with other diseases. I am sorry we cannot give further advice but the social support you provide your sister will go a long way once a proper diagnosis has been made.
The hardening of arteries is a result of plaque build up of the inner walls of the arteries called atherosclerosis and can be screened for with a non treadmill stress test or diagnosed through a cardiac catheterization. Atherosclerosis causes a narrowing of arteries vital in supplying blood to the heart itself. When blood does not properly supply the heart muscle with oxygen the tissue becomes oxygen deficient and cause chest discomfort (angina pectoris), symptoms can also include discomfort in the upper abdomen, left arm, neck, or jaw. If coronary disease is severe enough, it can affect the heart’s function as a pump and fluid retention. Eventually fluid congestion causes a buildup of fluid in the lungs and can contribute to a cough and breathlessness. If kidneys receive a reduced blood flow for any reason, this will limit the amount of salt and water excreted. When the heart does not pump properly a patient may become weak and often feel tired. To better understand your father’s condition we recommend making an appointment with your doctor who can run a series of tests, possibly including an echocardiogram, and a referral to a heart failure specialist if necessary.
A nonproductive cough along with shortness of breath, fatigue, and dizziness, are typical symptoms in heart failure resulting from pulmonary congestion, also known as pulmonary edema. It is important to note that while these symptoms may be related to other noncardiac diseases, such as pneumonia, diagnostic tools including a chest x- ray help to rule these out. Pulmonary edema is the build up of fluid in the lungs due to leakage of the surrounding blood vessels, which can lead to difficulties in breathing and the sensation to cough. Treatment options will vary on the severity of your pulmonary congestion, but may include diuretics, which will lower overall blood pressure and reduce the amount of fluid leakage into the lungs. Alternatively, some patients on the class of medications ACE inhibitors can experience a dry cough as a side effect of the medicine. In this case, changing to a related class of medication ARB inhibitors will lead to improvement.