Heart failure program in Kansas City
Heart failure is a condition in which the heart can’t pump enough blood throughout the body. When this condition leads to fluid buildup in different parts of the body, it's called congestive heart failure. Other organs such as the kidneys and the liver may also lose function.
The heart specialists in HCA Midwest Health's cardiology program are highly trained in treating heart failure. It can help you live a normal life through various treatments and medications.
To talk with one of our cardiologists, schedule an appointment.
What causes heart failure?
Many precursors to heart disease, if left untreated, can lead to heart failure. Conditions that are contributing factors include:
- Damage to the heart muscle due to diseases or infection
- Heart abnormalities present since birth
- Heart valve abnormalities
- High blood pressure
- Narrow or clogged arteries
- Past heart attack
- Use of alcohol and illegal drugs
- What are the symptoms of heart failure?
There are many different symptoms of heart failure, and people may not experience all of them. Watch for these warning signs:
- Shortness of breath, especially when lying down flat in bed
- Waking up breathless
- Fatigue or feeling tired
- Weight gain from fluid buildup
- Swelling in the feet, ankles, legs or abdomen
- Feeling weak, dizzy, or more tired after light activity
- Frequent urination, especially at night
- Persistent dry, hacking cough, especially at night
Heart failure treatment
Heart failure is a serious condition that does not go away. However, with treatment and some adjustments in your daily life, you can control its symptoms.
Certain medications can help you live longer by improving the way your heart pumps over time. Others are taken to relieve symptoms. In some situations, our cardiologists may recommend surgical procedures as treatment. These procedures repair or replace diseased valves and congenital heart abnormalities.
Heart failure management
A lot of the treatment plan depends on you, your diet and your activity. We recommend the following care guidelines to manage your heart failure:
- Diet: Limit salt to less than 2,000 milligrams per day.
- Activity: Avoid strenuous activities or exercise. Keep active, but plan rest times throughout the day. Talk with your doctor about an exercise program.
- Fluid: Keep fluid to two liters per day (66 ounces) or less as prescribed by your doctor.
- Medications: Take your medications as prescribed. Don't stop taking your medications without talking to your doctor. Call your doctor if you have side effects from medication such as nausea, vomiting, dizziness, blurred vision, rapid heartbeat or leg cramps.
- Doctor's appointments: Follow up with your doctor within one week of discharge. At first, you may need to be seen frequently by your doctor until you have adjusted to your medications and you feel better.
- Daily weight: Weigh yourself daily and keep a record of it. If you gain more than two pounds in one day or five pounds in one week, call your doctor.
- Support: Share your concerns with people close to you or your health care providers. Involve your family members in your treatment. They can help you change your lifestyle and health habits.
Other lifestyle changes you need to include:
- Keep high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes under control
- Lose weight if you're overweight
- Don’t smoke
- Eliminate or reduce alcohol
- Don't use illegal drugs
- Get the flu and pneumonia shot
- Find ways to relieve stress