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Old 01-26-2011, 07:48 AM   #1
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worried sick and need to know more...

Hi im new to the forum and in real need of some info...my mum was rushed into hospital 2 weeks ago with breathing difficulties and fluid build up in her legs and abdomen....we found out that she has heart failure
she is still in hospital struggling with her oxygen levels and water retention,she is on 24 hour oxygen and requires cpap daily...what i need to know is at what stage of heart failure is she at??

 
Old 01-26-2011, 08:02 AM   #2
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Re: worried sick and need to know more...

Quote:
...what i need to know is at what stage of heart failure is she at??
My condolences to both you and your mom. Heart Failure is nasty and debilitating and takes it's toll on all members of the family.

A lot of the time the stage of Heart Failure depends, in part, upon the symptoms. In my case, I've suffered from Heart Failure for over 24 years. That means that I've had a weak, stretched out, enlarged heart, with heart rhythm problems and valve problems for decades.

I've been getting better and better over the years, and when my heart is doing well, I feel very well, but when my heart is not doing well, I feel very sickly. During a 24 hour period, many things or events can effect the performance and health of a heart in Heart Failure.

But..... to more directly answer your question, ... your mother's cardiologists can measure the enlargement of your mom's heart, and the thickness of the walls, and the functioning of the valves, and the rhythm, and how well her heart is pumping, through an echo-cardiogram; and then, taking her symptoms into consideration, can estimate the stage of her Heart Failure.
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Greatly Improved CHF, A-Fib, HBP, Asthma:

⇒ Eliminate household items that are toxic!
⇒ Balanced, healthy, low glycemic diet
⇒ Lots of Exercise
⇒ Avoid night allergens, toxins
⇒ Coreg!

 
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Old 01-27-2011, 04:08 PM   #3
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Re: worried sick and need to know more...

About 7 years ago I had congested heart failure, enlarged left ventricle (pumping chamber and valve leakage). An ejection fraction (EF) below 29% and normal is 50 to 70% and is an estimate of the amount of blood pumped with each heartbeat, and pulmonary edema (fluids in the lung tissues) and that causes breathing problems and a dry cough. Currently my heart is pumping normally and left ventricle is normal size.

For some insight, mom has a heart condtion that doesn't pump all the blood received from the lungs due to weak contractions of the left ventricle's heart walls. Blood backs up and fluids leak into body tissues and organs.

The underlying cause for the weak contractions of your mom's left ventricle will be determined by tests, etc. and that will provide the prognosis going forward. My underlying condtion for chf was due to coronary vessels occlusions (blockage) that prevented the heart cells to receive a sufficient oxygenated blood. Heart cells can become necrotic (dead) or dormant (hibernating) and with opening by (stent, bypass, medication) a good blood flow through the vessels can revitalize heart cells and the heart can contract sufficiently and provide adequate blood/oxygen to the cells.

The etiology for chf is usually high blood pressure and high cholesteral levels. Controlled and properly managed can reverse the problem. Sometimes the heart wall is thickened and impedes proper filling of the chamber because the walls do not relax and are stiff. You mom may have valve regurgitation (leakage enough to reduce cardiac output.). Heart muscle disease caused by virus, etc.

Hope this helps. If you have any other questions or comments you are welcome to respond. The probability your mom can make complete recovery is good if there isn't any serious concomitant health problems. Take care.

 
Old 01-27-2011, 11:29 PM   #4
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Re: worried sick and need to know more...

Thank you both very much for your replies,i think i may now have a better understanding of my mums illness
In my original post i failed to mention that she also suffers with copd,high blood pressure,diabetes and obesity...i have since found out that she knew she had heart failure about 3 years ago,i have been told that my mother will not get better from this but there is hope right???

 
Old 01-28-2011, 06:02 AM   #5
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Re: worried sick and need to know more...

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Originally Posted by taylor30 View Post
... she also suffers with copd,high blood pressure,diabetes and obesity...
These health problems, plus Heart Failure, are all connected together. A bad diet, of too many calories, over a long period of time, causes all kinds of nasty stress and damage to the body, eventually leading to damage to all of the organs, glands and nerves of the body, including the pancreas, heart, thyroid, eyes, nerves, kidneys, etc.

In my case, my Heart Failure showed significant improvement after I went on a very healthy, low calorie, frequent eating small meal diet.

Quote:
i have been told that my mother will not get better from this but there is hope right???
I am not a health professional, just a fellow patient. I am vastly better because of my dietary changes, which lead to better health. I also added a daily intensive exercise program, Coreg, and I avoid anything that stimulates or irritates my heart.

I feel strongly that anyone with Heart Failure can significantly improve by going on a healthy diet, but that is just my personal, non-professional opinion.

Regards, and best of health and luck to both you and your mom.
__________________
Greatly Improved CHF, A-Fib, HBP, Asthma:

⇒ Eliminate household items that are toxic!
⇒ Balanced, healthy, low glycemic diet
⇒ Lots of Exercise
⇒ Avoid night allergens, toxins
⇒ Coreg!

Last edited by Machaon; 01-28-2011 at 08:15 AM.

 
Old 01-28-2011, 08:25 AM   #6
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Re: worried sick and need to know more...

Q:...i have since found out that she knew she had heart failure about 3 years ago,i have been told that my mother will not get better from this but there is hope right???

>>>>>Heart heart failure can be episodic. Heart failure mode indicates the heart cells, and body system are not receiving sufficient supply of oxygenated blood. It is the system's supply/demand for blood/oxygen that needs to be met. As a result to avoid heart failure the demand needs to be decrease and/or the supply increased to avoid or delay any further deterioration of the heart's ability to adequately pump.

To increase the suppy can be medication to help stronger heart contractility, dilate vessels, enable better respiratory functionality, etc. And decrease demand can be resting, no exertion, etc. and that may be counter productive to helping the heart to recover so there is medication to increase the individual's tolerance thereby enabling some aerobic exercise.

Q: i failed to mention that she also suffers with copd,high blood pressure,diabetes and obesity.

>>>>>Copd can compromise a good supply of oxygen available with each heartbeat and the heart works harder to provide a good oxygen supply to the heart cells and system.
High blood pressure indicates the heart is required to overcome the higher than normal resistence. Obesity is also a burden for the heart.

Therapy should be to reduce the heart's workload: control high blood pressure with medication to dilate the vessels and reduce the resitence the heart pumps against. COPD treatment includes everything from bronchodilators, steroids, aerosol therapy and antibiotics for better respiratory function. Diabetes increases the risk for developing heart failure. People with diabetes tend to develop hypertension and atherosclerosis (harding of the vessels) from elevated lipid levels in the blood — both of which have been linked to heart failure. Obesity also is a burden to the heart. If all these conditions are properly managed the heart may pump adequately enough to meet the demand and provide a reasonable quality of life....There are individuals that have an EF below 29% that function well as the body system compensates. Also, with a weak heart (below 50 to 29%) one can manage as well.

For a time I didn't know I was in heart failure mode as there were no symptoms until heart failure. If I had known, I could have received treatment and avoided CHF. I also was told 7 years ago my heart condition would not improve...no problems for 7 years...

Thanks for your response, take care and I wish your mom well going forward.

 
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