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Old 09-16-2011, 06:38 PM   #1
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A question about heart failure

Are some types of heart failure worse than others? (systolic versus diastolic??)



thank you,
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Old 09-17-2011, 06:51 AM   #2
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Re: A question about heart failure

Diastolic Heart Failure is where one or both of the Atria, the top part of the heart, is damaged. The Left Atrium receives the oxygenated blood coming from the lungs. The Right Atrium receives the oxygen depleted blood coming back from the body.

Systolic Heart Failure is where one or both of the Ventricles, the bottom part of the heart, is damaged. The Left Ventricle receives the nice, clean, oxygenated blood being held by the Left Atrium, and pumps it back into the body and head. The Right Ventricle receives the dirty old blood being held by the Right Atrium, and then pumps it back into the lungs to be oxygenated.

Diastolic Heart Failure is not as debilitating as Systolic Heart Failure because the top part of the heart basically just holds the blood and passes it down to the bottom part of the heart where the real pumping action takes place.

The mortality and/or morbidity rates with Diastolic and Systolic Heart Failure are surprisingly similar. Both are considered progressive diseases, in which the condition continues to worsen over time and usually results in deterioration of other organs, nerve endings, muscles and glands.

Your question about which is worse? It depends upon the degree of damage to the heart. Over time, the heart valves become more problematic. The walls of the heart can enlarge and thicken. Over time the heart loses it's pumping ability.

The good news is, with proper care most Heart Failure patients can have a good quality of life and can even get better. Unfortunately, as I have found out, during the past 25 years struggling with Diastolic Heart Failure, living with Heart Failure is a full time job!

Are your doctors saying that you might have some form of Heart Failure?
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CHF, A-Fib, HBP, Diabetes, Asthma doing great

⇒ Avoid allergic & non-allergic irritants/triggers
⇒ Low calorie ovo-vegetarian diet
⇒ Power walk, weight lifts, pushups
⇒ Coreg 25mg bid

Last edited by Machaon; 09-17-2011 at 07:03 AM.

 
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Old 09-17-2011, 05:21 PM   #3
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Re: A question about heart failure

Machaon,

Thank you very much for your reply. The reason I asked is because of something my doctor had said yesterday, making diastolic HF sound like a lucky break when compared to systolic HF. I do not feel that anyone with HF is lucky in any way, regardless of its point of origin or cause. I think I remember reading (though not sure) that one type of HF can eventually lead to another as well. It gets tiring hearing how lucky one is, regardless of the issue in question. We all know that things could always be worse!

Thank you for making such a complex topic so understandable. I spent some time last night looking at charts in my new book, trying to comprehend the anatomy of the heart and how it works. I have to admit I quit after a while, not remembering much of what I had read.

Machaon, you are a perfect example of what people with this (and other) serious health conditions can achieve, if they are willing to work hard enough at it. Your posts reveal how difficult adhering to a strict diet is, and what the consequences of eating the wrong foods can be. I know that nothing beats a healthy lifestyle and diet - it can replace many of the pills we are so freely given, some of which only mask our symptoms. My co-worker has gone from 32 medications to just 3. Amazing, isn't it? How did she do it? She changed doctors about a year ago. She has been eating very healthy foods since-with her doctor's and a nutritionist's help -and has successfully gone off most of the medications that were deemed "necessary" for maintaining her health. Most recently-just last week- she was able to quit Metformin. She is another example that a good healthy diet and some exercise (depending on one's ability) can work wonders for one's health.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for all your posts and for sharing you knowledge and experiences with us. We can be sure of one thing- a good, healthy diet and exercise are essential to better health!

flowergirl

 
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Old 09-18-2011, 08:32 AM   #4
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Re: A question about heart failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by flowergirl2day View Post
Machaon,

Thank you very much for your reply. The reason I asked is because of something my doctor had said yesterday, making diastolic HF sound like a lucky break when compared to systolic HF.
I had that lucky break back in 1987. Diastolic is better than Systolic Heart Failure somewhat because the symptoms are milder; and also because the damage might not yet have spread to the rest of the heart, especially to the Ventricles. So.... at first the heart is still pumping fairly well with Diastolic Heart Failure.

Quote:
I do not feel that anyone with HF is lucky in any way, regardless of its point of origin or cause.
I agree.

In my case my Diastolic Heart Failure wasn't too bad at first. I did suffer problems from the medications. I suffered constantly from my heart not wanting to beat correctly. I would get more tired than normal, would sweat more than normal, would get occasional chest pains and would frequently have breathing problems. But, all these uncomfortable symptoms were tolerable, and I could still go out and drink my pitcher of beer and eat chicken wings, etc.

I did not realize that it would worsen over time because of a lack of the most appropriate, healthy diet; lack of exercise; not being on the best most effective medications; and by not avoiding common things that are harmful to one's health.

Quote:
I think I remember reading (though not sure) that one type of HF can eventually lead to another as well.
Diastolic Heart Failure puts a strain on the entire heart, which will slowly weaken the entire heart.

The most damaging part of either kind of Heart Failure is the over-activity of the NeuroHormonal and Immune Systems. This over-activity causes excess hormones and cytokines, that will slowly damage all organs, glands, nerves, etc., in the body.

So....... to stop the damaging progression of Heart Failure, as I have done, one MUST stop the over-activity of the NeuroHormonal and Immune Systems! If you think it is appropriate, ask your doctor(s) about this.

Quote:
It gets tiring hearing how lucky one is, regardless of the issue in question. We all know that things could always be worse!
When I am suffering from worsening symptoms, which happens most frequently when I get off my healthy diet, and I feel sicker than a dog, I always say to myself that things could always be worse!

Quote:
Thank you for making such a complex topic so understandable. I spent some time last night looking at charts in my new book, trying to comprehend the anatomy of the heart and how it works. I have to admit I quit after a while, not remembering much of what I had read.
Wait until you are near 70 years of age. The combination of meds, aging and my health problems can really zap one's memory!

I am not a health professional, and I don't have all the answers, but I enjoy responding to your posts. You never give up. You always question. You always research. You seem to put total effort into everything that you do. I admire and respect your tenacity!

Quote:
Machaon, you are a perfect example of what people with this (and other) serious health conditions can achieve, if they are willing to work hard enough at it. Your posts reveal how difficult adhering to a strict diet is, and what the consequences of eating the wrong foods can be.
I find it very difficult to cope with dieting, and to follow a diet that I know will help me to get better. Anyone can improve ANY disease by being on a high quality diet which limits calories to only those calories and digestibility that someone's metabolism can easily handle. It should make sense that, when someone has an illness you want to get proper nourishment, but at the same time, you don't want to provide any undue stress to the body. You want the body to have the fuel it needs to fight the illness, but at the same time you don't want the body to labor at digestion.

Quote:
I know that nothing beats a healthy lifestyle and diet - it can replace many of the pills we are so freely given, some of which only mask our symptoms. My co-worker has gone from 32 medications to just 3. Amazing, isn't it? How did she do it? She changed doctors about a year ago. She has been eating very healthy foods since-with her doctor's and a nutritionist's help -and has successfully gone off most of the medications that were deemed "necessary" for maintaining her health. Most recently-just last week- she was able to quit Metformin. She is another example that a good healthy diet and some exercise (depending on one's ability) can work wonders for one's health.
I have yet to meet a Cardiologist that stresses diet. They mention diet, but they do not treat it seriously enough. They would rather just throw meds and tests at the patient and go on to the next of many patients.

Nice story about your co-worker. We don't read enough success stories about patients rebounding from health problems. To me, the very first step towards better health is through diet.

Quote:
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for all your posts and for sharing you knowledge and experiences with us. We can be sure of one thing- a good, healthy diet and exercise are essential to better health!

flowergirl
Thanks for the good words!

I'm doing around 600 steps per day, 200 weight curls, 140 weight lifts, 300 pushups, two 30-minute power walks and about 6 minutes on a stationary bike. This exercise program has allowed me to significantly increase my calories without effecting either my blood pressure or my blood sugar. The increased exercise is helping me to cope with my diet by letting me eat stuff like a corn on the cob; or an extra filet of Tilapia, or an extra bowl of cereal.

Best regards!
__________________
CHF, A-Fib, HBP, Diabetes, Asthma doing great

⇒ Avoid allergic & non-allergic irritants/triggers
⇒ Low calorie ovo-vegetarian diet
⇒ Power walk, weight lifts, pushups
⇒ Coreg 25mg bid

Last edited by Machaon; 09-19-2011 at 07:16 AM.

 
Old 09-19-2011, 06:29 AM   #5
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Cool Re: A question about heart failure

I am glad of the posting you have done on this subject. I was born with congential heart defect of the aortic valve and murmur. I was eight when I had repair, 36 when I had replacement of the aortic valve with St. Judes. Before the replacement, I developed CHF and was hard put for sleep and managed to get to work, but house work took all weekend. I was tired and breathless and was glad of the surgery. I am doing better, except for the emotional and stress I have been doing for the past 4 years. I am trying to do better since getting deplaced at work. I hope to hear something soon. In the meantime, I am doing projects is cleaning and outside interests, like going somewhere and walk for up to 2 hours. Hugs for you today. Keep helping us here. Thanks.
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Old 09-19-2011, 10:05 PM   #6
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Re: A question about heart failure

Thank you, Machaon, for sharing your thoughts. Your posts allow us to see the whole picture - and stress the importance of taking charge of one's diet and health, self-control and self-discipline.

Quote:
Wait until you are near 70 years of age. The combination of meds, aging and my health problems can really zap one's memory!
I can relate to that! I am seeing it now, throughout the day, every day. It is scary!

Quote:
to stop the damaging progression of Heart Failure, as I have done, one MUST stop the over-activity of the NeuroHormonal and Immune Systems!
I need to do some research....how is this accomplished?

Quote:
I'm doing around 600 steps per day, 200 weight curls, 140 weight lifts, 300 pushups, two 30-minute power walks and about 6 minutes on a stationary bike. This exercise program has allowed me to significantly increase my calories without effecting either my blood pressure or my blood sugar. The increased exercise is helping me to cope with my diet by letting me eat stuff like a corn on the cob; or an extra filet of Tilapia, or an extra bowl of cereal.
I find that incredible! I know it has not been easy. Your ability to exercise at this level is a testament to your determination to make yourself as healthy as possible through a tough regimen of diet and exercise. The bottom line is that whatever you have been doing is right for you.

Keep up the good work!
flowergirl

Last edited by flowergirl2day; 09-19-2011 at 10:08 PM.

 
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