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Heart Failure

Peachstate Advanced Cardiac & Endovascular

Board Certified Interventional Cardiologist & Vascular Specialist located throughout Georgia.

Heart failure sounds dramatic, but you can still lead a fulfilling life despite heart failure if you get the right treatment. At Peachstate Advanced Cardiac and Endovascular (PACE) located throughout Georgia, board-certified interventional cardiologist and vascular specialist, Oghenerukevwe Odiete, MD, FACC, provides evidence-based, personalized care to patients who are suffering from heart failure. If you’re worried about how healthy your heart is, contact Peachstate Advanced Cardiac and Endovascular (PACE).

Heart Failure Q & A

What is heart failure?

Heart failure, or congestive heart failure (CHF) as it’s also called, is a condition in which your heart isn’t pumping blood through your body as effectively as it should.

Heart failure isn’t the same as having a heart attack or cardiac arrest, although they are closely related. Heart failure is typically the stage you enter before you experience a life-threatening heart emergency. Heart failure can happen quickly (acute heart failure) or develop over time (chronic heart failure).

If you have heart failure, it means something has damaged your heart. If your heart muscle is weak or stiff, it can’t pump or fill properly, which can have serious consequences for your health.

What are the symptoms of heart failure?

There are many potential symptoms of heart failure, including:

  • Irregular/rapid heartbeat
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Swollen feet and ankles
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing or wheezing
  • Blood-tinged phlegm
  • Frequent night-time urination
  • Abdominal swelling (ascites)
  • Fluid retention
  • Nausea and loss of appetite

Chest pain can also be a symptom but could suggest a heart attack. If you ever have chest pain, you should seek emergency medical care.

What causes heart failure?

The most common causes of heart failure are conditions like coronary artery disease (CAD) and hypertension (high blood pressure). These diseases cause a narrowing of your arteries that reduces the flow of blood and can block blood flow altogether.

Other potential causes of heart failure include:

  • Faulty heart valves
  • Cardiomyopathy (damaged heart muscle)
  • Myocarditis (inflamed heart muscle)
  • Congenital heart defects
  • Heart arrhythmias (abnormal rhythms)
  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol consumption

Chronic health problems like diabetes, thyroid dysfunction, and HIV can also increase your risk of developing heart failure.

Acute heart failure could be due to a virus or heart infection, a pulmonary embolism, or an allergic reaction, or it can be a side effect of some medications.

How is heart failure treated?

You can improve your heart health by making lifestyle changes. Stop smoking, lose weight, eat a healthy diet, get more exercise, and learn to manage stress. These actions are also essential in reducing the impact of conditions like hypertension and diabetes, which increase your risk of heart failure.

Dr. Odiete at Peachstate Advanced Cardiac and Endovascular (PACE) might also need to prescribe medications for your heart failure, such as:

  • ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitors
  • Angiotensin II receptor blockers
  • Beta-blockers
  • Statins
  • Blood thinners
  • Diuretics
  • Aldosterone antagonists
  • Inotropes
  • Digoxin (digitalis)
  • Nitrates

Surgical options for heart failure are also available. Dr. Odiete could repair a faulty valve in your heart or carry out a bypass procedure like coronary artery bypass grafting surgery (CABG). Other options are implantable devices, such as a biventricular pacemaker, an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD), or a ventricular assist device (VAD).

If you have any symptoms of heart failure or want to improve your heart health, contact Peachstate Advanced Cardiac and Endovascular (PACE).