Diseases and Treatments

  • Congestive Heart Failure

    The term 'heart failure' (CHF) is used when the heart muscle is not pumping as well as it should. There are many reasons for this reduced pumping power; some examples include high blood pressure, heart attack, heart valve malfunction, heart rhythm malfunction and lung or kidney disease. Symtoms can include shortness of breath, cough, swollen ankles, fatigue, sudden weight gain.

    Treatments

    1. Medication
    1. Diuretics or 'water pills' to reduce excess fluid in the body
    2. Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB) are a type of vasodilators which cause the arteries to expand and reduce the workload of the heart
    3. Beta blockers reduce the heart's tendency to beat too fast
    4. Digitalis increases the contraction of the heart

    2. Decreasing the amount of dietary sodium (salt)

    3. Bi-ventricular pacemakers help the heart beat stronger and more effectively

    4. Healthy lifestyle with doctor approved exercise, weight loss, stopping smoking


  • Angina

    Angina is a sensation of discomfort (heaviness, constriction, aching, or pain) that usually occurs in the chest, but may also be felt in the arms, neck, jaw, back or abdomen. It may be associated with shortness of breath, dizziness, nausea or sweatiness. The same pattern tends to recur in an individual, although it may be of varying severity. The discomfort is a result of your heart muscle not getting enough blood because of hardening or spasm of your coronary arteries.

    Treatments
    1. Aspirin - inhibits blood clotting, helping maintain blood flow through narrowed arteries. 
    2. Nitroglycerin - temporarily opens narrowed blood vessels, improving blood flow. 
    3. Beta blockers - relax heart muscle, slow heart rate, decrease blood pressure. 
    4. Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) - allow blood to flow from your heart more easily 
    5. Calcium channel blockers - when treating coronary artery spasm are used to relax the coronary arteries and prevent the spasm. 
    6. Angioplasty 
    7. Stenting 
    8. Coronary bypass surgery
       


  • Valve Disease

    Heart valve problems can result from birth defects, infections, or from acquired disease. If the valves leak or don't open correctly the heart muscle may become overloaded and begin to fail.

    Treatments
    1. Medication can help the heart adjust to a weakened valve and in some cases, can assist the patient in leading a normal life
    2. Surgical Repair or replacement


  • Heart Rhythm

    The heart rhythm is the electrical system of the heart. If the heart beats too fast, too slow, or with an irregular rhythm it may not be able to pump enough blood and may fail.

    Treatment
    1. Medication: There are numerous medications available designed to stabilize the heart rhythm. This family of drugs is called 'anti-arrhythmics'
    2. Pacemakers
    3. Implantable Defibrillators


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