Ischemic Heart FailureIschemic Heart Failure

Ischemic heart failure can be sudden and intense, but it can also start as a mild pain or discomfort. Usually, the affected person dismisses it casually and waits too long before getting treatment.

Ischemic heart disease is the term used to describe the narrowing of heart arteries. Once the arteries are narrowed, there will be less blood and oxygen that will reach the heart muscle, which will lead to ischemic heart failure or heart attack.

Many of those with ischemic heart disease are not aware of it. There are some who do not experience any pain, and a sudden ischemic heart failure without prior warning will be fatal.

When an ischemic heart failure takes place, the coronary artery is blocked, but the heart muscle doesn't necessarily die instantly. However, the damage increases as long as the artery stays blocked.

When one is about to have Ischemic heart failure or a heart attack, one feels an immense discomfort that usually at the center of the chest, which lasts from 5 to 20 minutes. It ebbs away and then comes back. The pain is uncomfortable, a feeling of pressure, fullness, and compression or squeezing.

There would also be discomfort in other parts of the upper body such as the jaw, the back, the left arm, the neck and the stomach. There would be a shortness of breath that may happen even without chest discomfort. Other signs might be nausea, lightheadedness, and breaking out in a cold sweat. These symptoms mean that one is about to have ischemic heart failure and should be rushed to a hospital right away.

The doctor will be able to diagnose ischemic heart disease by reviewing the patient's complete medical history and to check the family history for any close relatives who have had heart problems. A physical exam is important, and with the use of an electrocardiogram (ECG) they will look for any abnormalities that are caused by the disease. A blood test is important as well, to check abnormal levels of certain enzymes in the blood that have triggered the disease.

Once the disease has been diagnosed then a treatment plan is designed. This includes medication and lifestyle changes. One must need to quit smoking, follow a restricted low fat diet, and perform regular moderate exercise to name a few, in order to prevent ischemic heart failure. These however, will not necessarily lessen the deposits that are causing the blockage in the arteries.

Medications such as nitrates for chest pain, beta-blockers to slow down resting heart rate and other drugs are used to keep the blood from clotting in the narrowed arteries. Statins, which are anti-cholesterol drugs, also help lower blood cholesterol and lessen the build up of plaque in the coronary arteries.

If the ischemic heart failure is in a severe state, the doctor will recommend several surgical or non-invasive treatments. One form of treatment would be balloon angioplasty, which helps to widen the coronary arteries especially if they aren't getting enough blood supply to the heart. Another would be a coronary bypass surgery that will aid in improving the condition of the heart.
by Ryan Pauline
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