Super Seventies RockSite's Infobank - 'just the facts, ma'am'    Share this site - Email/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest


OnlineDegree.Degree - Scholarships And Student Grants Finder

Congestive Heart

videos bullet icon  Congestive Heart Videos

Congestive Heart

A congestive heart can be fatal without the proper treatments. That is why
today the government spends a lot of time and resources researching for cures
and preventatives. When you suffer from having a congestive heart then the
heart is not able to maintain adequate circulation of blood in the tissues of
the body or to pump out the venous blood returned to it by venous circulation.
It is very important for all patients to understand what their heart is doing
so they may take action to prevent any failure by the heart.

We do realize that you cannot see inside your chest and know what is going on
but there are symptoms that will clue you into the fact that you are having
some problems. All of a sudden, you notice that you have a shortness of breath
whenever you try to walk or go up and down steps. This is one of the major
signs of heart congestion.

All of a sudden, you realize that you tire easily and feel constantly tired
even after a good nights rest. Fatigue and tiring is another signal that you
should call your physician with concerns about your possibility of congestive
heart problems. When you find the swelling of the feet, ankles, legs and
occasionally the abdomen are constant and very discomforting then you should
check with your doctor. Persistent coughing, raspy breathing or wheezing is
another symptom of having a congestive heart.

"If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your doctor."

Suddenly you find that you are gaining weigh and have no way of controlling
this gain. When you diet but still find that you are gaining weight, perhaps
the problem is with your heart. The fact that you are still gaining weight
without any cause may have cause for alarm. This is a symptom of a congestive
heart. Breathing can be come rather difficult even when you are lying down. A
cough or wheeze may also occur along with spitting up red sputum. These are all
signals of a congestive heart and you should see your physician before it
becomes congestive heart failure.

You are really into problems if you have chest pain feel palpitations of the
heart and develop a fever do not hesitate go straight to the emergency room as
this is a signal that your congestive heart failure is happening. You might
have started out with some ankle swelling, feet swelling and leg swelling at
that point I would immediately contact my physician. I am sure that at this
point your physician will send you to a cardiologist. A cardiologist is a heart
specialist.

A heart specialist can make suggestions that will help you maintain a healthy
life style and provide you with the proper medical care. A proper diet is
essential in having a healthy heart. Medicine has improved over the years and
so has procedures that your cardiologist will advise you. Congestive heart
problems need not become a situation of heart failure.

Congestive Heart Failure

The human body is a magnificent machine that works in harmony with nature. The
machinery needs proper care and sometimes parts replaced. Like the machine so
the heart also needs help to prevent failure. The pump may not pump enough
blood to meet your body's needs, which can lead into congestive heart failure.
Many underlying conditions can cause congestive heart failure.

Over time and with the wear and tear of one's body the heart itself can develop
such things as coronary artery disease or high blood pressure, which can lead to
congestive heart failure. These things sap your strength leaving the heart with
the inability to pump efficiently causing a break down. It is very important
that you take care of yourself because these things while not reversible are
preventable.

We have medicines that can treat the conditions you have improving your
survival rate. These medications if taken properly can help control your blood
pressure, cholesterol levels, and other things that might be affecting your
heart. The field of medicine has come a very long way in providing medicines to
prevent congestive heart failure.

The cardiologist who is a heart specialist can inform you about by-pass surgery
or stents to help open up the flow of your blood through your veins. Many things
are possible to prolong your life just ask your doctor for advise as to what you
need. It is very possible for you to do things for yourself that will help in
good heart health.

Congestive heart failure maybe prevented by changing your lifestyle. This does
not always take a big change but some things in your life are controllable.
First, look at your diet eat a heart healthy diet. Watch out for salt intake,
fatty foods, and over indulgences as these can cause congestive heart failure.

Many of us in today's world need to know how to manage stress overcome
depression or simply improve the quality of our life. The problem of being over
weight can lead to other problems such as coronary artery disease, high blood
pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. We need to keep these conditions under
control in order to prevent congestive heart failure.

Managing stress becomes a stressful problem in itself for many people. While
others enjoy the benefit of belonging to a gym or owning equipment that they
use in their homes some of us do not have the time, money, or space to afford
such luxury's. A person who sets daily in his office may feel the tensions
building up to the point of no relief and farther some even go into a
depressive condition. This is very bad for the heart we say that our heart is
what feels our emotions like love, sadness, hate, excitement etc. still yet our
heart suffers with stress and depression. Congestive heart failure one of the
number one killers of men and women can be prevented. Prevention begins as they
say at home with you taking care of your needs.

What is Congestive Heart Failure?

It's a terrifying moment for many patients: the moment when the doctor enters
their hospital room and informs them they are suffering from congestive heart
failure. Many people do not know what congestive heart failure is or what it
means for their life, and they ask themselves, "Is congestive heart failure the
end of my world as I know it?"

Congestive heart failure occurs when for whatever reason the heart is unable to
effectively pump the blood through the body. This usually occurs when the heart
muscle is weak due to disease or stressed beyond its ability to function.
Congestive heart failure is usually a secondary disease following another
cardiac condition, primarily either coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathies,
myocarditis, valvular disease, or cardiac arrhythmias, with coronary artery
disease carrying the poorest prognosis. It may also follow a myocardial
infarction, renal failure, sepsis or severe anemia.

Each side of the heart has a different function, and therefore will have a
slightly different effect on the body when it is unable to fulfill that
function. If it is the left side of the heart that has failed accumulation of
fluid in and around the lungs will cause the patient to experience difficulty
breathing, and the kidneys will respond to the reduced blood in the circulation
by retaining fluid as well. If it is the right side that fails the excess fluid
accumulates in the venous system, giving the patient a generalized edema that
becomes more severe as their condition deteriorates.

Dyspnea is the prevalent presenting symptom in congestive heart failure,
although the severity will vary from patient to patient. Some will possess
perfectly normal pulmonary function until under exertion, such as while
exercising, walking up stairs or mowing their lawn; others will have so much
fluid accumulated that simply rising from bed in the morning will prove
difficult. These patients will also usually become easily fatigued due to a
lack of oxygen to the tissues. Heart failure will also cause a condition known
as pitting edema, in which the body retains fluid to the point that when
pressure is applied to specific spot on the body the indentation remains
(non-pitting edema is not caused by heart failure).

Treatment of congestive heart failure consists primarily of treating the
symptoms. Vital signs should be taken regularly, and often diuretics will be
prescribed to facilitate expulsion of accumulated fluid from the body. While in
the hospital fluid intake and output will be measured very carefully. Patients
will probably be placed in an upright position to assist in moving fluid from
around the heart and lungs, given potassium supplements and prescribed bed rest
for a period of time. BUN levels and serum creatinine, potassium, sodium,
chloride and bicarbonate levels are monitered frequently by a physician.

There are several factors that contribute to congestive heart failure and, if
diagnosed, should be treated and maintained. These include hypertension, anemia
or poycythemia, endocrine disorders, malnutrition, drug or alcohol use and
obesity. Therefore, it is very important that patients suffering from
congestive heart failure pay particular attention to maintaining a healthy
lifestyle. A doctor can aid in establishing the best diet and exercise plan
with each individual to prevent placing undue stress on the heart and lungs.

While no said cure exists for congestive heart failure and the prognosis varies
from case to case, by following a strict diet and exercise program, taking all
prescribed medications regularly and maintaining a close relationship with
their physicians many patients who suffer from heart failure can continue to
lead a fairly normal life.

What Evidence of Congestive Heart Failure is a Diagnosis Based on?

While all cardiac conditions carry similar symptoms of chest pain and
difficulty breathing, congestive heart failure generally presents with a very
specific set of symptoms and lab results, giving doctors a very firm set of
clues upon which to base a definite diagnosis.

Dyspnea, or difficulty breathing, coupled with severe pitting edema (when the
body retains fluid to the point of holding the imprint of an object that is
pressed into the skin for several minutes) are generally the first pieces of
evidence pointing to congestive heart failure. Heart failure results in the
heart not being able to efficiently pump blood throughout the body; as a
result, fluid accumulates rather than being excreted and causes the body to
swell as if it were a water balloon. Non-pitting edema, or fluid retention that
does not hold an imprint, is not caused by heart failure and indicates that
another diagnosis needs to be made. The patient may produce a frothy pink
sputum when they cough.

In addition to the symptoms related to the fluid accumulation general weakness
and malaise, particularly during times of physical exertion are frequent
complaints of patients suffering from congestive heart failure, and should not
be ignored. This is caused by a lack of nutrients and oxygen from the blood to
the body tissues, and may result in permanent damage to the organs if they are
left without these vital elements for a prolonged period of time. Anuria, or a
lack of urination, is also evidential of heart failure as fluid accumulates in
the tissues rather than being properly excreted. Patients may suffer from a
changed mental status due to toxins accumulating in the body.

Once the physician suspects heart failure based on the physical evidence, blood
samples will be sent to the laboratory. Beta-natriuretic peptide, or BNP, is an
excellent screening tool in suspected cases of heart failure. This hormone is
produced in greater quantities by the failing heart muscle as fluid levels
rise, with a level between one hundred and five hundred pg/mg suggesting
congestive heart failure and greater than five hundred being fairly diagnostic;
however, an elevated BNP should not be considered to be sufficient evidence upon
which to base a positive diagnosis, as conditions such as renal failure,
ventricular strain, tumors or hypoxia can also cause BNP levels to rise.

Arterial blood gases may be tested to determine the degree of hypoxemia. A
decreased erythrocyte sedimentation rate, proteinuria (protein in the urine),
and a mild azotemia (elevated blood urea level) can be seen in early to
moderate disease. An increased serum creatinine, hyperbilirubinemia (increased
bilirubin in the blood) and dilutional hyponatremia (decreased serum sodium
levels) are evidence the patient is suffering from a more advanced case of
heart failure.

Radiology will also wish to perform imaging studies to evaluate the condition
of the heart. A chest x-ray will generally reveal cardiomegaly (enlargement of
the heart) and pleural effusion (fluid around the heart). An echocardiogram may
be performed to evaluate the internal structures of the heart to evaluate for
any structural abnormalities, as in the case of mitral stenosis. This provides
evidence to determine the underlying cause of congestive heart failure,
particularly in suspected cases of valvular heart disease.

Physicians are like detectives, if you will. Once these tests have all been run
they will gather these pieces of evidence together and put them together to form
a fairly accurate picture of the patient's condition, allowing for an accurate
diagnosis leading to proper treatment.

What New Therapies for Treatment of Congestive Heart Failure?

Heart disease is one of the deadliest killers in the world to date. Congestive
heart failure, a condition found secondary to many major cardiac diseases,
possesses its own high mortality rate. Fifty percent of those diagnosed with
congestive heart failure will die within the five following years. Scientists
and researchers are struggling to understand the exact mechanisms of the
disease, and to find a cure.

Congestive heart failure results as the cells in the heart die or become
non-functioning due to an event such as a myocardial infarction (a heart
attack) or ischemic heart disease. Whatever the cause, the heart is
subsequently unable to pump blood adequately throughout the body, resulting in
the blood pooling in the organs and fluid building up in and around the lungs
as sodium is unable to be properly excreted, causing the dyspnea that is the
classic symptom of congestive heart failure.

Clinical research is targeted at both the treatment of the disease and the
possibility of repairing the damaged cells in the heart. Current research is
underway to test new medications that would assist in vasodilation, as well as
a calcium inhibitor that would not result in the higher incidence of cardiac
arrhythmia seen with the medications currently on the market.

In the age of natural medicine, the power of the mind has been invoked in
clinical trials to use meditation and relaxation techniques to combat the
stress on the heart that can be the breaking point for patients with heart
failure. Stress has been shown to negatively affect the body's blood pressure,
forcing the heart to work harder and placing an undue amount of pressure on an
already weakened muscle. The theory lies in the belief that by learning to
maintain a low level of mental stress the heart will be less stressed and
therefore less likely to fail completely, and the patient can be given a better
prognosis.

Alongside the return to natural, holistic methods of treatment is an incredible
advancement in clinical technology that was not available twenty or thirty years
ago. Scientists claim to have identified a set of altered genes that can make an
individual more disposed to suffer from congestive heart failure and are using
their current knowledge of genes and the benefits of gene therapy to attempt to
reverse the effect. In addition, medications to tamp down on the genes'
activities, such as beta blockers and alpha-2 agonists are already available
and being used in treatment programs.

Also being explored is the possibility of using stem cells, the body's
pluripotent progenitors, to assist in reparation of the damaged heart tissue.
Clinical trials showed that patients suffering from congestive heart failure
responded very favorably to an injection of their own stem cells into the
heart, although the exact means by which this causes improvement is as yet
unknown. It is suspected that these cells either facilitate the growth of new
vessels in the heart or act as beacon, attracting the body's own healing cells
to the site of the damage and stimulating repair.

The possibility of actually growing healthy tissue from embryonic stem cells to
be transplanted is also being explored, although the controversial nature of the
use of embryonic stem cells due to the necessary destruction of the embryo makes
this questionable in the foreseeable future. Scientists have determined that
adult stem cells simply cannot provide an adequate number of new cells to meet
the needs of patients who have suffered heart failure.

Heart failure is incredibly dangerous because the body cannot reproduce the
dead tissue cells in the heart; however, with modern advancements it is the
great hope of researchers everywhere to one day find a cure.

What is the American Medical Association?

The AMA is an association of doctors that strives to further medical education
and promote advancement of medical care for all persons. Ever since its
foundation in 1847 at the University of Pennsylvania, the American Medical
Association has had its hand in many of the major issues pertaining to medicine
and medical research.

Perhaps the most widely known of the American Medical Association's
accomplishments is the publication of JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical
Association. Published forty eight of the fifty two weeks in a year, this peer
reviewed scientific journal is the most widely circulated journal publication
in the world. Here medical professionals can find information on all health
related fields, including public health and advancement in underprivileged
countries. They maintain a high level of excellence, rejecting ninety two
percent of the articles submitted to them annually. This journal is made
available at no cost to physicians in underdeveloped areas and is an invaluable
source of continuing education for clinicians in any field.

The AMA has established a website, www.ama-assn.org which is a valuable tool to
clinicians and patients alike. Here members of the AMA can follow current
activities of the association, such as its actions in Washington with regards
to the current Medicare controversy. The association has throughout history
taken pride in its role in supporting or opposing legislation with regards to
the medical community coming out of Washington.

A listing of continuing education opportunities has been listed, a vital tool
as all health care professionals are required to complete a minimum number of
continuing education credits per year. Information concerning HIPAA (the Health
Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) can also be found here. This act
dictates how physicians' offices should submit claims to third party payors
such as insurance companies so as to best protect their patients' privacy and
prevent personal medical information from becoming public knowledge, a delicate
juggling act for many.

The association plays a major role in helping many students to enroll in and
complete medical school. At www.ama-assn.org students are given access to a
wide listing of possible careers in the medical field, as well as assistance in
choosing a medical school and, following completion of their course of study,
how to become licensed in their state of residency. Here students will also be
able to obtain information on financial aid, perusing grants and scholarships
made available through the AMA as well as advice on how to pay for college
using funding not available through the association.

For non physicians the AMA also provides a DoctorFinder on their website, a
process by which patients can search listings of hundreds of doctors which are
registered with the AMA to select the family physician, pediatrician or
specialist that best fits their needs. The name, address and phone number is
listed; some doctors may choose to place more information concerning themselves
and their practice under their listing. All physicians registered with the AMA
are required to be appropriately qualified to practice medicine in their chosen
community, and must comply with the standards for ethics established by the
association, making the AMA DoctorFinder an invaluable tool when a patient must
search for a physician in an area with which they are unfamiliar.

The Top U.S. Hospitals have 28% Lower Mortality Rate

The American Heart Association did a new study concerning hospitals and their
mortality rates. We now know that the top 5 percent in the United States have a
28% lower death rate than other hospitals in the nation. Health Grades is an
independent health care ratings company released this information January 29th,
2007. They also found that patients who have surgery at the top-rated hospitals
are about five percent less likely to suffer complications than patients at
other hospitals are.

The Health Grade Company analyzed death and mortality rates for 26 procedures
and diagnoses, including bypass surgery, angioplasty, stroke, and heart attack,
at all 5,122 nonfederal hospitals. The top hospitals reduced their death rate by
an average of 11.7 percent and reduced post-surgical complication rates by 3.4
percent. The study author claimed that if all U.S. hospitals had the same
quality of care as the top hospitals, 158,264 lives would have been saved and
12,409 major complications avoided. Unfortunately, there is a gap in the
quality of care provided by high quality hospitals and other hospitals in the
United States, according to Health Grades.

In order to qualify for the Health Grades list, hospitals were required to meet
minimum thresholds in terms of patient volumes, quality ratings and the range of
services provided. In the top 5% of hospitals that deal with heart, patients
there are 229 in the nation today. The hospitals are located all around the
nation and keep a high standard of performance. The Christ Hospital located in
Cincinnati, Ohio ranked number one in cardiovascular care is affiliated with
several other hospitals in the area that are accredited as being in the top 100
of the 5% heart hospitals.

One of the most distinguished top cited heart hospitals and medical centers is
the Robert Wood Johnson's University Hospital. This hospital has earned
significant national recognition for clinical quality and patient safety. This
hospital is the principal teaching hospital of the University of Medicine in
the state of New Jersey. It is a very demanding position to be the one is who
teach others how to take care of heart patients.

The Dayton Heart Hospital focus on patient care and fighting any problems that
deals with heart problems. Each year heart disease kills more people than any
other disease. Patients want new and better ways of healing. The physicians,
community leaders, and others want to reduce the impact of heart disease has on
society.

Spectrum Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan has updated its heart wing, is now
one of the leading hospitals for open-heart surgery, and transplants. The staff
at Spectrum Hospital is very sensitive to patient needs and stress levels and
tries to help in any manner possible. When a patient leaves the hospital, the
care does not stop at that point. They provide in home nurses that visit the
patient on a daily basis to make sure that they are coming along very well.
Therapy is a part of the patient care after a month or so when the patient
feels they are ready. The patient then goes to the therapy wing and a
professional helps lead in proper therapy techniques. The hospital also
provides a dietician who helps with your diet plan. The care provided is
necessary for complete recovery.

Public Health

Experts are outraged over the fact that the U.S. Government does not track
Heart Diseases. American Heart Association feels that since heart failure is
the number one killer amongst men and women that it should concern the
government since it does concern the public health. Our government should track
national rates of heart disease and stroke to help cut the incidences of these
prime causes of death.

Currently data is collected by different sources and then published once a year
in the AHA annual Heart Disease and Stroke journal. The Public Health does not
keep a record of heart diseases as they do for other illnesses. The doctors of
today have to rely on information provided by different sources as journals and
magazines. The Public Health is for everybody's concern and since the government
controls this division, it is highly advisable that they start tracking patients
with heart problems.

It is true that the American Heart Association has been doing a great job
compiling this information from many and various sources. The fact is that
there are many missing pieces, and it is not a good idea to have a
nongovernmental agency, with no authority to modify data collected. The fact
that the Public Health Department has no control over the facts or evaluation
means that changes are slowly improved.

The Public Health Department has the capability of being a surveillance unit
that can evaluate how data gets collected then make changes as needed. The
Public Health Department can make sure that everyone in the medical field has
access to all the information concerning the heart.

It is up to the Public Health Department to gather the needed information from
the primary physicians, simply have the physicians report heart disease and
stroke whenever possible. The information shared with doctors and patients
would be much more obtainable. The public is under the false impression that
the medical field is well informed about heart diseases. The truth about the
situation is that there is no formal method of collecting data. That in reality
without the efforts of the AHA doctors would not be as advanced as they are
today concerning heart related problems. The current data collected by surveys
needs some modification to help with increasing the physician's capability to
treat heart patients.

- National surveys should expand existing questions on risk factors for heart
disease, stroke, and other vascular diseases. Include in the survey risk
factors such as physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, smoking and obesity.

- The Public Health System should standardize data collection across existing
surveys to eliminate duplication and make information easier to compare.

- Laboratory results on cholesterol levels and blood sugar control to
information collected from physician visits needs to be compiled for the
possibility of discovering any connections to heart problems. The Public Health
Department duty should be to maintain these records for our own safety and
well-being.

Let us note that heart health is of interest to the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration offers advice on how to keep your heart healthy.

Patients Needs for a Healthy Heart

The American College of Cardiology had a meeting to discuss a number of
controversial findings on how to treat a patient with congestive heart failure.
Not every person is a like therefore; a treatment for one Patient may not work
on another one. This has left many Patients scratching their heads over the
proper treatment for their cardiovascular condition. The experts have admitted
that what works for one heart patient may not work for another one.

There was a study of over 2,300 patients where angloplasty-vs-drug therapy
comparison proved the same. The result was that no differences in death,
nonfatal heart attacks, strokes or hospitalization between patients with
"stable" heart disease treated with medication alone vs. those who got drugs
plus angioplasty and stenting.

A physician realizes that you as a patient know your own body and know your own
needs such as diets and exercise. A Patients treatment by the medical field
solely based accordingly to their needs and accessibility of medical
procedures. Each patient should have the right too know what his care will be
and what he can do to help prevent congestive heart failure. The patient should
plan to make for him or herself a plan of action that will have a healthy
lifestyle. Start with diet and exercise the two most important things in your
life to improve upon in order to have a healthy heart.

The Patient still has rights over their own body as to the type of treatment
and care they want to receive. The Patient should make a list of what they feel
in order to discuss with the doctor the symptoms that they are suffering. This
will help your doctor in diagnosis of your case and determine the treatment and
care that is best for you. You should be able to confer with your physician on
any type of treatment recommended and ask for a second opinion if you are not
sure about what the procedures recommended for you are right. You can start
your own program to help with your condition if you find that congestive heart
failure is just around the corner or you already show symptoms.

First, look at your weight. Are you overweight? Do you need a diet? You know
the answers to these questions all to well. A diet plan should fit your
physical needs, which will help you loose weight and keep the weight off as
well. You do not have to join a group or special buy your food in order to go
on a diet. There are adequate diets plans available free on the internet. You
should check with your physician before you attempt a diet plan. The next thing
that you can do is exercise to help loose weight and relieve stress. You can
become your own Patient keep track of your vitals, weight loss and any other
important information about yourself. A Patient has power to control the way
that they live their life.

Medications

Medications are all important when it comes to healthy heart care. The patient
needs to understand how the proper medication effects the heart. The fact that
the heart has different problems means that accordingly the medication may vary
as well. It is possible to have multiple problems such as high blood pressure
and cholesterol then you would need two different types of medications.

The medicine that is Beta-Blockers, which reduce the heart rate and the output
of blood by counteracting a hormone called noradrenalin, is not recommended for
people with severe heart failure. Diuretics are a medication that helps people
with fluid retention. The digitalis medicines increase the force of the heart's
contractions, helping to improve circulation. The medicines known as Angiotensin
converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBS)
may improve survival among heart failure patients and may slow or prevent the
loss of heart pumping activity. The ACE inhibitors were originally developed as
a treatment for high blood pressure the inhibitors help heart failure patients
by decreasing the pressure inside the blood vessels. This results in the heart
not needing to work as hard to pump blood through the vessels. Nitrate or
hydralazine is prescribed to patients who cannot take ACE inhibitors or ARBS.
These medications help relax tension in blood vessels and improve blood flow.

These are the basic groups of medications but they are manufactured by drug
companies that attach their own name, however, just read the explanation you
will get from your pharmacist and that will let you know the type of medication
you are taking. Patients with high cholesterol levels take a drug called Lipitor
while another patient might be in need of a Beta-Blocker so the medicine named
Plavix. A patient might be inclined to strokes therefore; Nadolol helps with
this problem.
One medication that you can take that is highly recommended is Bayer Aspirin
81mg. The Aspirin known to stop heart attacks or prevent heart attacks and this
medicine bought over the counter without a prescription.

The above medications are just a few that your doctor can prescribe for you
according to your heart condition. The heart is one of the most vital organs in
our body. It is essential that we take care of our heart in order to survive.
That is why taking medications are a very serious matter. This could prevent
your heart from functioning. I knew a man who was not of the wisest nature and
whenever he traveled on his short weekend trips would take all of us heart
medications on Friday afternoon so he would not have to take them with him. The
first time he proclaimed that the room went round and he was dizzy for a while.
This did not stop him the next time he did this when he stood up his heart
stopped. Yes, the man died at the age of 55 years simply because he mismanaged
his medications. Please only take what your doctor recommends and only as it is
prescribed.

Medical How It Works Saving the Heart

There is no cure for congestive heart failure, but there are things that you
can do to help prolong your life and protect your heart from farther damage.
Treatment is a matter of changing your lifestyle and drug therapy, which will
change your quality of life. The medical field improvement over the past twenty
years has grown in leaps and bounds. Lifestyle changes are the same quit
smoking, losing excess weight, drinking less alcohol, and eating healthy low
saturated fat and low salt foods. Then do not forget to exercise which is
helpful for most patients. This is good advice that is a key to preventing
heart failure but the most important is the medical. This is where your
physician is very important do not attempt to try to prescribe your own
medicines. The physician is well equipped to provide you with the proper
medical treatment.

The heart like other parts of our bodies can malfunction in different ways.
That is why we should trust the cardiologist a specialist in the medical field.
One of the most common medicines prescribed for patients is a beta-blocker. The
beta-blocker reduces the heart rate and output of blood by counteracting a
hormone called noradrenalin. While this drug can prevent heart failure, it is
not recommended for anyone with severe heart failure.

Patients who suffer from fluid retention and/or high blood pressure the medical
field suggests that a diuretic will help compensate but some of the side effects
is loss of potassium, weakness, muscle cramps, and joint pains. Let your doctor
know right away if you feel any ill effects from the diuretic.

This is just an example of some drugs used by the medical field that can help
prevent heart failure. There are other treatments that the medical field uses
are just as valuable. Congestive heart failure can become quiet extreme that is
why the medical field has been experimenting with heart transplants and
mechanical pumps, which are attached to the heart. There is another
experimental procedure for severe heart failure, which is available at a few
U.S. medical centers. This procedure, called cardiomyoplasty, involves
detaching one end of a muscle in the back, wrapping it around the heart, and
then suturing the muscle to the heart. An implanted electric stimulator causes
the back muscle to contract and pump blood from the heart.

The medical field has also another surgical procedure called mitral valve
repair may help extend and improve the lives of people with congestive heart
failure. This procedure aims to correct leaky valves resulting from
cardiomyopathy, or heart muscle disease, by surgically inserting a flexible
annuloplasty ring at the mitral valve opening.

The medical field has made great strides in medicines and in surgical
procedures that greatly increase the quality of life, we have. The medical
field has experimented with such things as healthy heart diets and specialized
exercises that can only help to improve quality of life. Now it is up to you it
is your heart!

Living With Heart Failure-How Congestive Heart Failure Impacts Your Life

Heart failure, as well as all the risks that accompany it, can be a terrifying
prospect for any man, woman or child. The impact of a heart, the body's central
tool for survival, no longer functioning may seem like the beginning of the end.
The good news is, by establishing an effective treatment plan with your
cardiologist the prognosis, and the chances for you to lead a normal life,
increase exponentially.

Heart failure occurs when the heart can no longer efficiently pump blood
throughout the body. The blood pools, and while organs are deprived of vital,
life giving oxygen and nutrients the excess sodium that would normally be
excreted in the urine builds up in the tissues, resulting in fluid retention
that leads to organ stress and the dyspnea that is so common in cases of
congestive heart failure. Left untreated, the oxygen deprived organs will
eventually cease to function and the patient will die.

Fortunately, there are now many ways to combat the mortality factor associated
with heart failure. Doctors can prescribe medications to facilitate the flow of
blood through the body and take some of the pressure off the heart; blood
thinners can decrease the chances of clots forming in the veins. Aside from
medicinal means, there are many factors that may be altered in your lifestyle
to impact the prognosis of your disease.

It is essential that the body be given sufficient time to rest in a day. While
at rest the heart can more easily pump blood throughout the body; just as you
would rest an injured leg when it began to pain you, you should rest your heart
as well. On the flip side, it is important to establish a daily exercise
routine. It doesn't have to be three hours of aerobics; a half hour walk every
day would have a greater impact on your physical being than nothing. Consult
with your physician to find the plan that works best for your individual
circumstances.

Along with an exercise plan you should work with your doctor to find the best
diet plan for you. In most cases a low sodium diet is recommended to help
reduce fluid retention. Diuretics can greatly affect the levels of potassium in
the body causing hypokalemia, which can lead to muscle weakness, paralysis and a
fatal cardiac arrhythmia; therefore, very often if you have been given a
diuretic to take daily a potassium supplement will also be prescribed.
Nicotine can create a serious problem for patients with heart failure. It
increases the heart rate and blood pressure while having a negative impact on
the oxygen level in the blood. All of these things cause the heart to work
harder. It is strongly recommended that if you have been diagnosed with heart
failure you quit smoking completely.

Hand in hand with smoking are the inherent dangers associated with contracting
a case of pneumonia or flu. If you are able you should receive an annual flu
shot, as well as the one time dose of pneumococcal vaccine. This will provide
some level of protection against pneumococci bacteria, the major cause of
bacterial pneumonia. Pneumonia is a problem for the same reasons as smoking;
the decreased oxygen levels in the blood cause the heart to work harder in an
attempt to compensate and get oxygen to the organs and tissues. If possible,
avoid crowded areas during cold and flu season, and stay away from people you
know are sick.

Amazingly, something as simple as the clothes you wear can impact your
condition if you have suffered heart failure. Tight clothing can cause blood
clots and restrict blood flow to the extremities. In addition, in cases of
extreme temperature your clothes should be weather appropriate; if the body has
to work to maintain its temperature the heart will have to work that much harder.
Sexual relations can usually be continued as before; however, they should occur
in as peaceful an environment as possible to prevent undue stress. If your
condition is severe it is important that you discuss this with your physician;
it may be necessary to forego sexual relations for a time in favor of other,
less stressful shows of affection.

Each of these steps will help you continue to live much as you did before being
diagnosed. Heart failure will inevitably impact your life; it is entirely up to
you how much.




How to Find Current Research on Congestive Heart Failure

Medical research is a never ending fount of information, and its sources are
vast. Unfortunately, it may be very difficult for a layman not associated with
the medical field to find up to date information pertaining to his disease and
treatment options. While doctors are constantly attending conferences as part
of their continuing education curriculum, the average Joe is left to sort
through a variety of sources in an attempt to find information that is not
obsolete. The best choice for this patient is to continue his research in one
of the many scientific research journals published.

While a specific journal pertaining solely to the topic of congestive heart
failure may not be available, there are a seemingly infinite number of research
journals being published that pertain to medical issues (there are research
journals published for any field in which there is someone doing research).
These are available in both a virtual format or in a hard copy. If a research
source is found that a patient particularly favors they can purchase a
subscription, which will allow them to receive new issues of the journal as
they are released. When researching a specific topic or disease purchasing a
subscription to just one source may not be the action of choice. Often a
variety of articles pertaining to a specific topic can be found in multiple
journals, and it is often more beneficial to read more than one. Libraries will
often carry a subscription to several periodicals, and many will publish an
edition over the internet. A portion of the journals that can be found online
allow readers full access without a subscription.

Scientific journals publish cutting edge research, giving the average person a
chance to read about advances in medicine and technology that are occurring in
every field. Is was a scientific journal that first published the information
about stem cell research that sparked a controversy across the nation, and
these same stem cells are now considered one of the best chances for providing
long term relief for patients suffering from heart failure. Through scientific
journals the reader is taken through laboratories around the world and exposed
to ideas and theories of some of the planet's greatest minds.

When searching for a research journal from which to learn it is important to
ascertain that it is, in fact, a reputable source. Research journals publish
both theory and fact, and it is essential that the two be differentiated. A
publication with a reputation of publishing theories as facts should be
avoided. If a patient is unfamiliar with the world of science it would probably
be helpful for them to seek the aid of their physician in finding a factual
source of information which publishes only peer reviewed articles and up to
date research.

It is important to remember that the articles written in scientific journals
are written by health professionals for health professionals, and may be very
difficult for a person uneducated in anatomy and medical terminology to
understand; however, when armed with a dictionary and a physician to consult
with scientific journals are an endless source of information.

How Doctors are Using Their Skills to Combat Congestive Heart Failure

Congestive heart failure is an insidious opponent, possessing a slow onset that
results in a patient often not even noticing they are having symptoms. Over time
the patient will suffer from worsening dyspnea and edema that will eventually
drive them to seek treatment, where they will discover that for whatever reason
their heart is no longer able to function properly.

Heart failure occurs when the cells of the heart tissue are either destroyed or
made non-functional due to another cardiac event, often secondary to ischemic
heart disease or coronary artery disease. As a result, the heart is no longer
able to pump the blood throughout the body properly; instead the blood pools,
resulting in fluids being retained rather than excreted properly and oxygen
starved organs being unable to function. The death of these cells is critical
because, like brain cells, once the cells of the heart die the body is unable
to reproduce them and restore full function to the heart. Congestive heart
failure carries with it a high mortality rate, with over fifty percent of its
victims dying within five years of being diagnosed. Doctors and researchers are
able to use modern advancements in medicine to make the patient more comfortable
and, in many cases, to provide them with a more favorable prognosis.

Many patients do not even discover that they have suffered heart failure until
they are brought into the Emergency Department of their local hospital
complaining of chest pain and difficulty breathing. Doctors will stabilize them
there, giving them supplemental oxygen and beginning a course of medicinal
treatment that will carry them out of the hospital.

Modern science has provided physicians with a wide array of methods with which
to combat the damage done by congestive heart failure. Once oxygen is returned
to an acceptable level a physician will usually administer a diuretic to
stimulate the renal system to pull fluid out of circulation, relieving the
edema and taking a great of stress off of the lungs, heart and other organs.

This will also usually be accompanied by supplemental potassium, as the renal
system will remove potassium along with the excess fluid and hypokalemia
carries with it its own hazards.

A great deal of attention in the field of medicine has been focused on the
body's production of angiotensin II as it aggravates congestive heart failure.
Angiotensin II is a substance produced by the body which raises blood pressure
and causes the blood vessels to constrict, thereby forcing the heart to work
much harder to pump blood throughout the body. An ACE inhibitor will often be
administered to prevent the body from making angiotensin II, and an angiotensin
receptor blocker is available to those who do not respond as desired to the ACE
inhibitor. Many patients with heart problems are given nitroglycerin for this
reason.

Along with medicine, research into the field of congestive heart failure is
ongoing. The speculated use of stem cells, particularly embryonic stem cells,
has opened a whole field of debate for possible treatment of heart failure in
the science community. Patients with congestive heart failure were given some
of their own stem cells in the heart via injection, and all reacted favorably.
Scientists are unsure as to whether this is because the stem cells aid the body
in growing new vessels or simply act as a lighthouse for the body's natural
healing mechanisms, drawing other cells to the site of the damage. Whichever
the case may be, stem cells present a fascinating opportunity to finally find a
means by which to restore heart function to patients who have suffered heart
failure.

Modern science is providing a whole new world of treatment options to patients
with congestive heart failure, and researchers are making new discoveries all
the time. It is the hope of all of those in the medical field that one day
heart failure will be another disease medicine has the answer to.

How do Physicians Treat Congestive Heart Failure?

Congestive heart failure is precisely what it sounds like; it is a failure of
the heart to properly function, and its effects on the body can be devastating.
Physicians do their best to treat the symptoms and give the patient the best
prognosis possible; however, no true cure for congestive heart failure
currently exists.

Heart failure occurs when the heart is unable to properly pump blood throughout
the body; as a result, rather than distributing nutrients and oxygen to the
tissues and then excreting the excess fluid into the urine the blood pools.
This results in either a systemic or localized edema as fluid builds up in the
veins and organs, causing swelling of the extremities as well as the organs
themselves (this fluid accumulation is responsible for an excessive amount of
stress on the heart as fluid accumulates in the pleural cavity as well as the
dyspnea, or difficulty breathing, often symptomatic of heart failure). The
swelling and lack of oxygen and nutrients will result in permanent damage to
the organs if left untreated, providing a very poor prognosis for the patient.

The first stage of treatment generally consists of the administration of extra
oxygen to attempt to return the oxygen levels in the tissues to normal. Once
oxygen has been administered and a pulse oximeter reveals blood oxygen levels
to be acceptable the focus will shift to attempting to treat the fluid build-up
in the body. Diuretics will be administered to assist the excess fluid on its
path out of the body via the urinary tract, and nitrates are administered to
cause the vessels to dilate, allowing blood to flow more freely without the
heart having to work quite as hard. Treatment with diuretics is often
accompanied by supplemental potassium, as the body will excrete potassium in
the urine and long term hypokalemia may result in muscle weakness or paralysis,
as well as an increased risk of fatal cardiac arrhythmia.

Patients will often be sent home from the hospital with diuretics, as well as a
medication known as an ACE inhibitor (an angiotensin-converting enzyme
inhibitor) which prevents the body from creating angiotensin, a substance which
raises blood pressure and causes the blood vessels to constrict. An angiotensin
II receptor blocker may also be administered if the patient continues to
produce angiotensin. Patients may also be treated with vasodilators other than
ACE inhibitors, particularly if they have responded poorly to treatments with
ACE inhibitors in the past. Nitroglycerin is a common example of this type of
medication.

Digitalis, or Digoxin, may be prescribed to strengthen the force of the heart's
contractions, aiding it to push blood throughout the body. Treatment with a beta
blocker is also beneficial in cases of heart failure, preventing the heart from
beating more rapidly in an attempt to compensate for the poor movement of the
blood in the body and placing more stress on the weakened muscle.

Blood thinners are used to prevent the formation of clots in the body that may
be caused by the decreased movement of the blood in the vessels. Coumadin and
heparin are the most commonly prescribed blood thinners in use today; however,
due to an increased risk of bleeding patients taking these medications should
undergo coagulation testing regularly.

Lifestyle changes are just as important as medications in the long term
treatment of heart failure. Patients should consult with their doctor to
establish an appropriate (low sodium) diet and exercise program, and should do
at least some moderate exercise daily. Equally important is taking sufficient
time to rest every day. The heart pumps more easily when the body is at rest,
which is vital to an already overstressed muscle. The nicotine from cigarettes
causes an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and the tendency for clumping
in the blood vessels; patients with heart failure should abstain from smoking.

Flu or pneumonia can be very difficult for hearts that are failing as they
attempt to compensate for the lack of oxygen in the bloodstream being carried
to the organs. It is very important that patients receive an annual influenza
vaccine, as well as a dose of the pneumococcal vaccine, which will protect them
from the pneumococcal bacteria that cause over eighty percent of cases of
bacterial pneumonia. Wearing non-constrictive clothing will assist in
preventing blood clots and facilitating blood flow to the extremeties, and in
cases of extremely warm or extremely cold temperatures it is important that the
patient take all precautions necessary to keep the body at an appropriate
temperature.

Researchers are still seeking to find a cure for congestive heart failure;
however, until that day comes it is extremely important that patients suffering
from heart failure follow the treatment plan outlined by their physician. With
careful attention to maintaining their condition, the prognosis associated with
heart failure increases dramatically.

How CHF Patients can Take Advantage of Translational Research?

In nature every action spawns a separate and equal reaction. In the field of
medicine, the reaction may not always be equal to the action. The performance
of a particular treatment in the lab on test animals may not be the same as
would be seen in a human subject; this is where the field of translational
research comes in.

Translational research takes research from the laboratory to the patient's
bedside. This can be done in several forms. In its earliest stages a treatment
will undergo controlled clinical trials with a voluntary group of test
subjects. If these small, controlled tests meet the acceptable range of success
the treatment is then taken to research hospitals such as St. Jude's or
Children's Hospital of Boston. Here patients are given the opportunity to
experience new methods of control and treatment of a disease with the
understanding that it is still considered highly experimental; however, for
many these treatments represent a chance for a cure that previously as out of
reach for them as the moon.

Congestive heart failure is, at the moment, an incurable event, occurring when
for whatever reason the cells of the heart muscle are destroyed and the heart
can no longer adequately pump blood throughout the body. Once the cells in the
heart tissue are non-functional the body is unable to replace them, making it
impossible for the heart to regain full heart function on its own. The current
mortality rate is high, and over fifty percent of patients with congestive
heart failure will die within five years of being diagnosed. There are many
treatment options currently being considered for congestive heart failure,
however, and a number of new technologies being tested daily. For example,
Montefiore Medical Center in New York City is currently doing clinical trials
on a drug known as Lovosimendan, a calcium sensitizer that does not trigger
cardiac arrhythmia, and research into the possibility of using stem cells to
regrow cardiac tissue is ongoing.

For a patient to take advantage of these options they should discuss the
possibility of being a subject for clinical testing with their physician to see
if they would be a good candidate, then allow the physician to make a
recommendation on a course of action from there. It may be suggested that the
patient contact a research facility, or the physician may suggest their name
for a clinical trial they know is occurring soon. If the patient lives in an
area with a research hospital nearby, chances are there will be an opportunity
for them to benefit from the hospital's policy on translational research.

It should be understood that translational research is precisely what it sounds
like; research. Scientists and doctors are often still learning about the
treatment and its effect on the human body, and there is always a possibility
that it will be unsuccessful or carry with it many hazardous side effects.
These courses of treatments are unknowns to physician and researcher alike. For
patients who have run out of options, however, even the possibility of a
negative effect cannot stifle what the opportunity to be part of a
translational research project provides: hope.

How Can Stem Cells Be Used to Treat Congestive Heart Failure?

Heart failure is a devastating blow to the body system, and despite the best
efforts of clinicians and researchers often results in permanent organ damage
and eventual death. Researchers are fighting to put a stop to the high
mortality rate of congestive heart failure, and believe stem cells may be the
way to do it.

The possible uses for stem cells have made it a highly published topic in
medical journals today. Stem cells are the precursors to every cell in the
body, and are primarily produced in the bone marrow in adults. During times of
crisis, such as when a patient suffers from leukemia, the spleen and other
organs that possessed stem cells during fetal development will take over
production. This is the body's way of maintaining proper cell balances and
replenishing itself as old cells die. For example, red blood cells in the
circulation only have a lifespan of approximately four months; during that time
the hematopoietic stem cells in the bone marrow are continuously producing new
rubriblasts, the precursor cells that will over time become mature erythrocytes.

There are several forms of stem cells; for the sake of research scientists are
currently focusing on the embryonic and adult varieties. Embryonic stem cells
come from a blastocyst, a four to five day old human embryo. During gestation
these pluripotent cells will divide and multiply, forming the body and internal
organs of the fetus. Embryonic stem cells are highly valued for research for
several reasons; they are able to provide large numbers of replenishing cells
and have no limitations on what form of cells they can become. The use of
embryonic stem cells is highly controversial, however, due to the fact that
collection often requires the destruction of the embryo.

There are several methods that have been published in research journals
regarding the application of stem cells in the treatment of congestive heart
failure. Congestive heart failure results when cells in the heart are
dysfunctional or destroyed and the heart is unable to properly pump blood
throughout the body. Some patients are able to be treated using mechanical aids
or transplant, but this is not always the case. Several years ago a group of
patients with no other available options for treatment agreed to be part of a
test study regarding stem cells. Autologous stem cells were removed from the
marrow and injected into the failing heart tissue through the chest wall.

Patients who received this treatment showed marked improvement, presumably as a
result of stem cell action. The precise means by which this occurs is still
unknown; however, research scientists speculate that the stem cell is either
growing new vessels or acting as a beacon to bring other cells in to repair the
damaged tissue.

Another possibility regarding stem cells is the growth of tissue for
transplant. Hearts available for an organ transplant are not as easily obtained
as physicians would desire, and there are often waiting lists years long for
every available organ. Stem cells grow readily in a laboratory environment, and
if unstimulated to differentiate will reproduce pluripotent daughter cells. This
results in a tissue that will essentially adapt to whatever environment it is
placed in. Research scientists speculate that with the proper environment
essentially grow heart tissue and transplant it to the patient who has suffered
heart failure, replacing the dead and damaged tissues with live, vital tissue.
This procedure would allow the heart to function more easily and hopefully give
the patient a better chance for survival.

With current treatment the prognosis for sufferers of congestive heart failure
is grim. At least fifty percent will die within five years of being diagnosed,
and those who are not victims of this mortality rate will feel the effects of
their heart failure for the rest of their lives. Stem cell research represents
a chance for those patients to beat these odds.

How Can Genes Contribute to and Cure Congestive Heart Failure?

It is common knowledge that heart failure follows another severe form of heart
damage; however, until now scientists and doctors have had no way to identify
those at risk. New research into genes and gene therapy have made them a
potential weapon in the fight against heart failure. Scientists have made
several discoveries regarding the role of genes in the detection and treatment
of heart failure. Several years ago it was discovered that a small percentage
of patients who had suffered heart failure possessed a defect in the gene that
allows the body to detect stress signals; in essence, the heart does not know
that it is working to hard and is unable to adjust. This percentage may seem
insignificant; however, the gene mutation was not present in any of the healthy
patients examined. Researchers stress that this is a susceptibility factor, not
a cause of congestive heart failure; however, it may be the breaking point when
determining if a heart suffering from other disease will fail. Detection of this
mutation may allow doctors to identify and treat patients at risk prior to their
heart failing rather than after.

This defect is found in the ATP-sensitive potassium channels and is caused by a
genetic mutation. The potassium channel regulates potassium and calcium levels
in the body. While the heart must have calcium to function, an excess of
calcium leads to damage. This is the reason calcium blockers are often given to
patients with congestive heart failure. Fortunately, medications to open the
potassium channel already exist.

In addition, a defect of the delta-sarcoglycan gene has been seen in hamsters
with muscular dystrophy and cardiomyopathy. This gene is the cytoskeleton of
muscle fibers, and successful transplant of a normal human delta-sarcoglycan
gene has been shown to cause a tremendous improvement in these animals. This is
noteworthy because current transplant attempts require open heart surgery. This
type of gene transplant is carried on a virus, eliminating the need for surgery.

Scientists had been a bit concerned with using this method of gene therapy due
to the need for a systemic effect. There was also some concern that the body's
natural immune system would eliminate the virus of its own accord prior to
successful delivery of the gene; however, they believe they have found the best
form of virus to successfully slip past the body's defenses. When transplanting
the delta-sarcoglycan gene researchers used a type eight adeno-associated
virus, piggybacking the corrective gene onto it as it was inserted into the
body. This allowed the gene to be carried to all areas of the body in animals
with muscular dystrophy without being destroyed by the body's own natural
immunity.

Gene therapy is still highly experimental, and researchers are unsure yet of
the role it will play in the conquest of heart failure; however, this
represents a technology that was unavailable thirty years ago. Continuing
advancements in technology and medicine's knowledge of the body's building
blocks may one day unlock the mysteries to the cure of this deadly disease.

How Can Continuing Medical Education Credits Be Obtained?

While physicians spend many, many years in school prior to receiving their MD,
it is impossible for them to learn everything there is to know. The medical
field is simply too vast, and it is constantly in motion; therefore, it is
important that every physician complete continuing medical education.

Continuing medical education (CME) allows a physician to stay abreast of new
discoveries, treatments, and other advancements in their chosen field. What
worked thirty years ago is not usually the method of choice for today's
physicians, and clinicians who do not complete these continuing education
credits may often be placing their patients at risk because of a lack of
knowledge of treatments that have been deemed ineffective or hazardous.
Unfortunately, often when a physician is wrong it is the patient's life that
pays the price.

Due to this, every physician is required to complete a minimum number of CME
credits every year; however, they are certainly not required to stop once that
number is met. This does not necessarily mean returning to school, although
this is certainly an option; however, for most physicians caring for their
patients leaves them little time for the heavy workload of a secondary
education institution. Many other more convenient options are available to them.

Across the nation hundreds of thousands of medical conventions, symposiums,
workshops and conferences are available to healthcare professionals, covering
topics from new surgical techniques to treat collapsed heart valves to the use
of stem cells to treat congestive heart failure; all cutting edge technology
not yet taught in the classroom. These often take place over the course of a
weekend, often last more than one day and are held in various locations, so
physicians from any location in the country may attend at their discretion.

In many rural areas there is only one doctor available, often with no one to
see to their patients when they are unavailable. These are the physicians who
are still on call twenty four hours a day, make their own hospital rounds and
see patients from birth to death for everything from a toothache to a heart
attack. Needless to say they are often unable to get away from their practice
to attend weekend workshops. Another option is available for them so they can
continue to provide their patients with around the clock care. The internet has
opened up a whole new world to the field of continuing education. Many
organizations, such as the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American
Association for Continuing Medical Education (AACME) offer resources online for
healthcare workers to complete their continuing medical education credits. Here
clinicians will have the opportunity to complete coursework online, view online
conferences and use the teleweb to attend lectures and symposiums.

These CME resources may be found free of charge or for a small fee per credit
hour, depending on the situation; however, this is infinitely less expensive
(and time consuming) than returning to a college or university, and offer
greater benefits because attendees are able to stay apprised of new research
and untried methods that are not taught to students.

It is true that no one ever stops learning, and this is especially true in the
medical field. Continuing medical education allows clinicians to stay on top of
their field and provide the best, most advanced care options available to their
patients.

Heart Failure

Whenever cardiac conditions develop these conditions, weaken or damage your
heart, which leads to heart failure. In a weakened condition, the heart over
time can no longer keep up with even the normal demands placed on it. The
ventricles may become stiff and not fill properly between beats. The heart
ventricles stretch (dilate) to the point that the heart cannot pump blood
efficiently throughout your body. The failing pump causes blood and fluid to
back up throughout your circulatory system. The circulatory system consists of
your lungs, legs, feet and ankles. The kidneys retain excess water and sodium.
All this builds up is the congestive part of your heart failure. The lung
congestion occurs only with left-sided heart failure with fluid backing up into
the lungs. The most common cause of right sided heart failure is left sided
heart failure.

When the fluid fills up the left side of the heart the pressure in the lungs
passes to the right side of the heart, which then fails. The fluid then
collects in the abdomen and lower extremities which all leads up to heart
failure. Heart Failure develops quickly after a heart attack. The heart failure
can also develop after years of high blood pressure or coronary artery disease.
A defective valve may cause heart failure. A heart valve replacement in this
case will prevent heart failure. A specialist normally does the surgical part,
which is a cardiologist.

Many times people think that such things cause heart failure as smoking, being
overweight or eating foods high in cholesterol and fat but there is a condition
known as idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy were the heart weakens without
explanation. This condition will also cause you congestive heart failure if not
properly taken seriously.

You might be suffering from if you have heart failure several conditions. These
conditions can weaken your heart over time and be present without you being
aware that you have the problem. The follow is a brief description of some
conditions that affect the heart:

- The most common cause of heart failure is Coronary artery disease. A process
called atherosclerosis, which is a build up of fatty deposits in the arteries.
This fatty build up causes the blood to narrow a process called plaque, which
leaves chronically deprived of oxygen-rich blood pump less vigorously. A heart
attack occurs if an unstable plaque not function well it will cause a blood
clot in turn completely blocks the blood flow to an area of the heart muscle.
This is one of the most common causes of heart failure.

- There are several other reasons that might cause heart failure but we shall
discuss the next highest reason for now. High Blood Pressure (hypertension) is
the force of blood pumped by your heart through your arteries. When your blood
pressure is high then your heart has to work harder causing failure.

Take your cardiologists advice watch your weight and exercise your on the way
to a heart healthy way of life.

H E A R T

The heart one of the most talked about part of your body. The heart used
metaphorically describes love as well as a great hurt like broken heart. "My
heart over flows with the love I have for you," says a young lover to his
sweetheart. The emotions that we express with our heart are only part of the
human makeup. The other part consists of having a healthy heart.

The heart is a real part of your body organs and functions to keep you alive
and healthy. It is a noted fact that not only emotions affect your heart but
also your food, your lifestyle, exercises, and stress all play a pertinent part
in heart health. The American Heart Association provides much information about
heart care. The Cleveland Clinic and other medical centers provide information
and steps you can take to have a healthy heart.

Exercise is very import part of a healthy heart care. We know that not everyone
can go to the gym or has the room in their home for gym equipment. We have some
suggestions that will help your heart health.

- Set in a comfortable chair loosen your clothing for comfort.

- Start with your feet and ankles; rotate them so that you feel the strain.

- Work up to your legs raising them up and holding them for about five minutes.

- Work your hands and arms one side then the other.

- Next, work your head up and down then back and forth.

About 20 minutes a day will help you relieve stress in your life and let you
relax. This is a good way to improve on heart health. The next thing is your
diet plan remember it is not what you eat but how much and how often. We
suggest you stay away from the normal things that people talk about like fats,
too many sweets, and things that you know will harm you.

The heart is measured by taking your blood pressure with results letting your
physician know your condition. When reading your heart first the doctor looks
at the Systolic level because systolic heart failure occurs when the left
ventricle cannot contract vigorously which is a pumping problem? The diastolic
heart failure occurs when the left ventricle cannot relax or fill fully which
becomes a filling problem. The heart must be able to pump vigorously and then
relax to refill with blood to have a healthy heart.

The fact is that the nations' number one killer heart disease; has piece meal
data nation wide. AHA has put together some prime information and published it
while the U.S. Government has not attempted to track heart disease. The AHA
feels strongly that the government should get involved.

Yes, the heart is the soul of our existence. For many we think of the heart
when we are in love or at a time of loss love. As we grow older then we venture
to look at the real heart the arteries, veins, and the effects on our heart by
the things we do. Take heart and enjoy your life.

Epidemiology

Epidemiology is the process of where one is able to study a disease or
disorder. The public health department job is to conduct studies that are
epidemiological in nature in order to prevent contagious disease from
spreading. An epidemiologist is one who understands the rate/risk ratios,
rate/risk differences, and measures the impact on the public.

Each epidemiologist deals in his own science and disciplines when he is taking
these factors and measuring them. The discipline requires him to be able to
select and use appropriate statistical methods in the analysis of simple data
sets and apply these methods by computer using either STATA or EPI-INFO. He
must also be able to understand and interpret output from statistical analyses
carried out by computer, in relation to research and other questions asked.
Then the epidemiologist must present findings based on statistical analysis in
a clear concise manner.

The epidemiologist must be able to define a research problem and formulate a
study hypothesis and objectives. He must choose an appropriate and ethical
study design, plan field procedures, including sample selection, and the design
of questionnaires and record forms. A time schedule for the conduct of the study
is vital part. The need to prepare a budget is always important for this type of
research. A detailed protocol that is of sufficient standard developed into a
submission statement for a funding agency.

The epidemiologist must understand the basic statistical measures and concepts
underlying the analysis of epidemiological data. He must perform analyses of
data arising from epidemiological studies using appropriate computer software.
He must be able to identify factors that suggest a disease has an infectious
cause. He also must understand the factors determining the spatial, temporal
and social distributions of communicable diseases. It is vital that the
epidemiologist understand how to measure transmissibility of infections,
design, and carry out, analyses, interpret and report an outbreak investigation
report. It is of course very vital that the evaluation of vaccine efficacy be
investigated.

The study of epidemiology and the use of an epidemiologist are vital for any
nation's health. This is very important for it helps our nation prevent major
breakouts of diseases. I would like to say our people do an excellent job in
this field and their tasks are not always easy but always necessary. The
American Heart Association feels that since heart failure is the number one
killer of men and women in America today that our Public Health Department is
not fulfilling their duties toward heart related diseases.

In the above description of what epidemiologist, duties are and why we have the
study of epidemiology gives a better understanding the medical field problems
concerning heart failure patients. The AHA has gathered as much information as
possible thru magazines and articles and made a journal for the doctors to
refer themselves too. That journal is piece meal at best not complete and not
adequate for the care and prevention of heart related problems. That is why we
need an epidemiologist from our Public health Department to look at the
situation.

Enjoy the Highest Quality of Life Possible With Congestive Heart Failure

There is no doubt about it, cardiac complications can impact every corner of
life, forcing patients to forego activities they previously enjoyed and causing
them to feel as though they have sacrificed their life to save it. There are,
however, many steps patients can take to allow them to enjoy life even after
having been diagnosed with heart failure.

Congestive heart failure occurs when the cells of the heart are unable to
constrict properly and pump blood through the body. This results in edema
throughout the body, particularly in and around the lungs and is the cause of
the dyspnea that is typical of heart failure. To counteract this, patients
should take any diuretics prescribed by their doctor and maintain a low sodium
diet, allowing the excess fluid to leave through the renal system and making it
easier for the patient to breathe. Daily exercise is important; it is not
necessary that it be vigorous, patients should consult with their physician
prior to embarking on an exercise regime to ensure that they will not be taxing
their heart unnecessarily. It is possible that if a patient has previously
enjoyed activities that put a great deal of strain on the heart they will find
it necessary to restrict themselves to less stressful endeavors; however, with
the proper precautions many physical activities are still permitted.

The heart pumps blood more easily when the body is at rest; therefore, it is
essential that patients with heart failure schedule time daily to rest. They
may sit and read or watch television, take a nap or meditate; any activity that
allows the body time to recharge. Meditation is being considered as a possible
method of treatment for patients suffering from heart failure; meditation
causes the heart to beat slower, blood pressure to normalize, the muscles to
use oxygen more efficiently and the body to produce less adrenaline. All of
these factors make it easier for the heart to function.

Any patient suffering from heart failure should abstain from smoking. Inhaling
nicotine causes the body's blood pressure and heart rate to increase, less
oxygen to reach the muscles and an increased clumping and stickiness in blood
vessels that may impede blood flow. All of these factors cause the heart to
beat harder in an attempt to compensate, placing more stress on an already weak
heart.

Patients should also avoid flu and pneumonia as much as possible, avoiding
crowded areas during cold and flu season and receiving both an annual influenza
vaccination and at least one dose of the pneumococcal vaccine (this will provide
some protection against pneumococcal bacteria, the most common cause of
bacterial pneumonia). The decreased oxygen in the blood resulting from either
flu or pneumonia will result in the heart pumping harder in an attempt to
compensate.

Everything in their life affects a patient's well being when they are suffering
from congestive heart failure, right down to their clothing. These patients
should avoid restrictive clothing and stockings as much as possible, as these
items present an increased risk for clotting and a blockage of blood to the
extremities. They should also avoid temperature extremes as much as possible
and dress appropriately for the weather; the body must work much harder to
maintain temperature when it is either extremely hot or extremely cold.

The most beneficial thing that patients suffering from heart failure can do to
allow them to enjoy their life is to enjoy their life. The negative effects of
stress on the heart are well documented, and patients who live a stress free
existence create a much better environment for their heart than those who are
unhappy or overworked. So by maintaining a positive mental state, patients are
able to help themselves both emotionally and physically.

Continuing Medical Education for Cardiac Professionals

In a field that is constantly shifting and changing, where researchers are
finding new information almost daily and new diseases and symptoms are
discovered with each patient it is very important for doctors and nurses to
stay abreast of changes in the field. They do this through a variety of means,
one of which is continuing education.

A cardiologist can spend twelve years or more in school prior to receiving
their degree between undergrad school, medical school, residency, then
additional coursework and residency to specialize. It may seem ludicrous to
have to return to school after that period of time; after all, after ten years
wouldn't they know all there is to know? The answer is no. The medical field is
constantly open to new opportunities and knowledge; a cardiologist who graduated
medical school thirty years would not have learned many of the new treatment and
surgical options that are available today. They simply did not have the
resources or technology then that they do now. Enter the field of continuing
education.

Every clinician is required to complete a set number of continuing education
credits on a regular basis, and to update these credits regularly. These
credits do not have to be done by returning to an academic setting; most
physicians would not have time to treat their patients and still take classes.
Every year hundreds of symposiums, conferences and workshops are held
throughout the world on a variety of topics. These each provide an established
number of continuing education credits, and most clinicians will have to attend
several of these to fulfill their continuing education requirement. Here cardiac
professionals can learn about new techniques to treat a variety of diseases,
such as the ongoing interest in using stem cells to strengthen the heart of
patients with congestive heart failure, or the benefits of the newly released
angiotensin II receptor blocker drugs. In this manner they are able to follow
all of the advances in the field without having to abandon their practice and
return to school.

The internet has also opened up a wonderful opportunity for health care
professionals to complete their continuing education credits from the comfort
of their homes. Many organizations offer online continuing education to
healthcare professionals. They may complete coursework, watch online
conferences, and virtually attend lectures. This is often the method of choice
for physicians in rural areas who find it difficult to attend conferences due
to their distance and the lack of other physicians to see their patients in
their absence.

These continuing education credits may be available at no cost, or a reduced
cost per credit hour, to physicians and group members. Continuing education is
very important to healthcare professionals. A lack of continuing education will
result in a clinician not being kept abreast of changes in the field, both
positive and negative, and being unaware of which treatments have now been
ruled ineffective or even hazardous. This will lead to being unable to properly
treat their patients, and possibly endangering their lives in the process.

Why is Peer Review Important in the Publication of Medical Research?

When seeking information on the latest updates in the field of medicine the
best place to look is in a peer reviewed scientific journal. It is essential
that a journal be peer reviewed to ensure that information is as accurate and
up to date as possible.

Many publications do not utilize the process of peer review for its articles.
Many common periodicals are examples of this. Magazines such as Cosmo, Good
Housekeeping, and Time magazine are examples of this. It is up to an editor to
decide whether or not to make an article available for public consumption. The
flaw in this system can be found in the simple fact that no one is able to know
everything about everything. Editors can make mistakes based on their own lack
of knowledge. In addition, articles written based upon personal opinion,
unfounded statements or biased research may be printed, which is fine if the
periodical is searching for an opinion but not so valued when the reader is
searching for cold, hard fact. By using peer review, much of this possibility
is eliminated.

The process of peer review (or refereeing, as it is also known as in the
scientific community) is very simple. All articles written concerning research
projects to be published will be submitted to the editor of the journal in
question. Copies of the article are then distributed to two or three experts in
the field of which the article is written (for example, an article concerning
congestive heart failure would be submitted to several experts in the field of
cardiology). These professionals (the author's "peers") will then evaluate the
article for accuracy, quality and relevance to the journal the author wishes it
to be published in and submit their evaluation to the editor of the article in
question. In this way a great pool of knowledge is being combined to decide if
an article is fit for publication.

In the past reviewers have normally retained anonymity, both to the author
whose work they have reviewed and the general public, preventing an author from
launching a personal vendetta against a specific reviewer; however, in some
instances editors have allowed an author to make a rebuttal to a reviewer who
had criticized their work, particularly if an article received mixed reviews.
This system is gradually changing, as cries for accountability are becoming
heard. The Journal of Interactive Media in Education was among the first to
utilize an open peer review system, by which reviewers names are made public
and they may be held accountable for their statements.

Peer reviewed journals are generally easily distinguished from other
periodicals. They present a much more sedate appearance and utilize a great
deal of technical language, and all sources will be cited. Topics will focus on
scientific research rather than general events, and are quite obviously focused
towards fellow professionals in the field rather than the average reader. If
they are unsure as to whether a publication has been peer reviewed a number of
sources are available for scholars which provide a listing of peer reviewed
journals across the country.





Peace
Icon  InfoBank Intro | Main Page | Usenet Forums | Search The RockSite/The Web