Congestive Heart Failure Treatment
What Are the Tests and Treatments?
Diagnostic tests for CHF include:
- BNP (B-type Natriuretic Peptide) blood test - measures the level of BNP hormone in your blood; the higher the level the greater the chance of heart failure
- Cardiac catheterization
- Chest x-ray
- Coronary angiography
- Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG)
- Exercise stress test (cardiac stress test)
- Holter monitor
- Nuclear heart scan
- Pharmacologic stress test
- Thyroid function tests
There are medications that can be used to treat CHF, such as:
- Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors works on the natural chemicals in the body that are involved in regulating blood pressure, resulting in lower blood pressure
- Beta blockers blocks chemical called noradrenalin, which can widen the arteries and decrease the work of the heart
- Digitalis medicines strengthen the heartbeat
- Diuretics help remove excess fluid and salt from the body
- Nitrates relax and widen the blood vessels in the body, allowing more blood and oxygen to flow to the heart
Surgeries and procedures to treat CHF include:
- Enhanced counterpulsation (ECP)
- Heart valve replacement surgery
- Intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP)iInsertion
- Ventricular assist device placement
- Valvulosplasty (Balloon or Surgical)
- Heart transplant (when all other treatments fail to control symptoms)
Medical devices that may be used are:
- Ventricular Assist Device (VAD)
- Balloon Valvuloplasty Catheter
- Enhanced Counterpulsation (ECP) Device
- Intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP)
- Prosthetic Heart Valve
But the treatment a person has the most control over is the same one that can help prevent congestive heart failure in the first place leading a healthy lifestyle:
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Control blood pressure.
- Control blood cholesterol.
- Prevent and manage diabetes mellitus.
- Quit or do not start smoking.
- Manage stress.
- Get enough sleep.
Reviewed by Francine Kaufman, MD. 4/08
Lemon Ice Ginger Curry Fish Stir Fry Garlicky Greens and Beans Mexican Quesadillas Holiday Spinach Rutabaga and Parsnip Barley Soup German Sheet Cake with Chocolate Pancakes with Sautéed Pears Tuna Noodle Casserole Whole Wheat Soda Bread
James Joyce said that “mistakes are the portals of discovery.” I wonder if insulin levels have been our mistake. Could it be that this hellish week of blood sugars were somehow meant to be? Drastic times call for drastic measures, right? Maybe we were too afraid in the past to take the plunge into drastic measures. Maybe this is oddly what we needed. We had to be truly frightened in order to make bigger, bolder changes. ...