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
Spinah and Mushroom Salad Mediterranean Tomato-Caper Sauce Macaroni and Olive Frittata Sweet Potato and Parsnip Soup Orange Ginger Shrimp Kabobs Apple Slaw with Blue Cheese Cookies and Cream Brownies Kiwi and Banana Smoothie Breakfast Sausage "Fresh" Canned Shrimp
One of the "parents' business" items on our current trip to Virginia was a visit by a case nurse from an agency that is trying to get the Out-Laws additional personal and health assistance. While the old folk found her questions intrusive, they were reasonable follow-ons based on the OutLaws' current states of cognitive and physical health. One of the sets of questions was about their medications. A list of them was posted on the door to the den. The case nurse assumed...