What Is Heart Failure?
The term “heart failure” can be a little misleading. One could reasonably assume that a failing heart would position an individual on the precipice of death, but this isn’t necessarily the case. A heart failure diagnosis doesn’t intend to denote that the heart is no longer functioning, and individuals who are diagnosed with this condition can still manage their condition if treated by Jesal V. Popat, M.D., FACC, the best cardiologist in Tampa.
Failing to Keep Up
Heart failure refers to a condition in which the heart has difficulty doing its job. When a heart can’t keep up with its workload, not enough blood is pumped throughout the body. As a result, the body doesn’t receive enough oxygen and — like a car without fuel — slowly grinds to a halt. For some people, heart failure means their heart isn’t filling up with enough blood; and for others, it means the heart isn’t strong enough to pump blood effectively. Some people experience both. Regardless, those suffering from heart failure need to seek medical care as soon as possible to help boost their heart health.
Signs, Symptoms, Complications
Many of the most common symptoms of heart failure can be confused with the effects of aging. Due to this, it’s crucial that you attend annual check-ups to ensure that your heart is healthy. Some common symptoms include shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, coughing, fatigue, and swelling in the ankles, feet, legs, abdomen, and veins in the neck. If you participate in an active lifestyle, and you start to notice that routine physical activities are starting to make you uncharacteristically tired, it may be time to consult Dr. Popat, the best cardiologist in the Tampa Bay area.
Heart Failure: A Chronic, Progressive Condition
If not treated, heart failure will only grow worse over time. Your heart will attempt to adapt to this ailment by enlarging, developing more muscle mass, and pumping blood faster. Later, blood vessels will narrow to elevate blood pressure in an attempt to sustain the flow of blood throughout the body. What follows is even more dangerous. The heart will divert blood away from “less important” tissues and organs to continue supporting the heart and brain. Unfortunately, this means organs, like the kidneys, will suffer. All of this is intended to offset the heart’s inability to perform its job, but it’s ultimately all for nought. The only surefire way to fight heart failure is to get treatment from the best cardiologist in Tampa.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Diagnosing heart failure requires an examination of your medical and family histories, a physical exam, and test results. There are a myriad of diagnostic tests that can be used to diagnose heart failure, including:
BNP Blood Test
Nuclear Heart Scan
Thyroid Function Test
Dr. Popat relies on minimally invasive techniques to diagnose and treat his patients. Preferring to focus on lifestyle modification to overcome heart-related illnesses, rather than overmedication, Dr. Popat’s aim is to find the ideal treatment for each patient’s particular situation. In some cases, medicine may be a patient’s best option, but for long-term results, an ongoing treatment plan is recommended.
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