Erica Oberg, ND, MPH
Dr. Erica Oberg, ND, MPH, received a BA in anthropology from the University of Colorado, her doctorate of naturopathic medicine (ND) from Bastyr University, and a masters of public health (MPH) in health services research from the University of Washington. She completed her residency at the Bastyr Center for Natural Health in ambulatory primary care and fellowship training at the Health Promotion Research Center at the University of Washington.
Mimi Guarneri, MD, FACC, ABIHM
Dr. Mimi Guarneri, MD, FACC, ABIHM, is board certified in cardiovascular disease, internal medicine, nuclear medicine, and holistic medicine. Dr. Guarneri is president of the American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine and serves as Senior Advisor to the Atlantic Health System for the Center for Well Being and Integrative Medicine. Dr. Guarneri is founder and director of Guarneri Integrative Health, Inc. and Taylor Academy for Integrative Medicine Education and Research located at Pacific Pearl La Jolla in La Jolla, CA.
John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.
- Heart failure definition and facts
- What is heart failure?
- What are the different types of heart failure?
- What are heart failure symptoms and signs?
- What are the risk factors for heart failure?
- What causes heart failure?
- What are heart failure stages or classifications?
- How is heart failure diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for heart failure?
- What diet and lifestyle management techniques helps heart failure?
- What medications treat heart failure?
- What procedures or surgery treats heart failure?
- Which specialties of doctors treat heart failure?
- What are the potential complications of heart failure?
- What is the prognosis and life expectancy for a person with heart failure?
- Can heart failure be prevented?
- Find a local Cardiologist in your town
Heart failure definition and facts
- The definition of heart failure is when the heart cannot pump efficiently enough blood to circulate oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. When the heart becomes weak or when it becomes thickened and stiff, the heart muscle cannot keep up with its workload.
- Signs and symptoms of heart failure
- shortness of breath,
- exercise intolerance,
- coughing (or chronic cough),
- pounding or racing heart,
- excessive tiredness,
- loss of appetite,
- problems thinking,
- swelling in the ankles, and
- rarely, chest pain
- Symptoms are usually worse at night when lying flat.
- Risk factors for heart failure include high blood pressure, prior heart attack, obesity, smoking, alcohol abuse, vitamin deficiencies, sleep apnea, heavy metal toxicity, eating an unhealthy diet (including animal fat and salt), and being sedentary.
- The cause of heart failure is a weakened or thickened cardiac muscle. When risk factors for heart failure are present, there usually is inflammatory stress, which further damages the cardiac muscle depleting cells of energy and antioxidants.
- There are four stages of heart failure, used to classify the severity of symptoms.
- Heart failure treatment includes lifestyle and diet changes, taking medications, and sometimes implanting devices. Heart transplant may be needed in some cases.
- Medications can help reduce the symptoms of congestive heart failure (CHF) and improve heart muscle function. Commonly prescribed medications for heart failure include beta-blockers, diuretics (water pills), ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) inhibitors, and ARBs (angiotensin receptor blockers).
- The prognosis for heart failure is highly variable. If lifestyle changes are not made, or medications are not taken, or the underlying causes are not correctable, heart failure can become a progressive and ultimately fatal condition.
- Heart failure can be prevented and reversed by making healthier choices such as addressing stress, being active, eating well, getting enough nutrients, treating sleep apnea, and taking medications as prescribed.
Next: What is heart failure?
Find out what women really need.