Diastolic heart failure – causes, side effects and treatments at NaturalPedia.com

Saturday, March 03, 2018 by

Diastolic heart failure refers to when the heart muscle becomes stiffer than normal.

The stiffness, usually caused by heart disease, indicates that the heart doesn’t easily fill with blood. This is called diastolic dysfunction, which can cause a lack of blood flow to the other organs in the body.

Diastolic heart failure is less common in men than in women.

Known side effects of diastolic heart failure

The heart muscle of a patient with diastolic heart failure is thicker and stiffer than normal. Because of this, the left ventricle doesn’t fill with enough blood, and not enough blood is pumped into circulation, despite a strong pumping action. Because of this, diastolic heart failure is sometimes called heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (PEF), or right-sided heart failure.

If a patient is showing the symptoms of heart failure and the ejection fractions is greater than 50 percent, they may be diagnosed with diastolic heart failure, especially if an echocardiogram indicates that the heart muscle is thickening.

The symptoms of heart failure may include:

  • Abdominal swelling
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Heart palpitations
  • Irregular pulse
  • A loss of appetite
  • Persistent coughing
  • Protruding neck veins
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sudden weight gain
  • Swelling in the legs and ankles

Some common risk factors for heart failure include:

  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Heart valve problems
  • Previous heart attack

Other major risk factors include:

  • Genetics (congenital heart defects)
  • High blood pressure
  • Infections (such as especially viral infections)
  • Obesity

Less well-recognized risk factors for heart failure include:

  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • Sleep apnea
  • Stress
  • Lack of exercise
  • An unhealthy diet (especially one low in antioxidant vegetables and high in animal fats)

All these may also contribute to coronary artery disease, a major risk factor for heart failure.

Body systems harmed by diastolic heart failure

The complications of heart failure include:

  • Extreme fatigue and weakness
  • An inability to accomplish daily tasks
  • Irregular heart rhythms/arrhythmias – May worsen symptoms or cause blood clots. Some irregular heart rhythms can be fatal.
  • Kidney damage
  • Liver disease
  • Progressive heart failure, which could eventually require heart transplant

Food items or nutrients that may prevent diastolic heart failure

The following foods and nutrients can help prevent diastolic heart failure:

  • Broccoli, spinach, and kale — These green vegetables can give an extra boost to the heart. Broccoli, spinach, and kale are full of carotenoids that act as antioxidants. Carotenoids can help free the body of potentially harmful compounds. These vegetables are also full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Legumes — Legumes (like beans, lentils, and peas), which come from plants, are a good source of protein without a lot of unhealthy fat. Legumes can also help control blood sugar in diabetics. Lowering blood sugar levels is one way to help individuals avoid diabetes complications such as heart disease.
  • Nuts — Nuts such as almonds, peanuts, pistachios, macadamia nuts, and walnuts all contain fiber that’s good for the heart. Nuts also have vitamin E, which can help lower bad cholesterol. Other nuts, like walnuts, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Pomegranate — This fruit contains numerous antioxidants, such as heart-promoting polyphenols and anthocyanins that can help prevent the hardening of the arteries. However, a cheaper alternative to pomengranates are apples, which also contain a lot of health-promoting compounds.
  • Tomatoes — Full of heart-healthy potassium, tomatoes are also a good source of the antioxidant lycopene. Lycopene, a carotenoid, can help get rid of “bad” cholesterol. It also keeps blood vessels open and lowers heart attack risk.

Treatments, management plans for diastolic heart failure

Treatment for heart failure depends on the severity of the patient’s condition. While early treatment can promptly improve symptoms, patients need regular testing every three to six months. With proper treatment, patients with diastolic heart failure can increase their lifespan.

Medications can be used to treat the early stages of heart failure. Drugs can also help relieve symptoms and prevent a patient’s condition from worsening. Medications can help:

  • Improve the heart’s ability to pump blood
  • Reduce blood clots
  • Reduce cholesterol levels
  • Reduce the heart rate (when necessary)
  • Remove excess sodium and replenish potassium levels

Some individuals with heart failure may need surgery:

  • Angioplasty — For this procedure, a catheter with a small balloon attached to it is inserted into a blocked or narrowed artery. As the catheter reaches the damaged artery, a surgeon will inflate a balloon so the artery can open. A surgeon might place a permanent stent/wire mesh tube into the blocked or narrowed artery. The stent will permanently hold the artery open, which can help prevent further narrowing of the artery.
  • Coronary bypass surgery — During this surgery, a surgeon will take a healthy piece of artery which will then be attached to the blocked coronary artery. This lets the blood bypass the blocked and damaged artery and flow through the new one.
  • Pacemakers — Pacemakers help control heart rhythms, and these small devices are placed into the chest. A pacemaker will help a patient’s heart rate slow down when the heart is beating too quickly. It can also increase the heart rate if the heart is beating too slowly. Pacemakers are often paired with bypass surgery and medications.
  • Heart transplants — Often used in the final stages of heart failure, especially when all other treatments have failed. During a heart transplant, the surgeon removes all or part of the patient’s heart and replaces it with a healthy heart from a donor.

Where to learn more

Summary

Diastolic heart failure refers to when the heart muscle becomes stiffer than normal. The stiffness, usually caused by heart disease, indicates that the heart doesn’t easily fill with blood. This is called diastolic dysfunction, which can cause a lack of blood flow to the other organs in the body.

If a patient is showing the symptoms of heart failure and the ejection fractions is greater than 50 percent, they may be diagnosed with diastolic heart failure, especially if an echocardiogram indicates that the heart muscle is thickening.

The symptoms of heart failure may include abdominal swelling, excessive fatigue, heart palpitations, and irregular pulse.

The complications of heart failure include extreme fatigue and weakness and an inability to accomplish daily tasks.

Broccoli, spinach, kale, legumes, nuts, pomengranates, and tomatoes can help prevent diastolic heart failure.

Treatment for heart failure depends on the severity of the patient’s condition. While early treatment can promptly improve symptoms, patients need regular testing every three to six months. With proper treatment, patients with diastolic heart failure can increase their lifespan.

Treatment for the condition includes medications and surgery.

Sources include

Health.com

Healthline.com

MedicineNet.com

UpToDate.com



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