Managing Heart Failure – A Personal Approach
Heart Failure (HF) is a serious illness and yet many people are not aware they have it. When left unmanaged, HF can be debilitating and impact the quality and longevity of one’s life. Early recognition and diagnosis, along with a patient’s understanding of their condition is the recommended approach to managing heart failure.
Heart Failure is quickly becoming one of the most pressing health problems facing our communities. At the McLaren Macomb Heart Failure Clinic, our team of highly experienced physicians, Advance Practice Nurses, (APN’s) and other medical professionals are dedicated to working with individual patients throughout their life’s journey by helping them understand and manage their symptoms of heart failure. Our healthcare professionals understand the associated anxieties patients experience when faced with the diagnosis of heart disease.
The purpose of the McLaren Macomb Heart Failure Clinic is to educate patients and their families about this condition, the purpose of medications, the impact of certain diets and foods and the importance of monitored physical activity. Our primary goal is to improve the patient’s condition and avoid repeated hospitalization. Our team-oriented approach places a high degree of emphasis on the personal well-being of each patient with a focus on:
Medical Treatment Options
Although there is no known cure for HF, advances in research now enable more treatment options resulting in improved outcomes for individuals with heart failure. Our team of medical professionals will develop a personalized treatment program based upon the individual patient’s diagnosis using evidence-based therapies.
In cooperation with the patient's primary care physician and cardiologist, APN’s help co-manage care. Patients who take part in their care usually feel better, live longer, and spend less time in the hospital.
Patient Lifestyle Management
In addition to medical treatment, our focus includes patient and family education, counseling and support, as well as recommendations pertaining to a healthy diet and exercise. By learning to manage their heart failure, patients become active participants in their plan of care with the goal of improving their quality of life.
View patient Phil’s video and hear how McLaren Macomb HFC has helped him maintain and improve his health.
Understanding Heart Failure
According to the American Heart Association, heart failure affects nearly six million Americans. Mistakenly, many people believe that heart failure means that the heart has stopped or is about to stop “beating”. Heart failure is a progressive condition which occurs when the heart loses its ability to pump enough blood to the body’s organs and tissues. With too little blood being delivered, these tissues and body organs do not receive enough oxygen and nutrients to function properly over a period of time.
The most common causes of heart failure include:
- Heart attack (myocardial infarction)
- High Blood Pressure (hypertension)
- Narrowing of the heart’s arteries (coronary artery disease)
Other common contributors which may lead to heart failure include, heart valve disease, viral infections, alcohol/drug abuse, and severe lung disease.
Symptoms of Heart Failure
Heart Failure symptoms can vary widely from person to person depending on varying conditions and medical factors. The onset of heart failure may go un-noticed for many, but as the disease progresses symptoms described are likely to become more severe, and include:
- Shortness of breath
- Persistent coughing or wheezing
- Tiredness, fatigue
- Lack of appetite, nausea
- Swelling of legs and abdomen
- Weight gain
If you or someone you know is experiencing heart failure and would like to learn more about the McLaren Macomb Heart Failure Clinic and care options, please call (586) 493-8844.