Heart Disease is any condition that affects your heart such as coronary artery diseases and arrhythmias leading to heart failure. It is the leading cause of death in both, male and females.
Nowadays in this busy lifestyle, people don’t have time for them. They take some signals as a throwaway thing which can be sometimes lethal and dangerous too.
Some signals like SOB, chest pains, fatigue, cough (dry or with mucus), but these signals lead to many disorders like congestive heart failure, lung cancer, stenosis, pulmonary embolism and tuberculosis.
One of the signs mentioned above leads to a death causing disease which is worldwide common and many of the deaths occur due to this, named as Heart failure. This means that the heart is not fulfilling the body needs, impair pumping, impair electrical activity and supplying a reduced amount of blood to the body.
Your personalized doctor will start the diagnosis by your personal and your family’s medical history. It is further followed by recorded history about current and past symptoms. Disturbance of your cholesterol levels and other substances in your blood can tell you about your health.
CRP (C-reactive protein) tests are also important for assessing the risks of your heart disorders. This protein is responsible for signs of inflammation.
What can be the earliest signs of Heart Failure?
The early signs of heart failure are:
• Irregular heart beating
• Reduced ejection fraction (% of blood pump out) i.e. < 40%
• Reduced ability to exercise or work
Heart disease leads to kidney dysfunctioning, which also gives rise to edeme (swelling in tissues) and retention of salt and water which can be lethal in ways.
As our main topic is how to diagnose or analyze your heart going into failure or getting infarct.
Types of Heart Failure
There are three types of heart failure which are:
- Left sided heart failure
- Right sided heart failure
- Congestive heart failure
LEFT SIDED HEART FAILURE
Left sided or Left Ventricular HF means the Left Ventricle needs more power to pump blood all over the body. It is of 2 types i.e.
- Heart failure with reduced Ejection Fraction, also called “Systolic Failure” which means the heart can’t push enough blood for circulation.
- Heart Failure with preserved Ejection Fraction, also known as “Diastolic Failure” which means the heart can’t fill enough blood between resting periods.
RIGHT SIDED HEART FAILURE
Right side HF is due to the right side of the heart losing its power to backup used blood from all body organs. This condition causes swelling and ascites.
CONGESTIVE HEART FAILURE
It is due to slow blood flow and backing up of blood through veins and causing swelling and congestion in body tissues. Sometimes when a situation gets bad this blood sets in lungs and thus results in above mentioned respiratory symptoms and further is distress.
For this you’ve to get yourself examined by a healthcare provider and then refer to the professional for the Confirmation.
The Diagnosis of Heart Failure is mainly confirmed by ECG (Electro Cardio Gram) and various blood tests which show whether you have any other infection.
What is an ECG?
ECG is a procedure which is used to identify the rhythm of your heart.
ECG records your electrical activity and checks for the problems going on in your heart. It can also be monitored on a screen or give an output strip for the examination.
What if ECG triggers a dysfunction?
If the ECG gives any clue towards heart failure or infarction with irregular patterns and arrhythmias we further move on to Echocardiography.
What is Echocardiography?
Echocardiography or echo is known as a procedure for determining cardiac infarction. It is an ultrasonic scan which uses heart sound waves to examine the heart.
Heart failure related to systolic dysfunction often easily diagnosed by Echo.
Echo is considered the most useful diagnostic technique for the patients of heart failure and post heart attacks. Sometimes echo is combined with Doppler ultrasound and color Doppler to check blood flow in valves and to examine whether it is stenosed or not.
In some ways, chest Xray is also helpful to add on the diagnosis of Heart Failure; to examine heart size and to examine the fluid in pleural space or lungs.
The diagnosis varies from person to person as per the stages and symptoms, some have early and some come with episodes of post myocardial attacks in which doctor decides early or stage determined treatments.
The stages are described as classes which are
- CLASS 1: No symptoms with normal physical activity
- CLASS 2: Normal physical activity shows up with symptoms
- CLASS 3: Minore physical activity with symptoms
- CLASS 4: Unable to continue physical activity with discomfortness and symptoms when resting.
These classes are associated with severity of pain and episodes of attacks and the diagnosis is done by examining the above factors with the tests.
After assessing and examining above parameters, multiple tests are followed which are:
The stress test requires ETT i.e. Exercise Tolerance Test which is used to examine your strenuous activity and also to monitor your stress level and to see the body’s reaction and increment of heart rate. This test is done by advising you to run on a treadmill or walk.
This ultrasound is done for examining if there is any plaque formation in carotid arteries and examination for risks of strokes.
Holter monitors are used as a portable device for monitoring your heart and checking for the progress or presence of episodes of strokes/attacks. This machine shows continuous ECG patterns. The patient is asked to wear this. It is also used for monitoring the abnormal heart rate and irregular patterns. It triggers Arrhythmias and disturbs the heartbeat.
In this test magnetic and radio waves pass through your heart and create images of your heart beating. This test is done for finding the heart muscle disease or coronary artery effects.
TILT TABLE TEST
This is a test which is performed by the heart patients if they had fainted. This test monitors your Blood pressure, heart rate, Oxygen Level. This technique works by the patient has to lie on a table which moves from horizontal plane to vertical and gives results which determine the cause of fainting.
CHEST X RAY
Imaging studies is also helpful in heart disease diagnosis, showing up if there is cardiomegaly (enlargement of heart) or the cause of Shortness of Breath.
A student of RESPIRATORY THERAPY from Dow University of Health Sciences. She tries to sum up most of the informative content about health diseases. Most commonly highlighting Cardio-Pulmonary illnesses. Providing indications & contraindications for various diseases and aims to empower not only medical students but common people.