Each year, roughly 550,000 Americans are diagnosed with congestive heart failure (CHF), joining the nearly 5 million Americans living with the disease.
A normal healthy heart pumps enough oxygen-rich blood out of the heart and into the system to nourish all parts of the body. The primary causes of heart failure are high blood pressure, heart attack, coronary artery disease, and diabetes.
In addition to checking for risk factors such as diabetes, your doctor will likely listen to your heart with a stethoscope.
People can improve air quality by reducing the amount of pollutants that are emitted into the air. Two simple actions that many people can choose to do is to drive less and try to be idle-free whenever possible.
Pollutants from vehicle emissions can sometimes build up and accumulate in areas such as stop lights, drive-thrus, or at pick-up and drop-off areas. A website that can help your students participate in their own learning while gaining a more holistic and hopeful understanding of today's complex energy and environmental issues. The Air Quality Health Index, AQHI is a guide to the relative risk presented by a mixture of common air pollutants which are known to harm human health. Particulate Matter (PM2.5), is a mixture of tiny airborne particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs. Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), is released by motor vehicle emissions and power plants that rely on fossil fuels. The Air Quality Health Index or AQHI, is a tool designed to help you understand what the air quality around you means to your health. These Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) learning stations address literacy, reflection and problem-solving with awareness of the Government of Canada's AQHI.
Educators can choose from six 30-minute learning centres for their grade 5 or 6 students, building skills in literacy, communication, reflection and problem-solving. Coronary artery disease is the most common form of heart disease and the most common cause of heart failure. Some of the many causes of heart muscle damage, also called cardiomyopathy, include infections, alcohol abuse, and the toxic effect of drugs such as cocaine or some drugs used for chemotherapy. If your heart and its chambers or valves haven't formed correctly, the healthy parts of your heart have to work harder to pump blood through your heart, which in turn may lead to heart failure.
Chronic diseases such as diabetes, severe anemia, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, emphysema, and lupus and a buildup of iron (hemochromatosis), protein (amyloidosis) or inflammatory cells (sarcoidosis) also may contribute to heart failure. These drugs, which include losartan (Cozaar) and valsartan (Diovan), have many of the same benefits as ACE inhibitors.
This drug, also referred to as digitalis, increases the strength of your heart muscle contractions. This class of drugs not only slows your heart rate and reduces blood pressure but also limits or reverses some of the damage to your heart.
Often called water pills, diuretics make you urinate more frequently and keep fluid from collecting in your body. If severely blocked arteries are contributing to your heart failure, your doctor may recommend coronary artery bypass surgery.
If a faulty heart valve causes your heart failure, your doctor may recommend repairing or replacing the valve. A biventricular pacemaker sends timed electrical impulses to both of the heart's lower chambers (the left and right ventricles), so that they pump in a more efficient, coordinated manner. These mechanical devices are implanted into the abdomen or chest and attached to a weakened heart to help it pump. Smoking damages your blood vessels, raises blood pressure, reduces the amount of oxygen in your blood and makes your heart beat faster. Too much sodium contributes to water retention, which makes your heart work harder and causes shortness of breath and swollen legs, ankles and feet.
Your doctor likely will recommend that you don't drink alcohol if you have heart failure, since it can interact with your medication, weaken your heart muscle and increase your risk of abnormal heart rhythms.
Moderate aerobic activity helps keep the rest of your body healthy and conditioned, reducing the demands on your heart muscle. When you're anxious or upset, your heart beats faster, you breathe more heavily and your blood pressure often goes up. If you're having shortness of breath, especially at night, sleep with your head propped up at a 45-degree angle using a pillow or a wedge.
With all of the medical misinformation available online, patients should have a trusted resource at their fingertips.
According to the CDC, heart failure is responsible for over $34 billion in annual direct and indirect costs.
We can also use transportation smarter by carpooling, using public transit, walking or riding bicycles.

They help us get to work, or in some cases do our work, as well as travel, visit friends or family, and get our groceries.
It can be a major component of smog during the summer, especially during hot sunny weather, but is generally low in the wintertime.
These particles can either be emitted directly by vehicles, industrial facilities or natural sources like forest fires, or formed indirectly as a result of chemical reactions among other pollutants. All of these pollutants can pose health risks at low levels of exposure, especially among those with pre-existing health problems.
It will provide you with the information you need to protect your health by: limiting short-term exposure to air pollution during air quality events and adjusting your activity levels during air pollution events. Overall, heart failure is responsible for more hospitalizations than all forms of cancer combined.
While heart failure is a very serious condition, it does not mean that the heart has stopped beating. Over time, arteries that supply blood to your heart muscle narrow from a buildup of fatty deposits, a process called atherosclerosis. If your blood pressure is high, your heart has to work harder than it should to circulate blood throughout your body. A damaged valve, due to a heart defect, coronary artery disease or heart infection, forces your heart to work harder to keep blood flowing as it should. In addition, whole-body diseases, such as lupus, or thyroid problems can damage heart muscle. Causes of acute heart failure include viruses that attack the heart muscle, severe infections, allergic reactions, blood clots in the lungs, the use of certain medications or any illness that affects the whole body.
ACE inhibitors are a type of vasodilator, a drug that widens blood vessels to lower blood pressure, improve blood flow and decrease the workload on the heart.
Commonly prescribed diuretics for heart failure include bumetanide (Bumex) and furosemide (Lasix).
They are potassium-sparing diuretics but also have additional properties that may reverse scarring of the heart and help people with severe heart failure live longer. In this procedure, blood vessels from your leg, arm or chest bypass a blocked artery in your heart to allow blood to flow through your heart more freely. The surgeon can modify the original valve (valvuloplasty) to eliminate backward blood flow. It's implanted under the skin in your chest with wires leading through your veins and into your heart.
Many people with heart failure have problems with their heart's electrical system that cause their already-weak heart muscle to beat in an uncoordinated fashion.
Doctors first used heart pumps to help keep heart transplant candidates alive while they waited for a donor heart. For people with heart failure, the daily recommended amount of dietary sodium is no more than 2,000 milligrams (mg) a day — check with your doctor for the restriction recommended for you. If you have severe heart failure, your doctor may also suggest you limit the amount of fluids you drink.
Before you start exercising though, talk to your doctor about an exercise program that's right for you.
This can make heart failure worse, since your heart is already having trouble meeting the body's demands. Until the last few years, personal health management meant endless manual journaling -- a process that few maintained. With patient engagement, health outcomes and the corresponding financial burden can improve. By taking and committing to simple actions, which can include using alternative energy sources such as solar, wind or water, or use energy more efficiently overall. However, vehicle emissions contribute to a variety of environmental issues such as damage to plants, soil and water, and sometimes interference with animal reproduction.
As well, excessively idling our vehicles can also release pollutants into the air, including nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide, benzene, particulate matter and carbon dioxide. Air pollutants that contribute to ozone formation are emitted by vehicles, industrial facilities and natural sources such as vegetation. Particulate matter can reflect both local air pollution sources or widespread air pollution episodes.
Nitrogen dioxide is often elevated in the vicinity of high traffic roadways and other local sources. It is also intended to provide advice on actions you can take to improve the quality of the air you breathe, especially in urban areas.
Blood moves slowly through narrowed arteries, leaving some areas of your heart muscle weak and chronically deprived of oxygen-rich blood. Over time, the heart muscle may become thicker to compensate for the extra work it must perform.

Addtionally, your doctor may order blood tests to check kidney and thyroid function and for a chemical called brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) which may indicate heart failure. Examples include enalapril (Vasotec), lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril) and captopril (Capoten). These medicines reduce the risk of some abnormal heart rhythms and lessen your chance of dying unexpectedly. Unlike some other diuretics, spironolactone can raise the level of potassium in your blood to dangerous levels, so talk to your doctor if increased potassium is a concern, and learn if you need to modify your intake of food that's high in potassium. Surgeons also can repair the valve by reconnecting valve leaflets or by removing excess valve tissue so that the leaflets can close tightly.
Heart transplants can dramatically improve the survival and quality of life of some people with severe heart failure. If you have high blood pressure, are 51 or older or are African-American, you should aim for no more than 1,500 mg of sodium a day in your diet.
To improve your sleep at night, prop up your head with pillows and avoid big meals right before bedtime.
The good news is that mHealth offers a solution that is at once less labor intensive and more effective than manual tracking. Vehicle emissions can also pose a problem to human health, by contributing to respiratory or cardiovascular issues and some cancers. Carbon dioxide, while not an air pollutant per se, can contribute to climate change and may be linked to various environmental issues such as drought, poor soil quality and potential loss of biodiversity. Under some weather conditions, ozone can also be transported down to the ground from the ozone-rich upper atmosphere. Your body compensates by holding onto salt and water, which increases the amount of blood in your bloodstream.
In some cases, the blood flow to the muscle is just enough to keep the muscle alive but not functioning well. Eventually, your heart muscle may become either too stiff or too weak to effectively pump blood. A slow heartbeat may prevent your heart from getting enough blood out to the body and may also lead to heart failure. Beta blockers may reduce signs and symptoms of heart failure, improve heart function, and help you live longer. Because diuretics make your body lose potassium and magnesium, your doctor may also prescribe supplements of these minerals.
Sometimes repairing the valve includes tightening or replacing the ring around the valve (annuloplasty). If the heart starts beating at a dangerous rhythm, or if your heart stops, the ICD tries to pace your heart or shock it back into normal rhythm. Implanted heart pumps can significantly extend and improve the lives of some people with severe heart failure who aren't eligible for or able to undergo heart transplantation or are waiting for a new heart. However, candidates for transplantation often have to wait months or years before a suitable donor heart is found. Record your weight every morning and bring the record with you to your doctor's visits. Keep in mind that most of this salt is already added to prepared foods, and be careful when using salt substitutes. Check with your local hospital to see if it offers a cardiac rehabilitation program; if it does, talk to your doctor about enrolling in the program.
Also, discuss with your doctor changing the time for taking medications, especially diuretics. An ECG helps diagnose heart rythm problems and an echocardiogram helps distinguish systolic heart failure from diastolic heart failure.
If you're taking a diuretic, your doctor will likely monitor levels of potassium and magnesium in your blood through regular blood tests. Some transplant candidates improve during this waiting period through drug treatment or device therapy and can be removed from the transplant waiting list. Taking diuretics earlier in the day may keep you from having to urinate as often during the night. When your heart can no longer keep up with the increased blood, fluid starts to build up in the body, which makes you feel weak and out of breath. This causes a blood clot to block blood flow to an area of the heart muscle, weakening the heart's pumping ability.
In valve replacement surgery, the damaged valve is replaced by an artificial (prosthetic) valve.

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