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Tackle heart failure with healthy lifestyle & medicines

18 |
Update: 2019-09-19 16:10:56
Tackle heart failure with healthy lifestyle & medicines

DHAKA: When B Jitendra Bhat, a banker, suddenly felt uneasy and started perspiring, he sensed something was amiss. He had just eaten lunch. He started vomiting blood and was unusually breathless. 

He was rushed to a private hospital within 15 minutes and his condition improved gradually. That was in 1999 and over the years, he has been very disciplined with lifestyle changes, yoga, morning walks, dietary restrictions and stress-free living. At 75, he is fit and living it up.

Though diagnosed with a heart attack earlier, his was a case of heart failure, says Dr Ranjan Shetty, senior consultant and head of the cardiology department, Manipal Hospitals, who has been treating him for a couple of years now.

Heart failure is a chronic disease where the heart muscle responsible for pumping action weakens over time. Heart attack, on the other hand, is a sudden cardiac event. However, two-thirds of cases of heart failure are because of heart attacks, says Dr Shetty.

“Not all heart attacks lead to heart failure, but an estimated 10-15% of heart attacks can cause heart failure. There is significant overlap which needs to be thoroughly examined,” says Dr Shetty.

Jitendra Bhat is an example of how timely treatment can improve life span and a reassertion that heart failure is not the end of the tunnel for patients.

Dr Rahul Patil, cardiologist and head of Premature Coronary Artery Disease division at Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and research in Bengaluru says the most important patient education in heart failure is fluid and salt restrictions, as a weak heart cannot tolerate volume overload. 

A 36-year-old man with more than 10 hospital admissions earlier with heart failure is currently being treated at SJICS. While a normal left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) ranges from 55% to 70%, in this patient’s case it is only 25%. This means only 25% of the total amount of blood in the left ventricle is pumped out with each heartbeat which results in more and more hospital admissions.

When the left ventricular ejection fraction improves, the patients recover well.

“There are certain modern medicines which have improved the condition of patients. There are two cases where patients who were advised to register for heart transplant as they suffered from chronic heart failure but have recovered well and are nowoff the organ waiting list,” says Dr Ranjit Shetty, adding that heart failure can be treated efficiently with medical advancements.

Source: Times of India
BDST: 1533 HRS, SEP 19, 2019


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