heart failure - watch for early signs

Posted , 9 users are following.

I am not the patient with heart failure. The person with heart failure was well nine months ago and is about ninety years of age now. He has high blood pressure for which he is on amlodipine. I noticed he was getting slighty short of breath on walking at least five months ago. He does pranayama and sometimes yoga. Now he has developed leg swelling and there are crepitations in his lungs. I noticed that his pulse was 104 per minute and his blood pressure 160/ 80. He says his blood pressure is usually 140/ 80 mm Hg. I am pretty certain he has developed heart failure but we have to wait for a few days before he can be taken to the doctor. My mother also developed heart failure because of high blood pressure. I think people with high blood pressure should go to the doctor as soon as they see signs of breathlessness or swelling of the legs. A rise in pulse rate is also to be taken seriously unless it can be explained by fever or exercise or other reasons, especially in older people. Take your illness seriously and see the doctor.

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  • Posted

    It can happen to younger people too. I was 44 when i was diagnosed. My Gp wasn't convinced there was anything to be concerned about despite me taking the blood pressure readings in every now and then over 3 years!!! Now i can't have children because of the meds and can only work part-time. take heed!
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  • Posted

    My serious downfall of health started with a bad cough. We are advised to delay contacting a surgery for infections of this nature. A pharmacist was happy to offer "non-productive cough" medication. The cough seemed to improve but then I had the situation of severe coughing that I thought was going to give a hernia and so saw my GP. It was found I had some congestion of the lungs and an anti-biotic was prescribed. I was assured the coughing would stop as soon as the lung infection had been dealt with.

    The first course of anti-biotic failed to work and I was prescribed an alternative with an option of going for a hospital chest X Ray if that failed to stop the coughing. The alternative did not seem to work and the X Ray revealed no current infection but some slight but expected tissue damage arising from the infection.

    My GP was following through with a series of other tests that included an ECG. The ECG revealed that I had atrial fibrillation. For various reasons I suspected I had been living happily with this for many years! My view seemed to be verified by subsequent different tests. The GP prescribed low dose Aspirin.

    Two days after the ECG I had severe breathing difficulties just before going to bed. An emergency ambulance was called and I was admitted to hospital Acute Medical Unit with heart failure. Linked to this heart failure was oedema (swelling of ankles - old fashioned term "dropsy"?)

    Thanks to superb help from paramedics and hospital emergency services I continue life past my three score years and ten!!!

    Wonder if there is a possibility that GP missed the symptoms of oedema and that if I had been given diuretics the hospital admission would not have been necessary. Why should there be a dreadful relapse when the cough condition was under treatment?

    The reason I am here is that medical views seem to differ about my kidney functions tests. When I was admitted to hospital in December my GFR kidney function was 75 . With treatment on looped diuretic, beta blocker, warfarin and low dose ace inhibitor my GFR had fallen to 47. I saw a second consultant privately to discuss this and the modern alternatives to warfarin that my NHS consultant was unwilling to recommend. The private consultant recommended that the use of the ace inhibitor was stopped immediately and the looped diuretic reduced by a half to 20 mg a day. With the GFR back to 49 in June it was decided to reduce the diuretic dose to 20 mg every other day.

    Yesterday was a hot sports day of badminton and table tennis for three hours in the morning and a hour and a half of coaching table tennis late afternoon. I thought it best to drink plenty of water and hold off taking the diuretic until the evening. After short period of slight breathing difficulties a badminton (perhaps linked to pollution or pollen pollution?) I began to feel much better than I have been for months. Wonderful water effects - I could put out a fire!!! If I self monitor swelling in ankles, breathlessness and urination frequency am I reasonable safe without diuretic and be prepared to dose if any such symptoms re-appear?

    Electric shock treatment to stop atrial fibrillation was initially successful but then fell back into irregular pattern. Cardiac specialist advised that we should accept the fibrillation condition.

    Echocardiogram reasonably OK

    Myocardial perfusion test revealed lack of blood supply to the heart and therefore angiogram is recommended.

    Abdominal and Pelvic ultrasound check on kidneys to be undertaken next week together with provision of wearable heart pulse and blood pressure recorder..

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  • Posted

    Amlodopine side effect is leg swelling. Doctor should either change or give water tablets. As he did in my and my brothers case. Legs like elephants for me. Couldn't wear my shoes or boots.
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  • Posted

    hi there,

    i was diagnosed with heart failure just one month ago.

    I had an echo two and half years ago and my heat was almost normal. I have been getting swollen feet and legs and palpitations so I went to the doctor again. They sent me foe another scan and lo and behold.

    I am 59 and have been taking BP meds for 10 years (Amlodopine) it has been well controlled but something has happened in the last two years to make my left ventricle dialate. 

    They have put me on beta blockers, Ramipril eplernone. I am getting used to the meds but I feel fine. No breathlessness or swelling. BP is proving to be a bit stubborn as they have changed my medicine now and taken me off Amlodopine. Heart rate down to 59/ 60 and palpitations, which were wicked have gone away now.

    they don't know why, it could have been a virus, natural, BP, or alcohol, I don't drink very much but there you have it.

    i have notice my face age somewhat though in the last two years.

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  • Posted

    Just a brief update to my message here over a year ago!

    Initially the cause of my heart failure needing emergency hospital admission was associated with atrial fibrillation.  It took nearly a year of investigations and failed cardioversion for the cause of my heart failure to be associated with 60 to 70% obstruction of the left coronary artery and 80 to 90% obstruction of the right one.

    A decision was made that I would need to have stents or a bypass operation and a team recommendation was referral for the bypass procedure.

    With my life now clearly threatened the NHS were unable to give a date or estimated date for an operation and fortunately I was able to organise private treatment.

    The NHS consultant was not informed of the failure of cardioversion and that atrial fibrillation had returned.

    Bypass survival for atrial fibrilation patients is compromised. It was only when I became a private patient that I had an opportunity to discuss supplementary  procedures to remedy the atrial fibrillation.  The supplementary  procedures carried out at the same time as have now remedied atrial fibrillation.

    There was a short period a few days after the operation when atrial fibrillation returned but AF can happen as a result of bypass operations.  The confidence of my consultant that a course of amiodarone would restore normal heart beats proved to be right!

    I am glad that the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman has agreed to investigate my complaint regarding excessive delays in correct diagnosis and the report findings will provide recommendations to benefit other patients

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