McLEOD REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER 3 MARCH 2022
Dr. Evans Holland
McLeod Cardiology Associates
More than six million Americans are living with heart failure and over 900,00 new cases are diagnosed each year. By the year 2030, the American Heart Association predicts nearly eight million Americans will be living with heart failure.
The body needs the blood pumped by the heart to the body’s cells to function normally. With heart failure, the heart is weakened and can’t supply the cells with enough blood. This results in fatigue, shortness of breath and coughing in some patients. Everyday activities like walking, climbing stairs and carrying groceries can be a challenge.
Symptoms of heart failure can range from mild to severe. The severity of the symptoms depends on how weak the heart is. Common signs and symptoms of heart failure include:
- Shortness of breath – this can be during an activity, at rest, or while sleeping. Breathing while lying flat may be difficult and propping up the upper body with pillows can help.
- Persistent coughing or wheezing
- Swelling in feet, ankles, legs or abdomen – may notice shoes feel tight
- Tiredness – feel tired all the time and have difficulty with everyday activities
- Rapid or irregular heartbeats – heart needs to beat faster to pump enough blood to the body
The most common conditions that can lead to heart failure are coronary artery disease, high blood pressure and a previous heart attack. If anyone is diagnosed with one or more of these conditions, it is important they are handled carefully to prevent the onset of heart failure.
Patients with heart failure symptoms benefit from access to a heart failure disease management program to ensure that their heart failure is correctly diagnosed and managed. McLeod Cardiology Associates offers state-of-the-art heart failure evaluation and management at any of their five office locations.
McLeod Cardiologists and advanced practice providers work with each patient on a treatment plan. Patients with heart failure are encouraged to be actively involved in managing their condition. This includes avoiding excessive salt intake, maintaining a healthy body weight, avoiding excessive alcohol consumption, not smoking, and being physically active.
Exercise is recommended for all capable heart failure patients to improve quality of life. For those with severe disease, a supervised, exercise-based, Cardiac Rehabilitation program should be considered. McLeod has five Cardiac Rehabilitation Programs available. A physician referral is needed so their cardiologist can help locate a program that is most convenient for them.
To help with fluid retention you should limit salt intake. The American Heart Association recommends consuming no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day. The average American consumes 3,400 milligrams daily. To help lower sodium get in the habit of reading food labels.
The main treatment for heat failure is with medications. Depending on the symptoms the patients is experiencing, multiple medications may be needed. Each medication treats a different symptom. It is important that medications are taken exactly as directed by the healthcare provider to be beneficial.
The key to mastering heart failure is to get diagnosed and start treatment early. When it comes to a condition like heart failure patients can enjoy full lives by building new habits around eating better, tracking and managing their symptoms and exercising.
Dr. Evans Holland is an Interventional Cardiologist with McLeod Cardiology Associates and is accepting new patients. Self-referrals are welcome. Appointments with Dr. Holland can be made by calling (843) 667-1891.