Showing posts with label cardiovascular disease. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cardiovascular disease. Show all posts

Damage caused by heart failure and its targeted physical therapy

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Sunday, September 8, 2019

Damage caused by heart failure and its targeted physical therapy

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Physical therapy is performed to improve the overall health of the patient. Major systems compromised due to long standing chronic heart failure are:

The circulatory system

Heart is the main organ that supplies blood to other tissues and organs. A long standing chronic heart failure condition can affect the normal supply of blood to these tissues. The care provided at home is as integral as given in the hospital premises. It is therefore essential to know about the tips when caring for a heart failure patient.

The Pulmonary system

The lungs and heart work in harmony to provide the body with oxygenated blood. Heart failure leads to pulmonary oedema due to the accumulation of blood in the air sacs. This can eventually lead to pulmonary failure too.

The Renal system (Kidneys)

Bean shaped kidneys play a role in "homeostasis" (maintenance of constant body environment). The heart of a patient with cardiovascular disease, does not have substantial ability to pump blood to the organs. Consequently. a high blood pressure is generated in the renal vein. This high blood pressure causes congestion in the kidneys.

So how can a heart failure patient avoid worsening this damage?

The solution to this question is: Cardiac physical therapy.


A complex medical intervention involves joint effort from various experts. The cardiac rehabilitation team includes:

*    Doctors

*    Nurses

*    Psychiatrists

*    Nutritionists

*    Pharmacists

Team may be composed of additional health professionals too.


The all-inclusive aim of the team is to help the patient in returning to his previous physical stability. Areas of work include:

Ø Reducing the risk factors for cardiovascular disease

Ø Enhancing the flexibility and strength of the heart muscles

Ø Recommending regular mental therapy sessions

Ø Tailoring a nutrition guide

Ø Training the patient to be independent

1. Reducing the risk factors for cardiovascular disease

The major risk factors for cardiovascular disease are well known. But most people choose to stay ignorant and end up experiencing an unfortunate event of cardiac failure.

An open heart surgery can be indicated in a compound heart failure. Measures you should take after an open heart surgery, involve keeping a track of the risk factors associated with the disease.

One aim of the Rehabilitation team is to advise patients in cutting down the amount of high sugar, high fat and high salt diets. All of these are paramount risk factors causing heart failure.

Smoking after an incident of heart failure is highly discouraged because tobacco can deteriorate the condition further more, by causing fat deposition in vessels.

2. Enhancing the flexibility and strength of heart muscles

A set of exercises is designed to improve heart rate and strengthen cardiac muscles. Aerobic exercises target heart rate while lifting weight and exercising with bands, reinforce heart muscles.

Patients of cardiovascular disease might face difficulty at first, but a dedicated struggle can have beneficial outcomes. Rating of perceived exertion or RPE of the patient is monitored constantly, with the aim of discovering the maximum capacity of his body to continue physical activity.

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3. Recommending regular mental therapy sessions

Together with training the patient to strengthen himself physically, a psychiatrist is appointed to keep a check of any mental instability. Mental health is still a taboo and people suffering from depression often find it difficult to seek a professional's health.

But the Cardiac rehabilitation team makes sure that the mental trauma encountered by the patient or his family members, is effectively dealt with.

4. Tailoring a nutrition guide

Healthy diet! Healthy diet! Healthy diet!. We can not stress more on the importance of a healthy diet, especially for an individual with a chronic heart failure.

A good amount of fruits and vegetables are a gateway to fitness. Intake of red meat must be reduced and fish must be consumed for proteins instead.

Foods playing a role of risk factors for cardiovascular disease must be kept to a minimum or other alternatives must be adopted in place of them.

5. Training the patient to be independent

The foremost aim of the cardiac rehabilitation is to make the patient understand his heart. Most deaths occur due to failure of recognizing symptoms. Patients arriving in the Rehab are taught how to keep a check on their heart rate and pulse.

Along with this, they are told about the Rating of perceived exertion. This information helps them in recognizing the amount of exercises they can withstand.

 This is all regarding the topic. For any questions, ask us in the comment section below.

7 useful tips when caring for a heart failure patient

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The prevalence of heart failures in the world population has increased incredibly. Despite of the advancement of health care facilities, the issue tends to remain stagnant. Caring for a heart failure patient at home is equally essential, same as the intensive care provided in the hospital.

In a research conducted in the US, the Cardiovascular disease continues to be the chief cause of death in the region. Patients who had been fortunate enough to receive immediate care in the hospital, had to maintain a healthy lifestyle for maximum recovery.

Here, we have gathered 8 useful tips when caring for a heart failure patient at home.

1. Managing fluid intake

The marvelous benefits of having optimum water and fluid intake, has been preached, ever since the health system came into being. Although water makes up 70% of the body's total body weight, it can become a problem for a heart failure patient.

Heart failure compromises the kidney function, which leads to poor excretion of water and sodium. This leads to a higher water content in the body and in turn increases stress on the heart, that already struggles to function after heart failure.

It is therefore recommended to keep the liquids equal to 2 quarts or less per day. But  the fluid intake must not be reduced to the point, where the body becomes dehydrated. Try consulting the health care professional, to decide the accurate amount of fluid intake as per your condition.

2. Consumption of medicine on time

Doctors will most definitely prescribe a list of medications after the event of heart failure. These medicines target problems which arise subsequent to inadequate functioning of the heart.Some medications that are usually given to heart failure patients are:

1.     Digoxin: It slows down the heart rate by reinforcing the muscles of the heart.

2.     Beta-blockers: This drug lowers blood pressure and slows down the heart rate.

3.     ACE-inhibitors: These medications keep the blood vessels relaxed. This lowers blood pressure and excessive load on the heart.

4.     Diuretics: This set of drugs is utilized in excreting excess water from the body.

5.     Hydralazine and Isosorbide dinitrate: These also take part in relaxing blood vessels.

Hence, medications are to be taken religiously and on time, to reduce the risk of another incident of heart failure.

3. Noticing abnormal functioning of the heart

The heart is not able to function effectively in a heart failure patient and hence faces trouble to supply blood to distant organs. These distant organs include the lower limbs, which often swell due to retention of water.

Abnormal functioning is manifested through symptoms. These signs signify the negative response of the heart to stresses.

The common symptoms involve:

1.     Shortness of breath
2.     Abdominal swelling
3.     Fatigue
4.     Coughing due to abnormal respiration

Such signs must not be overlooked and dealt with, promptly.

4. Rest is necessary for recovery

Older people are always on the go, to run errands. The long time taken in recovery from a heart failure episode, might agitate them. Caretakers around must make sure that they do not compromise on their health, just to walk long distances to buy some groceries.

Furthermore, it is suggested that an effective plan for the week be made to help in the management of daily activities and taking rest.

5. Perform exercises

Physical health is key to having a normal functioning heart. But being physically active, immediately after leaving the hospital, is discouraged by medical experts.

The Cardiac Rehabilitation team is appointed to gradually aid the patient in resuming his daily routine. They are not hasty and instead, train the individual patiently, in getting physically fit again. All of this, is practiced based on the principles of Cardiac physical therapy.

6. Install a home monitoring device

Most children start living separately from their parents, as soon as they reach puberty. This could be done for the aim of getting higher education or simply because a job they applied for, is located outside their town.

A patient with heart failure needs constant attention as there's a high chance of their health being deteriorated at any time.

To avoid such a situation, it is recommended to install a monitoring device, for e.g: a CCTV camera. This saves the family from witnessing an unfortunate death, just because there was no one around to help, while the patient struggled during a cardiac arrest.

7: Emotional health must be taken care of

Often after undergoing an  experience of heart failure, the patients fall into emotional distress. A beneficial mental counseling is important to pull out the patient from the mental trauma and assist him to continue living positively.

This can be achieved by convincing the patient to take therapy sessions from a psychiatrist. Along with this, emotional support from the family is equally integral to the overall improvement in the patient's health.

We hope to make things easier for you to understand. For further query, write to us in the comment section below.

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