GP told me I have cong. heart failure due to swelling of legs. Gave me lasix, ordered chest X-ray, I'm scared
Anybody else out there just finding this out. I feel good but have Rheumatoid Arthritis, degen. disc disease, spinal stenosis &am 58. Any words of encouragement or/and knowledge would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
- Anonymous1 decade agoFavorite Answer
See an internist or cardiologist. Ask for a referral.
- 1 decade ago
CHF is certainly a scary thing, but nowhere near as daunting as it was 15 years ago. So please don't pay much attention to some of the death rate statistics you might see on the internet. With the advent of beta blockers and ACE inhibitors, the statistics have improved dramatically, and they continue to improve.
I think you are doing the right thing by asking for help here. Rather than trying to cover all of the bases in this answer, I will point you to a couple of my favorite resources on the topic. (See the source list below.)
The one strong recommendation that I would make to you is to find a heart failure specialist. A general cardiologist might be able to make the initial diagnosis, but you want a cardiologist who specializes in your particular condition. And CHF is actually pretty rare, so you might have to look around a bit to find the right doctor. It is certainly possible to get good care from a general practicioner who is engaged and interested in your condition, but I think you'll find that a bit of consultation from a heart failure specialist will go a long way, as well.
By the way, a chest X-Ray will only catch cases where the heart is significantly dilated. You really need an echocardiogram, or a more invasive procedure, to diagnose cardiomyopathy and determine your left or right ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF, RVEF, or just EF). Typically, an electrocardiogram is also performed to assess the electrical health of your heart, as well.
Take care of your self. With a positive and inquisitive attitude and a willingness to adapt to your altered circumstances, there's a very good chance that you'll live for many more years!
-Mark Moeglein (not a doctor, just a guy whose wife was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy in September 2006)Source(s): http://www.chfpatients.com/CHFinfo.htm "The Manual" is a great resource for those in heart failure. It is written by a fellow who has been through it, not by anyone in the medical profession or with a commercial interest. http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/cardiomyopath... I am a moderator for this Yahoo! group. You will find links to many other resources within this group, as well as a supportive cast of those in the same boat as you. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heart_failure A nice comprehensive write-up, with more medical jargon than "The Manual"
- 1 decade ago
Swelling does not cause congestive heart failure, it is a symptom, just like being thirsty does not cause diabetes, it is a symptom. They really need a better word than heart failure. I mean, they don't call lung diseases lung failure do they? I've have had heart failure caused by post-partum cardiomyopathy since 1996, I know how those words can feel like the end. In spite of the information you might find on the web about the prognosis, you don't have an expiration date stamped on the bottom of your foot. they will manage it with medications such as a diuretic, an ACE inhibitor, and perhaps a BETA blocker. I know it sounds scary, That's how I felt being in my 20s and being told I have heart failure and suddenly having to take medicine I never thought I'd have to know about until my 60s, and wondering whether I will be alive to see my newborn baby grow up.
- rebelady28379Lv 71 decade ago
don't get upset and don't make yourself worry,you have the right to be scared,i got congested heart failure and I'm 47 i had a major heart attack about 3 yrs ago and it was a silent one but i didn't know i even had one it didn't effect me.i also Rheumatoid Arthritis,and my spine and tailbone is so deteriorated,there is no hope for surgery and I'm a high risk factor because of me having 2 open heart surgery's within 10 months.i also take lasix,120 mgs a day the best thing to do is not worry i know its not hard to worry about it thats natural but don't be getting upset and stay in a cool place in the summer and don't do too much lifting.your dr knows whats best for you and he's trying to help you.i hope this help you some and Good Luck to you.
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- 1 decade ago
My husband who is 56 yrs. old, just had a quadruple bypass in December, he also had swollen legs & feet. The surgery went well, although he had a problem waking up after surgery. Once he was awake, he started making progress right away. Of course he has to watch his diet, which because of Diabetes he already was restricted. The only advise I would give you is to ask about having the surgery without the pump they use to keep the heart beating. They have a new procedure that allows them to do the surgery without the pump. Some people are not aware of this alternative, but also not everyone is eligible to have the surgery without the pump. If this is the case for you, please research "Pump Head" on line. You can loose up to 20% of your cognative ability. This is supposed to be temporary, but in some cases it isn't. You might want to discuss this with your Cardioligist.
Philadelphia, PASource(s): Look up on the internet: "Pump Head"
- Anonymous1 decade ago
I'm 40, and has been diagnosed with cong. heart failure. My maint meds include, 1 Lasix 40mg to help me urinate excess water... Sometimes i forget 2 buy lasix, my legs swell and i feel bloated. But 3 hrs after a lasix, gets me urinating every 5mins. Words of encouragement? I'm 40, you're 58... good luck.
- brother3Lv 41 decade ago
No need to jump the conclusion so fast,Do you have other illness to push your heart to be failure beside those you mentioned (those are not the etiology)such as hypertension,diabetic,alcoholism or ashd old mi.Beside you have edema on both leg do you have shortness of breath or feel very tire?You need to see a cardiologist and need more work up(beside chest x-ray;see pulmonary edema) before make the diagnosis.Chf can be treated with medicines.If the etiology of chf found out and corrected the prognosis will not be bad.
- MaryLv 44 years ago
My dog is 20 & for the past 9months our vet hasnt known how she is still alive-she has no heartbeat - just a wish wash sound.She has a great quality of life,eats & drinks well & runs around.She occasionally coughs but not to the extent that she needs to be on diaretics. I would wait & see how your dog goes-ask your vet if you can at least try heart tablets & if she's coughing use diarettics.I think you will know if putting her to sleep is the right thing,if she seems depressed or stressed or is collapsing you might be close to that but dogs can live a long time with heart failure.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
I have also swelling of my leg's and feet..and i have gone to the Doctor's and they tested me for TB. and other thing's.They also tested me for my heart,lung's,and liver.And the test came out good.They put me on some pill's that make me pee alot a day to get the fluid's out.And its been working great.Did by some changes you gained weight fast? if so,that could be it..they said it did me.i hope i helped youSource(s): Have it my self
- Anonymous1 decade ago
You should get it confirmed by a Cardiologist prefereably two different Cardiologists.
Take your medications just do not get lied to about the UNfounded cholesterol nonsense
Statins will worsen you if you have CHF. due to statins' CQ10 depleting actions.