Heart failure is a serious condition, and usually there’s no cure. But many people with heart failure lead a full, enjoyable life when the condition is managed with heart failure medications and healthy lifestyle changes. It’s also helpful to have the support of family and friends who understand your condition. Heart Beat Now
Loading the player...What is Heart Failure? Dr. Sean Virani, MD, MSc, MPH, FRCPC, FCCS, Cardiologist, gives and explanation of what heart failure is and how it occurs.
Loading the player...The Importance of Lifestyle with Heart Failure Dr. Sean Virani, MD, MSc, MPH, FRCPC, FCCS, Cardiologist, talks about the importance of lifestyle with heart failure.
Loading the player...Heart Failure Symptoms and Diagnosis Dr. Daniel Ngui, BSc (P.T), MD, CFPC, FCFP, Family Physician, discusses Heart Failure Symptoms and Diagnosis
Broadly speaking, heart failure is the inability of the heart to pump blood and oxygen to our organs and tissues. The heart only does two things: it pumps, and it relaxes. So any dysfunction in the pumping function or the relaxing function can result in heart failure.
Heart failure is typically a disease of the elderly. Many of the risk factors for development of heart failure are things that we see in higher prevalence in the elderly; for example, high blood pressure. They can also be the cumulative effect of a number of different toxins that you’ve consumed over your life, or degeneration of the heart valves. But for whatever reason you develop heart failure, it tends to be more common in the elderly, and that’s sort of people over the age of 65.
What’s interesting is that as the population ages and we see changes in the population pyramid, there’s going to be an increasing number of people in North America—and worldwide for that matter—who have heart failure. And it’s estimated that by 2050 about 40 percent of the population will be over the age of 65. So we’re going to clearly see an increase in the prevalence of heart failure as we move forward.
If you have any of the conditions I talked about: high blood pressure, problems with your valves or others, and think that you might be at risk for heart failure, I would encourage you to talk to your GP or cardiologist about it. Featured Speaker: Dr. Sean Virani BSc, MSc, MPH, MD, Local Cardiologist, Vancouver BC, Heart Failure Now
The treatment for heart failure really depends on what type of heart failure you have—whether it’s a problem with the pumping function of the heart or the relaxing function of the heart. And the medications we use to treat patients will really depend on these factors. It may also depend on what the cause of the heart failure is.
Regardless of what the cause of your heart failure is, or what type of heart failure you have, one thing that we recommend for all our patients is lifestyle modification. Focusing around making good choices with respect to diet, salt, fluid restriction, as well as engaging in a structured exercise program to improve your overall cardiovascular well-being.
Wearable technology measuring your heart rate, blood pressure and weight on a daily basis can be helpful to your physician in terms of helping you to manage your heart failure. It can also be helpful in terms of optimizing the medications that you’re receiving for treatment of your heart failure, and get you on a path to wellness sooner.
If you’re looking to make some changes, including your diet, and lifestyle, engage in an exercise program, I’d encourage you to reach out to your primary care physician to figure out what resources might be available in your community to help you along this path. Featured Speaker: Dr. Sean Virani BSc, MSc, MPH, MD, Local Cardiologist, Vancouver BC, Heart Failure Now