Heart failure – treatment and prevention

Heart failure - treatment and prevention

treatment of heart failure

If heart failure is diagnosed, the goal of treatment is to slow down the progression of heart failure and to maintain quality of life for as long as possible. Several effective medications are now available for this purpose, which either directly strengthen the heart muscle’s power of contraction, indirectly make work easier for the heart muscle, or combat the consequences of heart failure, such as water retention in the lungs and legs. In most cases, several medications with different modes of action must be taken simultaneously to achieve the desired result.


Cardiac catheterization, bypass and heart transplantation

Specific measures are used depending on the underlying disease, such as balloon expansion of the coronary arteries through cardiac catheters or a bypass operation for coronary artery disease, surgical correction, or inserting an artificial heart valve for heart (valve) defects.

The last treatment option available for severe heart failure is heart transplantation. With modern drugs to suppress rejection reactions, the success rate of this procedure has increased significantly in recent years.

Proper nutrition and moderate exercise are essential.

No matter which measures are used, For successful therapy, the person concerned must observe the following points – the details are determined individually by the doctor treating you:

  • Limiting daily fluid intake to make it easier for the heart muscle to pump and prevent water retention
  • Low-salt diet to reduce water retention
  • Refrain from excessive alcohol consumption and nicotine consumption
  • Regular physical activity without physically overexerting yourself
  • Daily weight control with a tendency for water retention
  • Regular intake of the prescribed medication
  • Regular follow-up examinations by the treating doctor

Characteristically, there are significant fluctuations in the symptoms associated with cardiac insufficiency. Even if it is possible to bring the disturbed balance of the cardiovascular system back on track by administering medication, there are always phases with a significant increase in symptoms. Acute crises, usually associated with the patient having severe shortness of breath, can often only be managed in the hospital by intensifying the medication.



It is known from numerous medical studies that a person’s life span directly depends on the strength of his heart. Especially when the performance of the heart muscle is severely limited, the affected person is at high risk of sudden cardiac death triggered by acute heart failure or severe cardiac arrhythmia.

In addition, heart failure is a chronic process, even with optimal therapy, which only resolves in exceptional cases, but usually progresses. It is, therefore, considered a therapeutic success if the symptoms remain constant for years. In individual cases, it takes work to make reliable predictions about the further course of the disease.

preventive measures

Anything that can be used to prevent other cardiovascular diseases or positively influence their course also helps avoid heart failure. These include abstaining from smoking and alcohol, regulating body weight and regular physical activity. However, psychological stress factors should also be kept within limits.

With some genetic forms of myocardial disease, however, the course of this cannot be influenced or can hardly be controlled with preventive measures. If there are underlying diseases such as diabeteshigh blood pressure, dyslipidemia or gout, these must be treated with diet and medication.

In some cases, antibiotics must be taken as a preventative measure before dental treatment, endoscopies and other interventions in the case of newly occurring or expired heart valve inflammation – after consultation with your doctor.

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