Let’s take a look at the co-morbidity of COPD & Heart Failure during Heart Month. Almost 1/3 of those that have COPD also suffer from Heart Failure. Many don’t even know it. They assume that an increase in symptoms of lethargy or short of breath are due to COPD. In fact, it may have nothing to do with COPD at all. It could be Heart Failure. Have a frank talk to your doctor if you think you could be at risk.
Health Tracker Journal
Track Symptoms of COPD and Heart Failure
As we become our own advocate we will need to pay closer attention to what our body is telling us. We can only study the signs and symptoms when we track them. This tracking makes way to what triggers our symptoms.
Your Health Tracker Journal will help you track your symptoms and hopefully be able to know the difference between what is normal for you and what is not. You track what happened to cause the triggers of changes, good and bad
It is important to know what triggers our symptoms and how our bodies react. Some things to track in your journal is your blood pressure, daily weight and circumference of your ankles and girth. This is because right-sided heart failure leaves your body unable to rid itself of fluid that the body will then keep. This extra fluid makes it harder for your heart to beat normally.
Heart Map- Right and Left Side Of The Heart
This muscle called a heart has two sides, the left and the right sides. Each has a unique and particular job to do.
The right side of your heart picks up blood from your lungs sending that blood back to the heart’s left side. The left side has the pressure to pump oxygenated blood from your heart to your ankle within 15 seconds.
This process also collects and rids the body of waste such carbon dioxide. This waste will likely build up and be retained by your lungs during times of inefficiency.
We run into trouble when the lungs are too compromised to produce oxygen and the heart races trying to get what it needs.
When the muscle isn’t working properly it stops pumping efficiently.
Heart Failure means that your heart is not pumping like it needs to and therefore cannot rid itself properly of fluid buildup.
For most people, right-sided heart failure is caused from the left side of the heart and its inefficient pumping abilities.
Normally heart failure is caused from other conditions like heart disease but can also be caused from compromised lung function. Compromised lungs also put added pressure on your right-sided heart making it pump faster, harder and longer than it should.
Once the right side of the heart has lost its elasticity, it will no longer pump efficiently. It will not repair itself and there is no medication to help right-sided heart failure. For those that have COPD we must not ignore the signs of shortness of breath. This puts both your heart and lungs in a compromised position. Using your 02 as prescribed, can help prevent further damage cause right-sided heart failure.
Symptoms of Heart Failure or COPD
The symptoms of heart failure are confusing because they mimic the same symptoms as COPD. Untreated heart problems can lead to worsening of COPD and more frequent exacerbation. Watch for an increased shortness of breath, fatigue or having increased daily naps. Also, lightheartedness, muscle wasting and swelling in the girth or lower extremities are unwelcome signs.
Diet and Exercise: A Way to Manage With Heart Failure and COPD
Heart failure makes all of your internal organs swell and this leaves little room for any food, so avoiding carbs and surgery food is a good rule.
Ask you doctor about water intake restrictions and the use of diuretics along with diet and exercise maintenance. This is the key to living well with heart failure. You will likely be prescribed exercise in a controlled environment like cardio rehabilitation. There you will learn what is normal and what is not and proper management techniques.
There is no cure for right-sided heart failure at the moment, controlling it and managing it is the key to living a long and happy life with it.