February is Heart Month. Let’s look at the co-morbidity of COPD & Heart Failure

Almost 1/3 of those that have COPD also suffer from Heart Failure and many of those that have heart failure don’t even know it. They assume that because they have COPD, that any increase in lethargy or short of breath is caused by your COPD. In fact, it may not be COPD at all but could be Heart Failure. Talk to your doctor if you think you could be at risk.

Health Tracker Journal

It is important that we become our own advocate and pay attention to what your body is telling us. Having a Health Tracker Journal will help you track your  https://catchyourbreath60.com/health-tracker-journal-join-us  symptoms and hopefully be able to know the difference between what is normal for you and what is not.

It is important to know what triggers our symptoms and how our bodies react. Some of the things you may want 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 noramlly.

Heart Map

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 gets blood from your lungs where it picks up oxygen and sends it back to the heart’s left side. That side has the pressure to pump oxygenated blood from your heart to your ankle in 15 seconds.  This process also collects and rids the body of waste such carbon dioxide that 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.

Heart Failure

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. Usually, heart failure is caused from other conditions like heart disease but can also be caused from compromised lung function. And, compromised lungs can 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, ignoring the signs of shortness of breath or not using your 02 as prescribed, can cause right-sided heart failure.

This puts both your heart and lungs in a compromised position.

Symptoms of Heart Failure

 

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 is The Key

Heart failure makes all of your internal organs swell and this leaves little room for any food, so avoid carbs and surgery food.

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.

Although there is no cure for right-sided heart failure at the moment, controlling it and managing it is the key to living with it.

 

 

Resources:

https://www.verywellhealth.com/copd-and-heart-failure-914674

https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/heart-failure/causes-and-risks-for-heart-failure

https://kidshealth.org/en/kids/heart.html

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