Is Heart Failure Reversible?

Let’s face it, any change to your health can be pretty scary. But when you learn there’s an issue with one of your essential vital organs, things can go from scary to downright petrifying. 

Is Heart Failure Reversible

And, as is the case with pretty much any illness, a quick search on Google about the condition is likely to make matters a whole lot worse.

There’s so much information but it’s all very jargon-specific and can be really confusing to even understand.

Then there’s the side of the internet that will spit out all the worst-case scenarios and leave you with no hope for the future when that really isn’t always the case. 

Now, by no means am I downplaying heart failure. This, sadly, can be a very serious condition with detrimental consequences.

However, this won’t always be the case. Even when the heart muscle has been severely damaged, there are still a number of options that can not only relieve the symptoms of heart failure but can slow or completely stop the gradual deterioration of the muscle. 

In this article, we’re going to shine a beacon of hope on an otherwise very dark subject. Let’s take a look at the many different ways that treatment can help to reverse this condition. 

Types Of Heart Therapy

Heart therapy is basically the name for these different ways to tackle the issues of heart failure. Some of the goals of this type of therapy include: 

  • Relieving symptoms
  • Improving quality of life
  • Slowing the progression of the disease
  • Reducing the need for hospitalization
  • Helping individuals to live longer

The type of heart therapy treatment that an individual will receive may differ depending on the type of heart failure they’ve been diagnosed with, as well as their specific symptoms, and the rigor of the disease.

However, you can typically expect more than one type of therapy to be used. 

1. Treatment For Underlying Causes

Okay, so the main thing to remember here is that there are several different conditions that can contribute to the failure of the heart.

Usually, the heart doesn’t just fail on its own accord. There is some kind of other issue that leads to heart failure. Knowing the underlying cause of heart failure can be imperative to the patient. 

This is because once you understand the underlying cause you can try to prevent it from happening again or worsening the heart.

So, for example, if the heart failure has been caused by blood vessels clogging a patient’s arteries, an angioplasty or another form of surgery may be used to clear it.

Alternatively, if high blood pressure, anemia, diabetes, or a thyroid disease is the underlying cause then you may be prescribed medication to try and help control it. 

2. Lifestyle Changes

Is Heart Failure Reversible

While treatment for underlying causes can massively help patients to control or improve some of the effects of heart failure, they may still need to make some key changes to their general routine.

These changes are all advised for heart failure patients who wish to see massive improvements. 

  • Daily Activities – Reducing activity throughout the day and ensuring that the patient gets enough sleep is a great way to avoid adding extra stress to the heart. 
  • Healthy Diet – Eating a well-balanced healthy diet that is low in sodium and fat can also improve the symptoms of a heart failure patient. 
  • No Smoking – Smoking can have a direct impact on your arteries. It actually makes them smaller and makes it harder for blood to flow through them. Avoiding smoking will mean that you are putting less strain on the heart. 
  • Limited Drinking – It is advised that heart failure patients do not exceed more than 2-3 drinks per week. 
  • Regular Exercise – Once the patient’s symptoms have stabilized, regular exercise can really help to improve the overall health of the patient. 
  • Regular Checkups – Getting the condition monitored regularly by healthcare professionals means that you can spot any early warning signs you may have otherwise missed. 

3. Medications

Many patients with heart failure can be given medications that can help to reverse the negative impact of the disease.

Usually, a patient will be prescribed several different medications that usually have the purpose of achieving the following three things: 

  • To dilate the blood vessels in the body
  • To strengthen the heart’s pumping action
  • To reduce the water and sodium levels in the body (reduces the workload for the heart)

4. Surgery

If the aforementioned heart therapy options have been tried, don’t despair because there are still yet some options to try that can help get patients back to health.

Let’s take a look at some of the common surgeries that can help to reverse heart failure.

  • Coronary Artery Bypass Graft – This surgery can both prevent and treat heart failure that has been caused by blocked arteries. During this surgery blood vessels are taken from a different body part (usually the leg) and are then connected to the clogged arteries to create a detour around the blockage. This type of surgery is usually open-heart surgery though in some circumstances minimally invasive surgeries can be offered. 
  • Angioplasty – This is another type of surgery that can treat blocked arteries causing heart failure. During this surgery, a tube is inserted into the body and then a balloon is introduced. When inflated the balloon essentially opens up the artery and allows for a metal device known as a stent to be inserted. The stent then allows blood to flow through it without it getting clogged. 
  • Heart Transplants – Heart transplants are another option for patients with severe heart failure. However, due to a shortage of donor hearts, this is only offered to a small value of patients. 
  • Heart Reconstruction – This is a surgery that will reconstruct the heart back to its normal shape and size (the heart often enlarges and changes shape when failing) this may include a procedure such as dynamic cardiomyoplasty, valve repair, and revascularization, or the acorn procedure. 

Final Thoughts

Hearing the words heart failure is enough to make anyone panic. But by no means does that mean you should lose hope or assume the worst.

In the very early stages of heart failure, (see also: What Are The 4 Stages Of Congestive Heart Failure)there are lots of changes you can make to reverse the effects.

And even in the very later stages, there are still surgery options that can be life-saving. 

Clare McAfee
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