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MICHIGAN CARDIOLOGY
Leading the way as one of the top Michigan cardiology and Michigan heart care hospitals with a full array of cardiac treatments and programs that set new standards for heart care every day, that's the St. Joseph Mercy Oakland way. From heart valve replacement to coronary artery bypass, our doctors are at the forefront of heart procedures and treatments.

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OF THE MEDICAL REPORT
Nitin Doshi, MD
St. Joseph Mercy Oakland
Cardiologist and Medical Director
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THE FACTS ABOUT Heart Failure

Background

Heart failure is a confusing term. Even medical experts think so. Many people conclude that it means the heart has stopped working. However, what it really means is that the heart isn’t working as it should.

Podcast Posted: 08/10/2007
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In heart failure, the heart either can’t fill with enough blood or pump with enough force – or both. If the heart isn’t pumping well, the rest of the body’s organs won’t get the oxygen and nutrients they need. Also, fluid can back up into the lungs and build up in the feet, ankles and legs.

“This term is a frightening and confusing thing for patients. Failure in this case means that the heart is failing to pump blood efficiently,” explains Nitin C. Doshi, MD, SJMO Cardiologist and Medical Director. “Failure doesn’t mean the situation is hopeless. While heart failure can’t be cured, individuals can take steps to manage the condition and prevent it from getting worse. With newer medications, appropriate diet, and regular follow-up visits with your doctor – patients can live longer and enjoy more active lives.”



MEDICATIONS
Doctors may prescribe medicine to treat heart failure. According to the NHLBI, common medications include: 1) diuretics to reduce foot swelling and fluid buildup in the lungs; 2) ACE inhibitors to lower blood pressure and reduce strain on the heart; 3) betablockers to slow heart rate and lower blood pressure; and 4) Digoxin to make the heart beat more strongly. In severe cases of heart failure, a doctor may recommend more advanced treatment, such as a pacemaker, heart pump or heart transplant.

CAUTIONS
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), warning signs of heart failure can include: feeling unusually tired – especially when active; being short of breath – especially during activity; having difficulty breathing when lying down or wakefulness in the night; coughing during exercise or when lying down; swollen ankles; experiencing abdominal pain and loss of appetite (or feeling of “fullness” in the abdomen); gaining weight; and urinating frequently. These are all possible signs of fluid buildup in the body. If you have any of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention.

REFERRAL
Please call the SJMO physician referral line at 800.372.6094 to find an SJMO cardiologist near you.

 

THE MEDICAL REPORT LIBRARY:

MICHIGAN CARDIOLOGY
 
 
Coronary Artery Bypass (CABG)
James Caralis, DO
Posted: 08/10/2007
Carotid Artery Disease
Nishit Choksi, MD
Posted: 05/09/2008
Emergency Angioplasty
Michele DeGregorio, MD
Posted: 08/10/2007
Why Minutes Count
Michele DeGregorio, MD
Posted: 08/10/2007
Heart Failure
Nitin Doshi, MD
Posted: 08/10/2007
Life After a Heart Attack
Willam Gordon, MD
Posted: 08/10/2007
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