If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with congestive heart failure, then it's important to be followed closely by a doctor who can monitor your disease process and maximize the health and function of your heart. Webster, TX internist Dr. Janis Fowler-Gulde provides comprehensive treatment as well as compassionate support in order to promote the highest quality of living possible for her patients living with this disease.
Congestive heart failure happens when your heart is unable to pump blood around the body as well as it should. This can happen for many reasons, including weakened heart muscle, congenital defects, blockage of one of the vessels supplying blood to the heart, damaged heart valves, exposure to toxins, infections, high blood pressure, or abnormal heartbeat.
Common symptoms of congestive heart failure include:
A doctor can diagnose congestive heart failure by running special tests, such as an electrocardiogram and lab work.
If you have congestive heart failure, it's important to follow your doctor's recommendations and take all the necessary medications. These may include diuretics (to reduce swelling), dietary supplements (to support a healthier cardiovascular system), and beta blockers, ACE inhibitors, or antihypertensives (to lower blood pressure and improve blood flow). More severe stages of congestive heart failure may require the implantation of a pacemaker or coronary artery bypass surgery.
You should avoid things that are known to worsen or increase your risk of congestive heart failure, including smoking, being overweight and/or sedentary, consuming too much salt, sugar, and alcohol, and failing to comply with medical recommendations for other health problems (like diabetes).
How often you should see a doctor depends on what you and your doctor feel may be appropriate for your specific health needs. At the very least, you should be seeing your doctor at least 2 to 3 times per year. By regularly consulting with Dr. Fowler-Gulde, you'll be able to closely track your heart health and determine which treatments and lifestyle modifications are most successful for you. She can also connect you with other specialists to enhance your outcomes and help relieve your symptoms.
Webster Clinic works with most major insurances. If you have any questions, please call our office and one of our knowledgeable staff members would be happy to help.