Help: Hi everyone . New here. Just been... - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation
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Hi everyone . New here. Just been diagnosed with heart failure. So scared don't know what to do. Help please

14 Replies

Hi Catlovermo2

Sorry to hear you've been diagnosed with heart failure.

First of all, don't panic, it is a horrible shock when you're told you've got heart failure, It's a terrible term, I prefer to call it impaired heart function.

It means that you're heart isn't pumping as much blood as it should. The amount of blood pumped is called the ejection fraction. A normal EF is anything over 55%, between 40 and 55 is a low EF, and under 40% is classed as heart failure.

However, while these numbers are a basic identifier of HF, the doctors are really more concerned with how their patient manages with HF, for this they use the New York Heart Association classification system, link below:-

There's also a very good book produced by the BHF on the subject, which should cover most of the questions you may have, link below:-

There area number pf people on this forum who are leading full active lives 20 years after being diagnosed with HF, and if you're not on them already there are a number of medications that control and manage the condition really well

Hope this helps

Hi spritofthefloyd thankyou for taking time to reply to me. Your comments are very helpful.

It's a shock isn't it and the very title "heart failure" makes you think that life will all be over very soon. But it's not like that fortunately. People go on for years with this condition but sometimes you have to realise that changes need to be made because you may not be able to do all the things you could before. Concentrate on the things you can do! I can still drive and work and I still socialise but because I don't walk so far my friends drop me off at the door.

Do you have a "heart failure nurse" at your hospital. They are worth their weight in gold as they are so knowledgeable as is this site.

Don't be afraid to ask questions as somebody will have been through it and whatever you do, don't give up!

Wishing you well.

Yasyass in reply to Becksagogo

I seem to asking gp questions no answers only thing I do know is that had heart attack was feeling fine and enjoying things I do until I decided to ask gp for a echocardiogram when results came said oh ef 35 heart failure need mri no reassurance just wrote prescription rampiril eperolenone with no advice just left the clinic worrying over and over and since then I don’t kn due to anxiety feel flutters and scared and don’t feel as if I can do things as before knowing results thanks

Lezzers in reply to Yasyass

Why did your GP ask for an echocardiogram? If you're in the UK ask to be referred to a heart nurse. If your asking GP questions he should answer them. Make an appt to see your GP, write all your questions down & take them with you to the appt.

Yasyass in reply to Lezzers

Had heart attack abroad three yrs ago but kpnsay everything was fine so was taking lot meds first year but then gp said only to asprin bisporol I was walking enjoy life then came bk Uk asked for a echo then my world span cardiologist said severe heart with no other help or advice except wrote two other meds rampiril eperolenone also say need mri I was left scared went gp only saidcef 35% and to listen to the cardio again I felt no help in explain wh I have and Th I have no symptoms was feeling fine but now I alwaz feel scared can’t concentrate alwaz feel as well if the gp meant there is nothing to b done

Lezzers in reply to Yasyass

First, if you have no symptoms then you're doing OK even with an EF of 35 I'm a bit confused as to who asked for the echo, you or the Dr? It's unusual for a Dr to request an echo if you're having no symptoms. When are you seeing your cardiologist again and what is the reason for the mri.

Yasyass in reply to Lezzers

I asked the dr for echo but I did not have any symptoms but said just to mk sure I was ok as I had heart attack three yrs ago but was living normally but now the cardio has made me apt for mri I honestly did three ecg all showed up ok but showed past heart attack cholesterol and blood normal I have no signs breathless or swelling but now I feel breathless due to anxiety attacks and constant worry

Lezzers in reply to Yasyass

I can only suggest what I said earlier, ask for referral to a heart nurse & write down all the questions you want answers to. Maybe the BHF nurses could help you

Put yourself in the hands of the professionals, they will sort you out. Then what you can do for yourself is ask about and read up on relaxation techniques and a find a good diet.

It will change you life for sure, but much of it is for the better, where you take better care of and are kinder to yourself.

We have all been through this and come out the other side.

I was diagnosed with heart failure a year ago and identify fully with how you are feeling. It was a massive shock and the name itself causes you to worry. My EF was between 30 and 35. A year on, with the meds, my EF is up to 50 to 53. For me the psychological impact has been worse than the actual physical impact. I still work (albeit I've reduced my hours), walk the pembrokeshire coastal path (where I live) do a couple of yoga classes a week etc... Don't google, I made that mistake! The single thing that has helped me most is hearing from people on this forum who have been living with heart failure for many years. I hope to be one of those people in 5, 10, 15 years time . I also saw a counsellor for a while, that helped me.

Yasyass in reply to GracieOS

Thanks for advice and yes I think I keep google until anxiety takes in and feel I can’t do anything

Hi catlovermo2, it is a terrible shock to hear those words "heart failure" such a horrible term. As spiritofthefloyd has said, it really only means your heart needs some help pumping. It can take a time to sort them out but with the correct meds, suitable diet there's no reason to think you wont live a normal life & lifespan. Additionally, medical knowledge is coming along leaps & bounds with HF, you've already been told of the improvement in otherr posters EF and there is so much research going on at the moment. Listen to your medical team, follow their advice, stay away ftom Google and bad diet advice (there's lots of that in this forum unfortunately). Best wishes

Listen to the advice of your health professionals, and be patient.

Personally I think the keys to self-help are in being aerobically active at least twice per week (but not too much), and eating a Meditteranean style; plenty of olives and nuts, with less than half the RDA of carbohydrates.

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