disease and reduce possible complications.
Getting an accurate heart failure diagnosis
A comprehensive heart failure diagnosis involves the doctor investigating your medical history, risk factors (for cardiovascular impairments like hypertension and coronary artery disease), and symptoms.
A physical examination often follows this. Here, the medical practitioner will keenly listen to your heart for murmurs.
Such murmurs – demonstrated in whooshing noises – often suggest heart issues. The doctor will also listen to your lungs, examining for signs of lung congestion as seen in collecting fluids.
The doctor will also weigh you and take your blood pressure. This could be followed by blood tests, and further procedures like chest x-rays, electrocardiograms, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and echocardiography.
All that said, a large part of the accuracy of your heart failure diagnosis has to do with your level of openness. This is not the time to mask your vulnerabilities and appear saintly.
If you have been making lifestyle choices that could impact your heart health, be open to your doctor. If your diet has been loaded with high-fat foods, you live a sedentary life, smoke and drink a lot, be open about it.
It is also advisable to present your doctor with all medications you have been administering before the diagnosis. This includes the medications you have been administering (like OTC drugs) and the supplements and vitamins you may have taken.
Such honest disclosure further helps your doctor in determining your risks during the appointment. Your doctor is an active partner in your heart health. Keeping things from him (or her) could embellish your image but damage your heart. Which would you rather protect?