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Health SceneBY DR. BRETT ELIUK, Bronson Advanced Cardiac HealthcareAre you among the five million Americans who have heart failure? This common, yet often undiagnosed con- dition occurs when a person’s heart muscles weaken.They slowly lose the ability to pump enough blood to the rest of the body. Heart failure causes more hospital stays than all forms of cancer combined. Every year, 670,000 new heart failure patients are diagnosed in the United States.How do I know if I am at risk for heart failure?Even one risk factor can result in heart failure. Having many risk factors only increases your chance. Risk factors include:• High blood pressure• Heart attack• Damage to the heart valves or historyof a heart murmur• Enlarged heart• Family history of enlarged heart• Diabetes• Lung disease• Infection of the heart muscle• Drinking too much alcoholWhat are the symptoms of heart failure?Heart failure usually develops slow- ly and is a chronic, long-term condition. However, sometimes the symptoms can develop quickly. Some of the signs and symptoms are:• Breathing problems: shortness ofbreath from walking stairs or simple activities, trouble breathing when resting or lying down, waking up breathless, or needing more than two pillows to sleep• Fatigue/exercise problems: tiring easily, swelling of feet, ankles or legs and general feeling of fatigue• Coughing: frequent coughing, cough- ing that produces mucus or blood, or dry, hacking cough when lying flatHow is heart failure treated?Heart failure is a chronic disease that needs lifelong management. However, with treatment, a heart can becomestronger. Symptoms of heart failure can also improve. The first line of treatment for heart failure consists of medicines taken daily, lifestyle changes, and care- ful monitoring.When should I call my health care provider?Call your doctor right away if you have any of the signs or symptoms as- sociated with heart failure. You should also call if your diagnosed heart failure symptoms change.Call 911 right away or go to the emer- gency room if you have any of the fol- lowing problems:• Breathing problems• Chest pain, tightness or heaviness• Confusion or trouble thinking clearlyCaring for Your HeartBronson Heart & Vascular is a com- prehensive, regional collaboration for the prevention, detection, diagnosis, and treatment of cardiovascular con- ditions. A multidisciplinary team of adult and pediatric cardiovascular physicians, four hospitals, and sup- porting services deliver an advanced, seamless continuum of care for pa- tients throughout southwest and south central Michigan. Specialties include minimally invasive valve replacement, electrophysiology, peripheral vascular procedures, thoracic procedures, and endovascular procedures.For information about heart care or to find a heart doctor, visit bronsonhealth. com/heart or call Bronson HealthAnswers at (269) 341-7723 or (800) 451-6310.Bronson Advanced Cardiac Healthcare363 Fremont St., Suite 200, Battle Creek(269) 373-1222Brett J. Eliuk, DO, FACC, FACOI, is board certified in in- ternal medicine. He sees patients in Battle Creek, Kalamazoo, Allegan, and Paw Paw.Are you at risk for heart failure?The first line of treatmentfor heart failure consists of medicines taken daily, lifestyle changes, and careful monitoring.14 SCENE 4309 I HEALTH ISSUENow Accepting Cardiology Patients

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