Confused about Stiff Heart, Diastolic Heart Failure, or HFpEF?

Nearly half of all patients with heart failure have a normal EF or ejection fraction. EF is a percentage of how much blood the left ventricle pumps out with each contraction. Why is that?

To get some answers, and with Valentine’s Day just around the corner (what better way to celebrate than by learning about your heart), we sat down with Mayo Clinic cardiologist and heart failure specialist, Dr. Farris Timimi. In this video, Dr. Timimi explains the phenomenon of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction or HFpEF.

Do you have heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (sometimes called Stiff Heart or Diastolic Heart Failure)? What limitations have you experienced with a HFpEF diagnosis? What has helped you?

Hello @mzhp1988, I am sorry to hear of all the heart difficulties you are experiencing. I'm sure that this makes you concerned about your future. As you probably know, @mzhp1988, on Connect we cannot make health evaluations. These type of questions need to be answered in a doctor's office. Your doctor would have the best information to handle these questions, especially about what types of exercise that would be helpful to you with your current heart problems. Will you contact your doctor's office and ask these questions?

Also, congratulations on finding your son after 52 years! How nice that you have an opportunity to get to know him now.

Will you post again and let me know how you are doing?

REPLY
@hopeful33250

Hello @mzhp1988, I am sorry to hear of all the heart difficulties you are experiencing. I'm sure that this makes you concerned about your future. As you probably know, @mzhp1988, on Connect we cannot make health evaluations. These type of questions need to be answered in a doctor's office. Your doctor would have the best information to handle these questions, especially about what types of exercise that would be helpful to you with your current heart problems. Will you contact your doctor's office and ask these questions?

Also, congratulations on finding your son after 52 years! How nice that you have an opportunity to get to know him now.

Will you post again and let me know how you are doing?

Jump to this post

Thank you. Yes, I will.

REPLY
@arcp

I have hypertrophic cardiomyopathy with LVOT obstruction, high BP, and recurrent atrial fibrillation. Echo shows left ventricular stiffness and diastolic dysfunction.but no evidence of heart failure yet.on beta blockers and anti coagulation.
Only medicine to control BP is Amlodipine. But that worsens breathlessness!

Jump to this post

I feel like a twin for @arcp, except for the left ventricle outflow tract (LVOT) obstruction, which has not been identified (yet?), and the Amlodipine medication for hypertension (mine is Carvedilol, a beta blocker, plus Lisinopril, an ACE inhibitor). Everything else seems the same as yours. As to symptoms, I'm not conscious of any, although lab tests, BP readings, EKGs, and sonograms all show evidence of the other problems we share. When my A-fib diagnosis was made four years ago, my cardiologist said it's the "very definition of diastolic deficiency" — reduced ability to refill the atrium with fresh blood and send it on to a ventricle. Although it may seem contradictory, I had a small stroke in June that doctors said probably was caused by a small clot formed in my heart as a result of A-fib. After six weeks of physical therapy, I'm now working to regain physical stability and have made a lot of progress on that. Fortunately, I haven't experienced breathlessness or dizziness, which would cause me to call 9-1-1 and get taken to the hospital in case another stroke is under way. I hope my plight will be helpful to you and others in this discussion. Martin

REPLY
@kanaazpereira

Hi @barbarajane @cynaburst @cynthiamary @lynnkay1956 @medic7054 @evelyn247 @c410djh @jigglejaws94 @thankfulalways @mpeters @sammysky @bjanderson @jwoj @brittalisse @pfazenbaker @pepper1311 @predictable @thankful @hopeful33250 @harmonybentley @mzhp1988 @lioness @wangs @gibbs @soloact,

I’d like to invite you to join this discussion about heart failure with preserved ejection fraction or HFpEF – also known as stiff heart or diastolic heart failure. Share your experiences, ask questions, and let’s support and learn more from each other. Please drop a note to say hi and introduce yourself.

Jump to this post

@kanaazpereira Thank you for inviting. I only had a triple by pass in 1996 and since then I have had no major problems with my heart I am on Losartan 100 mg for my Blood Pressure and Pravastatin for my cholesterol .Just had a angiogram and heart vessels are all intact .Have always ate healthy and my cardio surgeon told me no more red meat so I still don't eat red meat .Exercising all my life nothing strenuous now at 76 I started a chair exercise program using You tube videos

REPLY
@bjanderson

Hi Hopeful. I do have a website for you. It is:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180207164033.htm
I did reread it and found the drug is being studied for muscular dystrophy also. It is not yet being used. Let’s hope it comes to fruition.

Jump to this post

@hopeful33250 A lot of drugs are good for alot of different diseases .Havecyou listened to Dr. Terry Wahl the video that John sent she had M.S. and a Dr. so she is now back to work and MS free very interesting video .If I can find it I,ll send it or John may know where its at.

REPLY

Sometimes my Systolic number is a whole lot higher than my Diastolic. Like: 145/58. Does that mean I have a stiff heart?

REPLY

Thank you for sharing this excellent video. Would individuals with diastolic failure have low/high diastolic values?

REPLY

Today I heard Dr. Farris Timimi explain "Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection Fraction". This is the state of my heart. I have diastolic dysfunction. The symptom that led me to this diagnosis, at Mayo Clinic, is shortness of breath when walking for one mile. TRIAMTERENE/HCTZ 37.5-25MG CAP was prescribed.
My concern is whether or not exercise harms the heart that has diastolic dysfunction. I am interested in learning the type and amount of exercise that is appropriate for someone in the early stages of diastolic dysfunction. I also wonder if a hard pounding of each beat of the heart, which I have intermittently even when sitting, is related to diastolic dysfunction.
Thank you.
@muriel66

REPLY

"My concern is whether or not exercise harms the heart that has diastolic dysfunction. I am interested in learning the type and amount of exercise that is appropriate for someone in the early stages of diastolic dysfunction. I also wonder if a hard pounding of each beat of the heart, which I have intermittently even when sitting, is related to diastolic dysfunction."
These are my questions too. I have asked my PCP and my cardiologist. They don't seem to know.

REPLY
@mzhp1988

"My concern is whether or not exercise harms the heart that has diastolic dysfunction. I am interested in learning the type and amount of exercise that is appropriate for someone in the early stages of diastolic dysfunction. I also wonder if a hard pounding of each beat of the heart, which I have intermittently even when sitting, is related to diastolic dysfunction."
These are my questions too. I have asked my PCP and my cardiologist. They don't seem to know.

Jump to this post

There is good data that suggests regular, moderate aerobic activity is helpful for patients with diastolic heart failure.

REPLY
@muriel66

Today I heard Dr. Farris Timimi explain "Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection Fraction". This is the state of my heart. I have diastolic dysfunction. The symptom that led me to this diagnosis, at Mayo Clinic, is shortness of breath when walking for one mile. TRIAMTERENE/HCTZ 37.5-25MG CAP was prescribed.
My concern is whether or not exercise harms the heart that has diastolic dysfunction. I am interested in learning the type and amount of exercise that is appropriate for someone in the early stages of diastolic dysfunction. I also wonder if a hard pounding of each beat of the heart, which I have intermittently even when sitting, is related to diastolic dysfunction.
Thank you.
@muriel66

Jump to this post

In general, a good rule of thumb is to exercise at 60% of your aerobic capacity-the easy way to tell is to exercise at a level that you can still speak in a seven word sentence.

REPLY
@bjh369

Sometimes my Systolic number is a whole lot higher than my Diastolic. Like: 145/58. Does that mean I have a stiff heart?

Jump to this post

No-it can suggest a risk but not a diagnosis.

REPLY
Please sign in or register to post a reply.