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Question
Posted by: LP | 2004/10/13

Heart Failure

My dad has been suffering from heart failure for the past six years but the last few months have become the worst. He is 67 years of age and is a diabetic. In the 6 year period he has been admitted to a state hospital (no medical aid) twice on both occasions have been for swollen feet and abdomen due to water retention. Tests were carried out and all other organs seemed to be OK except for the build up of water. After about 3 months of being dismissed from hospital with the reduced abdomen and feet, the water biuld-up commenced and his abdomen is quite swollen again and very uncomfortable. He sees a heart doctor at the state hospital who just increases the dose of water tablets but does not seem to help. I think my dad could be at the end stage of heart failure but I'm not sure as it it just the water and uncomfortable abdomen that's bothering him. Is there a drug etc which the doctors here in Port Elizabeth are not aware of that can be taken to speed up the water drainage or block the build-up?

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Our expert says:
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LP, it all depends on the cause of the heart failure. There are some pretty potent “water tablets” out there, but their side effect profile might make them unsuitable for use in your dad’s case. The best would be to discuss this with his doctor or to take him to a private cardiologist. Good luck.

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