Diastolic Heart Failure

Amelia Heart & Vascular Center is a respected leader in vascular medicine serving the Northern Virginia area.

Diastolic heart failure is when the left lower chamber of the heart stiffens which does not allow the chamber to fill with blood which in turn reduces the amount of blood that can be pumped out to the other organs.


Diastolic heart failure is more common in older patients. Other ways patients can experience diastolic heart failure is

  • High blood pressure
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity


There is a wide range for symptoms of diastolic heart failure. Some of these symptoms are

  • Shortness of breath
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Swelling in the feet, ankles, or abdomen
  • Lasting cough
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Nausea

Imaging and Diagnostics:

There are many ways for the doctor to diagnose diastolic heart failure. Below are tests that the doctor may ask the patient to make a proper diagnosis

  • Blood tests
  • Chest x-ray
  • Echocardiogram
  • Electrocardiogram
  • Stress test


The goal of the treatment for diastolic heart failure is to ease the patient’s symptoms and improve blood flow to the vital organs. The doctor may prescribe medication to improve blood flow, reduce blood pressure and improve other symptoms.

Lifestyle Changes:

The doctor may suggest some lifestyle changes for the patient to make to help improve the symptoms. These lifestyle changes include

  • Healthy diet
  • Regular exercise
  • Work to a healthy weight
  • Quit smoking