Managing Heart Failure involves a variety of important lifestyle changes. These include quitting smoking and eating a healthier diet. These lifestyle changes can help prevent heart failure. You should also consult your doctor before beginning an exercise program. Exercise should be done slowly and must be balanced with periods of rest. You should also be aware that exercising may cause shortness of breath, sweating, or increased heart rate. Although these effects are normal, they should not be ignored. If you notice any of these effects, stop the exercise and contact your doctor immediately.
Treatment for heart failure is often long-term and requires regular visits to a doctor. However, the goal is to manage symptoms and slow the progression of the disease. Treatment typically involves dietary changes, medicines, and sometimes a device that protects the heart from abnormal rhythms. Your doctor will help you find the right treatment plan for you.
As a heart failure patient, you need to be aware of the possible side effects of medications. In some cases, the side effects of the medications are so severe that they no longer work. In such cases, you may want to consider hospice care. Hospice care is a way to provide special attention for patients who are facing a terminal illness.
The most common treatment for heart failure is medication. Your doctor will likely prescribe one or more medicines, and may try different combinations to see which one works best for you. ACE inhibitors can help your heart pump blood more easily. These include perindopril, ramipril, and lisinopril. Your doctor will also likely prescribe a blood thinner to prevent blood clots.
Aside from medicines, there are also procedures that may be necessary. For example, you may need a pacemaker if you suffer from severe heart failure. A pacemaker is a device that monitors your heart’s rhythm and can give shocks if it becomes abnormal. In some cases, an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) may be used to keep your heart beating.
Another symptom of heart failure is weight gain. Keeping a record of daily weight is important. Keeping a chart of your weight can help your doctor determine whether your weight has increased or decreased. If your weight has changed in the past few days, call your doctor or a nurse. Your doctor may also ask you to record your diuretic (water pill) and oxygen use.
In addition to medications, you should also be aware of your diet and stay away from foods with high salt content. Your healthcare provider may prescribe salt substitutes or prescribe additional medications. In addition, you should always have a current list of all your medications with you at all times. You should also bring your bottles to doctor’s appointments. You should not take any over-the-counter medicines, herbal/natural products, or supplements without your doctor’s advice. You should also drink a minimum of two liters of fluid per day. This is the equivalent of eight glasses of water.
People with heart failure should avoid wearing tight socks or pants as these may reduce blood flow to the heart and increase the risk of a blood clot. It’s also important to control your body temperature. A lower body temperature is a strong predictor of readmission and decreased life expectancy in people with heart failure. Dress in layers and avoid extreme temperatures. Also, make sure you sleep and wake up at the same time every day. Keep your bedroom cool and dark.