Medically reviewed by A Rash MD. Last updated June 12, 2022
Heart failure — also called congestive heart failure is in the event that your heart muscle isn’t able to pump blood as efficiently as it ought to. If this occurs blood can back up, and fluid may build within the lungs. This can cause shortness of breath.
Certain heart diseases like narrowed arteries within the heart (coronary arterial condition) and high blood pressure, slowly cause the heart to become inflexible or weak to fill it and effectively pump blood.
A proper treatment plan can reduce the symptoms and signs of heart failure. It can also aid in prolonging the lives of certain people. Changes in your lifestyle — like losing weight, working out, cutting down on the amount of salt (sodium) from your daily diet, and managing stress will improve the quality of your life. However, heart failure may be life-threatening. Patients suffering from heart failure could suffer from severe symptoms and some may require the transplantation of a heart or a heart assist device (VAD).
One method to avoid heart disease is to identify and treat conditions that may trigger it, like coronary arterial disease as well as high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes.
Heart failure can be persistent (chronic) or it can occur abruptly (acute).
Heart failure symptoms and signs can include:
- Breath shortness during activities or lying down
- The weakness and fatigue of the body
- Inflammation in the legs feet, ankles, and legs
- A rapid or irregular heartbeat
- Inability to exercise
- A persistent cough or wheezing that is accompanied by blood-tinged mucus with a pink or white color.
- Belly area swelling (abdomen)
- Rapid weight gain due to the accumulation of fluid
- Lack of appetite, nausea, and vomiting
- Inattention or difficulty concentrating.
- Pain in the chest if heart failure is the result of an attack on the heart.
When should you seek medical help
Visit your physician if suspect you are having symptoms or signs of heart problems. Get urgent medical assistance if are experiencing any of these:
- Chest pain
- Severe weakness or fainting
- Heartbeats that are irregular or rapid, often caused by shortness of breathing, chest pain, or fainting
- The sudden breathlessness and coughing up pink or white or pink mucus, with foamy consistency
While these symptoms and signs may be related to heart disease There are many other possibilities of causing it, including serious lung and heart conditions. Don’t attempt to diagnose yourself.
Doctors in the emergency room will attempt to treat your symptoms and determine if the symptoms are caused by heart failure or another.
If you’ve been diagnosed with heart failure, and one of your symptoms suddenly worsens or you experience any new sign or symptom this could mean that your existing heart condition is becoming worse or is not reacting to treatments. It may also happen when you gain 5 pounds (2.3 kg) or more in several days. Contact your doctor promptly.
Heart failure is often the result of other ailments caused by damage or the weakening of the heart. But, it can be triggered if the heart is stiff.
In the event of heart failure, the primary chambers that pump blood to the heart (the ventricles) can be stiff and not fill adequately between heartbeats. For some, the muscle of the heart may be damaged and weak. Ventricles can expand until the heart cannot supply enough blood to the body.
As time passes the heart’s ability to not keep up with the normal demands that it is required to deliver blood to the rest of the body.
Your doctor will determine the efficiency of your heart pumping by determining the amount of blood is released with every beat (ejection fraction). Ejection fractions are used to classify heart failure and help guide treatment. If the heart is healthy, the ejection percentage is greater than 50% which means that more than half the blood in the ventricle gets pumped out with every beat.
Heart failure is a possibility even when there is an ejection fraction that is normal. It happens when the heart muscle gets stiff due to conditions like excessive blood pressure.
Heart failure may affect your left (left ventricle) and or the right (right ventricle) or both sides of your heart. Most often, heart failure starts on the left side particularly the left ventricle – the heart’s primary pumping chamber.
|Heart failure of a type||Description|
|Heart failure left-sided||Fluid can build up inside the lungs, leading to breathlessness.|
|Heart failure of the right side||The fluid could get back in the legs, abdomen, and feet, which can cause swelling.|
|Heart failure with systolic function (also known as heart failure with decreased ejection)||The left ventricle doesn’t contract quickly, suggesting an issue with pumping.|
|Heart failure that is preserved with an Ejection fraction||The left ventricle isn’t able to relax or fill completely it’s a sign of a filling problem.|
The following conditions can cause damage or weakness to your heart and cause heart failure. These conditions may be present even without you knowing about them.
- Coronary artery disease and heart attack. Coronary artery disease is the most frequent type of heart disease and is the leading reason for heart problems. The cause of the disease is the accumulation of fat deposits in the arteries which decreases blood flow and can cause heart attacks.A heart attack happens abruptly when a coronary artery becomes blocked completely. The damage to the heart muscle caused by an attack on your heart could result in your heart not pumping as efficiently as it is supposed to.
- The blood pressure is too high. If your blood pressure is excessive, your heart needs to perform harder than it is supposed to in order to circulate blood around your body. As time passes, this added effort can cause your heart muscle to stiff or weak to pump blood.
- Affected heart valves. The valves of the heart ensure that blood flow is in the correct direction. The damaged heart valve is caused by an injury to the heart or coronary artery disease heart infections — force the heart to be more active, which could cause it to weaken over time.
- Heart muscle damage muscles. Heart muscle damage could be due to a myriad of causes such as certain diseases or infections, heavy drinking, and toxic effects of certain drugs, like cocaine, or other drugs that are used in chemotherapy. Genetic factors can also contribute to.
- Heart muscle inflammation (myocarditis). Myocarditis is typically due to a viral which includes the COVID-19 virus and may lead to left-sided heart failure.
- A heart condition that is inherited (congenital cardiac defect). If your heart, its chambers, or valves aren’t properly formed the healthy areas of your heart need to be more efficient in pumping blood, and this could cause heart failure.
- Atypical heartbeats (arrhythmias). Abnormal heart rhythms can cause your heartbeat to be too fast, which can cause additional stress on your heart. A slower heartbeat can cause heart failure.
- Other illnesses. Long-term diseases -like diabetics, HIV, an overactive or underactive thyroid, or an increase in protein or iron could also cause heart failure that is chronic.
The causes for abrupt (acute) heart problems can comprise:
- Allergy reactions
- Any illness that affects the entire body
- Lung blood clots can cause problems.
- Infections grave
- Certain medications can be prescribed
- The heart muscle
A single risk factor could be enough to trigger heart failure However, the combination of risk factors increases the risk.
Heart failure risk factors are:
- Coronary arterial condition. Narrowed arteries may restrict your heart’s supply of oxygen-rich blood. This can result in impaired heart muscle.
- Heart attack. A heart attack is a type that is a result of coronary artery disease which is sudden. A heart muscle injury due to a heart attack can cause your heart to stop more effectively pumping as it is supposed to.
- Heart valve diseases. Having a heart valve that isn’t functioning properly increases the chance that you will suffer from heart problems.
- Blood pressure that is high. Your heart works more than it needs to when the blood pressure in your body is elevated.
- Insane heartbeats. These abnormal rhythms particularly if they’re extremely frequent and rapid may cause heart muscle weakness and result in heart failure.
- The condition is known as congenital. Some people who suffer from heart failure were born with issues that alter the structure or function of their hearts.
- diabetes. Having diabetes increases your chance of developing heart disease and high blood pressure. Do not stop taking medications by yourself. Discuss with your doctor if you need to make any changes.
- Certain diabetes drugs. The diabetes drugs Rosiglitazone (Avandia) as well as pioglitazone (Actos) have been proven to increase the chance of heart problems in certain individuals. Do not stop taking these drugs at your own discretion, however. If you’re on them, consult your physician if you require any adjustments.
- Certain other drugs. Some medications may cause heart failure or problems with the heart. These include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) as well as certain anesthesia medicines and certain drugs that treat high blood pressure and cancer, blood issues irregular or irregular heartbeats, disorders of the nervous system mental health issues as well as urinary and lung problems as well as inflammatory conditions and infections.
- Alcohol abuse. Drinking too much alcohol may cause heart muscles to weaken and cause heart failure.
- Sleep Apnea. The inability to breathe in a proper manner while you sleep causes low blood oxygen levels as well as an increased risk of having irregular heartbeats. Both of these issues can cause heart weakness.
- Smoking cigarettes or smoking cigarettes. If you smoke stop. Smoking tobacco can increase your risk of developing heart health as well as heart disease.
- Obesity. People who have overweight are at a greater chance of having heart failure.
- virus. Certain viral infections may cause damage to your heart muscle.
Heart failure complications depend in the degree of your heart disease, overall health, and other factors like age. Potential complications could include:
- Kidney failure or damage. Heart failure can cause a decrease in blood flow to your kidneys. This may eventually lead to kidney failure if it is not treated. The damage to your kidneys caused by heart failure could need dialysis as a treatment.
- Heart valve issues. The valves of the heart, that keep the flow of blood in the correct direction, might not function well if your heart has been expanding or if the pressure inside your heart is high due to heart malfunction.
- Heart rhythm issues. Heart rhythm problems can cause or increase the risk of developing a heart attack.
- Liver damaged. Heart failure can result in the fluid build-up, which places too much stress upon the liver. This could cause scarring, making it harder for the liver to function effectively.
The best way to prevent heart disease is to lower the risk factors. You can eliminate or reduce some of the cardiovascular risk factors by making lifestyle changes that are healthy as well as taking the medicines recommended by your doctor.
Changes in your lifestyle to avoid heart problems can include:
- Not smoking
- Certain conditions can be controlled like diabetes and high blood pressure
- Physically active
- Consuming healthy food
- A healthy weight and maintaining it
- Reduce stress and manage it
For the diagnosis of heart failure, your doctor will conduct the time to take a thorough medical history, examine your symptoms and then perform a physical exam. Your doctor will also look for high-risk factors that could lead to heart failure, for example, high blood pressure or coronary artery disease. diabetes.
Your doctor will be able to look at your lungs to detect indications of fluid accumulation (lung congestion) as well as your heart for sound (murmurs) which could indicate heart malfunction. The doctor can look at the veins in your neck and look for any signs of fluid buildup in your legs and abdomen.
Following the physical exam, your doctor could be able to prescribe some of these tests:
- The blood tests. Blood tests are performed to detect indications of illnesses that could affect the heart.
- Chest Xray. X-ray images can reveal the state of the heart and lungs.
- Electrocardiogram (ECG). This simple and easy test measures the electrical signals within the heart. It is able to show the timing and duration of heartbeats.
- Echocardiogram. Sound waves are used to create images of the heart’s motion. This test reveals the structure and size of the heart its valves, as well as the flow of blood within the heart. Echocardiograms can be used to assess ejection percentage, which indicates how efficiently the heart is pumping. It also aids in identifying heart failure. It also guides the treatment.
- Test for stress. Stress tests assess the heart’s health in the course of. You might be asked to run on a treadmill, while connected to an ECG machine or take an IV medication that stimulates the effects of exercise on your heart.Sometimes, a stress test is carried out by wearing a mask that evaluates the way in which the lungs and the heart get oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide.
- The Cardiac Computerized Tomography (CT) scanning. In a cardiac CT. For the scan, you lay on a table in the shape of a doughnut. A X-ray tube in the machine revolves around your body and captures images of your chest and the heart. Sometimes, contrast agents are used. Because the contrast agent may alter kidney function, speak with your physician if you suffer from kidney issues.
- Imaging with magnetic resonance (MRI). In a cardiac NRI. You lie on a couch inside the tube-like machine. Radio waves produce photographs of our hearts.A cardiac MRI It could be done using it using a color (contrast). It’s essential to inform the doctor of any issues that affect your kidneys prior to the time you have a heart MRI or any other MRI since contrast can trigger a rare, grave complication for those who suffer from kidney disease.
- Angiogram of the coronary. In this test, an extremely thin and tubular structure (catheter) is put in a blood vessel typically in the groin, and then dragged through the arteries of the heart. The dye (contrast) will be injected into the catheter, causing the arteries to appear more clearly on an X-ray aiding the doctor to identify obstructions.
- Myocardial biopsy. In this test, doctors insert an extremely small flexible cord into an incision on your neck or the groin and then remove tiny pieces of heart muscle for examination. This test is used to identify certain kinds of heart muscle disorders that lead to heart failure.
Tests to determine the cause of heart failure can help doctors identify the reason for symptoms or signs and then decide on the most appropriate treatment. To determine the best course of treatment to treat heart disease, physicians can classify heart failure by using two different systems:
New York Heart Association classification
This scale categorizes heart failure into four categories.
- Heart failure of Class I. There are no heart failure signs.
- Heart failure of class II. Everyday activities can be completed without difficulty, however, exercise can cause breathlessness or fatigue.
- Heart failure of class III. It’s difficult to perform everyday tasks.
- Heart failure class IV. Shortness of breath is common even when you are at the moment of rest. This is the most serious heart failure.
The American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology classification
This classification system is based on stage and utilizes letters A to D. It also has an option for those that are most at risk of developing heart problems. The doctors use the classification method to determine risks and initiate an early and more aggressive treatment to prevent or delay heart failure.
- Stage A. There are several possible risk causes for heart failure, but there are no signs or symptoms.
- Stage B. There is heart disease, but there aren’t any indications or signs of heart failure.
- stage C. There is heart disease, and there are signs or signs or symptoms for heart problems.
- Stage D. Advanced heart failure requires special treatment.
The doctor you see often uses both classification systems to determine the best treatment option. Your doctor will be able to assist you in understanding your score and determine your treatment according to the condition you are suffering from.
Heart failure can be described as a long-lasting disease that requires ongoing treatment. With treatment, the signs and symptoms of heart failure may be improved, and sometimes, the heart gets stronger.
Doctors may be able to treat heart failure by addressing the root cause. For instance, fixing the heart valve or managing an irregular heart beat can reverse the heart’s failure. However, for the majority of patients, treatment for heart failure is a mix of the appropriate medications and, in some cases, the making use of devices that aid in your heart to beat in a healthy way.
Doctors typically treat heart failure using the use of a variety of drugs. Based on the symptoms you experience you may use one or more drugs for heart failure, such as:
- Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. These drugs relax blood vessels to lower blood pressure, improve blood flow and decrease the strain on the heart. Some examples include enalapril (Vasotec, Epaned) as well as Lisinopril (Zestril, Qbrelis, Prinivil), and captopril.
- Angiotensin II receptor blockers. These medications that including losartan (Cozaar) and Valsartan (Diovan) as well as candesartan (Atacand) offer numerous of the same benefits as ACE inhibitors. They could be a viable option for those who aren’t able to take ACE inhibitors.
- Beta-blockers. These drugs slow your heart rate and decrease blood pressure. Beta blockers can reduce the symptoms and signs of heart disease, improve the function of your heart, and let to live longer. For instance, carvedilol (Coreg) metoprolol (Lopressor Toprol-XL, Kapspargo Sprinkle) and bisoprolol.
- Diuretics. Often called water pills, diuretics cause you to regularly urinate and help keep fluid from getting into your body. Diuretics like furosemide (Lasix) are also known to reduce the amount of fluid in your lungs, which allows you to breathe better.Since diuretics cause you to lose magnesium and potassium as well, your doctor could recommend supplementation of the minerals. If you’re taking diuretics then your doctor may be able to monitor the levels of potassium as well as magnesium levels in your blood with a routine blood test.
- The antagonists of aldosterone. These drugs include Spironolactone (Aldactone, Carospir) and Eplerenone (Inspra). They are diuretics with potassium that also have properties that could aid patients suffering from chronic systolic heart failure to remain healthy for longer.Contrary to other diuretics spironolactone and eplerenone may raise the amount of potassium within your bloodstream to potentially dangerous levels. Talk with your physician if an increase in potassium levels is a problem and find out whether you should alter the foods you eat that are packed with potassium.
- Positive inotropes. These medicines can be administered by LV for people suffering from certain kinds of heart failure that are severe and are hospitalized. Positive inotropes may assist the heart to pump blood more efficiently and help keep blood pressure in check. In the long run, the use of these drugs has been associated with an increased risk of dying for some individuals. Consult your healthcare professional about the benefits and risks of these medicines.
- Digoxin (Lanoxin). This drug, which is also known as digitalis, boosts the intensity of muscles of your heart. Additionally, it slows the heartbeat. Digoxin helps reduce symptoms of heart failure in systolic failure of the heart. It is the most appropriate drug to be administered to a person suffering from an issue with the heart’s rhythm, for example, atrial fibrillation.
- Hydralazine, isosorbide and dinitrate (BiDil). This combination of drugs helps to in relaxing blood vessels. It can be included in your treatment plan in the event of significant heart failure symptoms. Beta blockers or inhibitors aren’t helping.
- Vericiguat (Verquvo). This newer medication for heart failure that is chronically afflicted can be consumed every day via the mouth. It’s a form of medication known as an oral soluble guanylate-cyclase (sGC) stimulator. Studies have shown that people suffering from a high risk of heart failure who were taking vericiguat had less hospital stays for heart failure as well as heart diseases-related deaths as compared to people who took an inactive drug (placebo).
- Other medicines. Your doctor may prescribe other medicines for specific ailments. For instance, certain people might receive nitrates to help with symptoms of chest pain or statins to reduce cholesterol levels or blood thinners that assist in the prevention of blood clots.
Your doctor might have to adjust your dose often, particularly if you’ve just begun the new medication or your condition is deteriorating.
You could get admitted into a hospital when you are experiencing a flare-up in symptoms of heart failure. An inpatient hospital could receive additional medications that will aid in the improvement of your heart’s pumping and alleviate the symptoms. There is also the possibility of receiving an oxygen mask or small tube put in your nose. If you have severe heart disease, you could require supplemental oxygen for a prolonged period of time.
Other procedures or surgeries
Other procedures or surgeries to implant devices for the heart may be recommended to address the root cause that caused heart failure. The surgical or other treatments to treat heart failure could include:
- Surgery for coronary bypass. If severely blocked blood vessels are making your heart to fail Your doctor might recommend coronary bypass surgery for the artery. The procedure involves removing an appropriate blood vessel that is located in your arm, leg, or chest, and connecting it above and below the blocked arteries inside your heart. The new path enhances the flow of blood to the heart muscle.
- Repair or replacement of the heart valve, and repair or replacement. If a faulty heart valve is causing your heart to fail and your doctor recommends repair or replacement of the valve. The surgeon can fix the valve by reattaching flaps on the valve or by removing the excess valve tissue to ensure that the leaflets close properly. Sometimes, the repair involves the replacement or tightening of the valve’s ring.Replacement or repair of the heart valve can be performed as open heart surgery as a minimally-invasive procedure or a heart procedure with flexible catheters (cardiac catheterization).
- Implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs). An ICD can be used to reduce the risk of complications that can arise from heart failure. It is used to avoid complications. It’s not a treatment for heart failure in itself. An ICD is a device that’s similar to an electronic pacemaker. It’s inserted under the skin on your chest, with wires that go through your veins and eventually into the heart.It monitors your heart’s rhythm. If your heart begins to beat in a risky rhythm or if your heart ceases to beat in the middle. It tries to stimulate your heart to shock the heart to its normal rhythm. An ICD could also act to boost your heart rate when it’s running too slow.
- Cardiac therapy for resynchronization (CRT). Also known as biventricular pacing CRT is a method of treating heart failure for people with lower cardiac chambers (ventricles) aren’t functioning in sync with one of their counterparts. A biventricular pacemaker transmits electric signals through the ventricles. The signals cause the ventricles of your heart to contract in a coordinated manner that improves the flow of blood from your heart. CRT can be combined with ICD.
- Ventricular assist devices (VADs). It is also called the mechanical support for your circulatory system is a machine that assists in pumping blood through the lower chambers of the heart (ventricles) to the rest of your body. Although a VAD can be implanted in either ventricle or both of your heart. It is usually placed in the left ventricle¹.A doctor may suggest a VAD If you’re awaiting the possibility of a heart transplant. Sometimes, a VAD is used as a long-term treatment for patients who suffer from heart problems but aren’t suitable candidates for a transplant.
- The heart transplant. Some people have the most severe heart problems that medication or surgery won’t assist. Some people might need to replace their hearts with the healthy donors.A heart transplant isn’t the best treatment for every patient. A group of specialists in a transplant center will assess you to determine if this procedure is secure and beneficial for you.
End-of-life and palliative care
The doctor might suggest that you include palliative care in your treatment program. The term “palliative” refers to medical treatment that is focused on relieving the symptoms of your illness and improving your life quality. Anyone with a severe or life-threatening condition may benefit from palliative therapy in order to treat the ailments of illness, for example, breathlessness or pain or to alleviate adverse effects of treatment, for example, nausea or fatigue.
There is a chance that the heart problem could get worse to the point that medications stop functioning and a heart replacement or device may not be an alternative. If this happens you might require hospice treatment. Hospice care offers a particular treatment plan for those who are dying.
Hospice care permits family members and family members with the help of social workers, nurses, and specially trained volunteers to take care of and comfort the person they love at the home or in hospice homes. Hospice care offers social, emotional, and spiritual care for those suffering from illness and for those close to them.
Hospice care is offered at your home, as well in nursing facilities or assisted living facilities. For those who reside in a hospital setting, professionals in the field of end-of-life care will provide compassion, comfort, and respect.
While it may be challenging to talk about the end of your life with your loved ones and medical staff is crucial. A large portion of the discussion will likely include advance directives for care which is a broad term for written and oral instructions that you provide regarding the medical treatment you receive should you be unable to speak for yourself.
If you have an ICD, a crucial thing to talk about with your family and your doctor is whether the heart is necessary to turn off the device to ensure that it doesn’t send shocks that cause your heart to keep beating.
Lifestyle and home solutions to home
Lifestyle changes can assist in relieving symptoms and signs of heart failure, and also keep the condition from becoming worse. These modifications could prove to be the most significant and beneficial ones you could implement:
- Do not smoke. Smoking damages your blood vessels elevates blood pressure decreases the oxygen levels that is in your blood and increases the rate of your heartbeat.If you are a smoker, ask your physician for a recommendation of a program to aid you in quitting. It isn’t possible to be considered for an organ transplant if keep smoking. Beware of secondhand smoke too.
- Be sure to check your ankles, legs, and feet daily for swelling. Contact your doctor when swelling increases.
- Discuss weight monitoring with your doctor. Weight gain may be a sign that you’re losing fluids and need to make changes in your treatment. Discuss with your doctor the frequency you weigh yourself and when to call your doctor due to weight increase.
- Maintain a healthy weight. If you’re overweight, a dietitian can help you work toward your ideal weight. Even a tiny amount of weight will boost your heart health.
- A healthy diet is essential. Aim to eat the right diet, which includes fruits and vegetables whole grains, low-fat or fat-free dairy products, as well as protein that is lean.
- Do not overdo the salt. Too much salt (sodium) could cause water retention that makes your heart work harder and can cause breathing problems and swelling of the feet, ankles, and legs.Discuss with your doctor whether you are advised to follow a salt-free or a diet with low salt. Be aware of the fact that salt has already been present in cooked foods, so be cautious when using salt substitutes.
- Limit trans or saturated fats you consume in your daily diet. In addition to eliminating salty foods, you should limit the amount of trans and saturated fats you consume in your daily. These potentially harmful fats in your diet increase the risk of heart disease.
- Get your vaccinations. Ask your doctor to get influenza COVID-19, pneumonia and influenza vaccinations.
- Reduce your intake of alcohol and fluids. Your doctor may advise you to avoid drinking alcohol if you suffer from heart failure because it could affect your medication which can weaken your heart muscle and increase the chances of developing irregular heart rhythms.If you are suffering from heart disease, your doctor might recommend that you reduce how much fluid you consume.
- Get physically active. Moderate aerobic activity assists in keeping your body in shape and healthy by reducing the stress on the heart muscle. However, be sure to talk with your physician about a fitness program that is suitable for you. Your doctor might suggest a walking regimen or an exercise program for your heart in your local hospital.
- Reducing anxiety. When you’re anxious or stressed your heart rate increases as well as your breathing becomes more intense as well as your blood pressure usually rises. This could make heart failure more severe, as the heart is already having difficulties meeting the demands of your body.Find ways to decrease stress within your daily life. For your heart to get some rest, consider taking a nap or relaxing whenever it is possible. Spend time with your friends and family to bond and to reduce stress.
- Sleep easily. If you’re having breathlessness, especially at the night, try sleeping by propping your head up with pillows or wedges. If you’re prone to snoring or have been suffering from other sleep disorders ensure that you are checked in the event of sleep apnea.
Support and Coping
Proper treatment for heart failure may help relieve symptoms and make it easier to live longer. Your doctor and you are able to work together to ensure that you are at ease. Take note of the way you feel and your body. Also, note how it feels and informs your doctor whether you’re feeling more or less. So your doctor can determine the best treatment for you.
These steps can aid you in managing heart failure:
- Keep track of the medicines you are taking. Make a list of all the medicines you use, take it around, and discuss it with your doctor. Don’t stop taking any medicine without consulting your physician. If any side effects from medications you take are unsettling or troubling, inform your doctor know.
- Take a look at your medications. Some medications available without a prescription, like Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, other) and naproxen sodium (Aleve), and diet pills can aggravate heart failure and cause an increase in fluid. Consult your doctor about every medication you are taking.
- Be cautious about taking supplementation. Some dietary supplements could affect heart failure medication or may cause a worsening of your medical condition. Consult your physician about any supplements you’re taking.
- Keep a journal to keep track of the weight you are carrying. Bring the notes to your appointments with your physician. A rise in weight could be an indication of fluid accumulation.
- Keep an eye on the blood pressure. Consider purchasing a home blood pressure monitor. Note down the blood pressure readings between appointments with your doctor and take the list with you to your appointments.
- Make a list of your questions to ask your physician. Before a doctor’s appointment, write down the list of queries or concerns. For instance how safe is it that you both engage in sexual contact? The majority of people suffering from heart disease can engage in sexual activities once symptoms are controlled. If you have questions, ask your doctor should you require it. Make sure you know what your doctor tells you to perform.
- Find the contact details of your doctor. Keep your doctor’s telephone number, the hospital’s telephone number, and directions to the clinic or hospital at hand. It is important to have these handy in the event that you need to contact your doctor, or if you have to visit the hospital.
Controlling heart failure requires open dialogue between your physician and you. Make sure you’re following the recommended eating habits, lifestyle, and medication. Your physician can often offer suggestions to help to stay on track and keep it that way.