Living with Heart Failure
What is heart failure?
Heart failure is a chronic health problem that needs lifelong management. It happens when the heart muscle is weakened and is unable to pump as strongly as normal to mantain blood flow to cover body's requirements. Since the heart is not pumping sufficiently, the oxygen that gets to the organs and muscles in the body decreases, making you easily tired and short of breath. There is no cure for heart failure, but treatment can help you feel better, and live a normal live.
What causes heart failure?
It develops when another problem damages or weekens your heart, such as:
- Coronary artery disease
- alcohol abuse
- drug abuse
- high blood pressure
- viral infection
- heart attack
- cardiomyopathy of an unknown cause
Heart failure signs and symptoms may include:
- Shortness of breath during a physical activity or when you exert yourself or even you lie down.
- weight gain
- feel more tired than normal
- wake up at night because of the short of breath
- swelling in the feet, legs, or stomach
Undestanding your symptoms will help you to know if your conditionn is deteriorating, and you should always contact a healthcare provider in this case.
How to manage heart failure?
Avoid salty food, cut the alcohol. When you cut salt and alcohol you are left with the vegetable and meat section at the grocery stores. Cutting salt and alcohol is not easy for most people. One of the most important aspects for successful management of heart failure is the exercise. You must stay active and see your doctor regularly. Having a good diet and losing or maintaining a health weight is very import. You must limit the quantity of fluids in your body, so drink less than 8 cups of water per day. Don't drink alcohol or smoke.