5 Tips for Living With Congestive Heart Failure

5 Tips for Living With Congestive Heart Failure

We want to kick off this discussion with a statistic — more than 6 million Americans are living with heart failure, and we want to emphasize the term, “living with.” We concur that a heart failure diagnosis isn’t the best news, but it’s far from a death sentence as many people with heart failure go on to lead happy, long lives despite the condition, if they manage it well.

As cardiovascular experts, the team here at Advanced Cardiovascular Specialists has no small amount of experience helping our patients to successfully navigate congestive heart failure.

In this month’s blog post, we’re going to give you an idea about some of the recommendations and tips that we provide our patients when we first deliver a heart failure diagnosis.

 

  1. Get the right team

 

One of the most important steps when you’re first diagnosed with heart failure is to make sure that you have a good cardiovascular team in your corner as you negotiate this new world of heart disease.

 

Such a team can be found at our practice as we know exactly what steps you should be taking to control your heart failure. From medications to vigilant oversight, our cardiovascular experts can guide you through this journey, making adjustments along the way to promote your cardiovascular health.

 

And we urge you to follow our instructions carefully, including taking any medications that we prescribe.

 

  1. Get moving

 

When you have heart failure, we know that exercising can be challenging as you struggle to get your breath. Still, exercise needs to be a part of your cardiac rehabilitation plan.

 

When you have heart failure, your heart is diseased and unable to pump out sufficient blood and oxygen to your body. Through exercise, you can strengthen your heart muscle and slow the progression of your heart disease by quite a lot.

 

As for how much exercise, we determine that on a case-by-case basis, but you should count on exercising most every day.

 

  1. Eat healthy and ditch the salt

 

We will also guide you on some dietary and nutritional steps that can help preserve your cardiovascular health. For example, we’re going to want you to ditch the sodium, as well as fatty and sugary foods. Instead, we’re going to have you focus on healthy eating habits that include plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.

 

  1. Monitor your health

 

When you’re under our care, we monitor your cardiovascular health closely, but you need to do your part at home. For example, we want you to monitor your weight closely by weighing yourself every day, at the same time each day. Gaining a few pounds can be significant when you have  heart failure, so we want you to keep a close eye on your scale and report any changes to us right away.

 

As well, we want you to pay attention to your symptoms and if you experience any changes, such as more difficulty with shortness of breath, let us know right away.

 

  1. Get good sleep

 

As important as movement and exercise are, so, too, is rest. When you have heart failure, it’s important that you get good, restorative sleep each night. A great way to encourage that is to go to bed at the same time each night and avoid screens for 30-60 minutes before you go to bed. Ideally, we’d like you to get seven to nine hours each night, which is plenty of time for your heart to rest and reset.

Of course, there are plenty more tips for living with heart failure and many of them are tailored to your health and circumstances. 

For a more customized management plan for your heart failure, we invite you to contact our office in Mountain View, California, to schedule a consultation.

 

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