There are more than 5 million Americans living with heart failure. And the key word here is living.
While there’s no cure for this condition, there’s plenty that people who have it can do to relieve symptoms and lead comfortable, productive lives.
Here are five to focus on:
1. Cut back on fluids and sodium.
People with heart failure are prone to retaining fluid. If you consume a lot of liquids or eat foods high in salt, which causes the body to hold onto water, fluid retention may get worse.
2. Weigh yourself regularly.
Weight gain can be a sign you’re retaining fluid, which can make your heart failure worse.
3. Manage your medications.
Several types of medicines help keep heart failure in check. Ask your doctor to explain how your medicines work—and be sure to take them exactly as directed.
4. Don’t ignore emotional stress
Heart failure can cause depression and anxiety. Both can make it harder to stick with your treatment plan and affect your quality of life.
5. Work closely with your doctor.
His or her guidance is essential in helping you manage heart failure.
Find a doctor
A cardiologist can help you manage chronic heart failure. Find a physician to speak to about your cardiac concerns.