Unlike what many may think, congestive heart failure does not refer to the heart-stopping all function; congestive heart failure means that the heart is impaired. People with congestive heart failure need to make lifestyle changes on top of their standard treatment plan.
Making lifestyle changes both improve symptoms and prevent the condition from leading to further complications. In addition to your medications, here are some changes you need to make to prolong your life as well as improve the quality of it.
1.Be involved in your treatment
Know your health care providers and contact them regularly. Asking your questions and voicing your concerns to your physician will help you understand your condition and its treatment better.
2. Talk to your doctor about weight management
You should know your ideal, healthy weight, but you should also talk to your doctor about how frequently you need to weigh yourself and how much weight gain or loss is a cause for concern. Maintaining a healthy weight when you have congestive heart failure is vital.
3. Quit smoking
Both smoking and secondhand smoke are detrimental to your heart health, so you should discuss your smoking cessation options with your doctor. Smoking increases blood pressure, damages the structure and function of blood vessels, and leads to low amounts of blood oxygen.
4. Watch for swelling
It is important to examine your feet, ankles, and legs for swelling on a daily basis and contact your physician if you experience severe inflammation.
5. Have a healthy diet
Having a healthy, balanced diet is imperative to heart health. Your diet should be rich in vegetables, fruits, lean protein, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products.
6. Avoid dietary cholesterol and trans/saturated fats
A diet rich in trans and saturated fats and cholesterol is associated with coronary artery disease, which can lead to congestive heart failure.
7. Lower your sodium intake
A high intake of sodium can cause your body to retain water, which can put a strain on your heart and lead to swelling. One teaspoon of salt contains 2300 mg of sodium, but the recommended daily sodium intake for those with heart conditions is 1500 mg or less. Cooking with less salt and reading labels at grocery stores are essential to reduce your daily sodium intake.
8. Keep alcohol to a minimum
You should also try to limit your alcohol consumption as it is known to interfere with heart medications. Excess alcohol consumption also increases the risk of arrhythmia and cardiomyopathy.
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