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    Frequently Asked Questions About Heart Failure

    (continued)

    3. What’s the outlook for people with heart failure?

    If you have heart failure, your future will depend on how well your heart is working, your symptoms, and how well you follow and respond to your treatment plan. With the right care, heart failure may not stop you from doing the things you enjoy. 

    5. Wich medicines are used to treat it?

    Common types of medications used to treat heart failure include:

     

    5. What is cardiac rehabilitation?

    A cardiac rehab program is designed to help you exercise safely and maintain a heart-healthy lifestyle. It usually includes a personalized exercise program, education, and help changing your risk factors (like quitting smoking and changing your diet).

    They also offer emotional support. You can meet others like you who can help you stay on track.

    6. How much sodium can I have?

    If you have heart failure, you should have no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day.

    7. Which symptoms should I call my doctor about?

    If you have anything unusual, don’t wait until your next appointment to discuss them with your doctor. Call him right away if you have:

    • Unexplained weight gain -- 2 pounds in 1 day or 5 pounds in 1 week
    • Swelling in your ankles, feet, legs, or abdomen that has become worse
    • Shortness of breath that has become worse or happens more often, especially if you wake up short of breath
    • Bloating with a loss of appetite or nausea
    • Extreme fatigue or less ability to complete daily activities
    • A respiratory (lung) infection or a cough that’s gotten worse
    • Fast heart rate (above 100 beats per minute, or as directed by your doctor)
    • New irregular heartbeat
    • Chest pain or discomfort during activity that gets better if you rest
    • Trouble breathing during regular activities or at rest
    • Changes in how you sleep, including if you have a hard time sleeping or feel the need to sleep a lot more than usual
    • Less of a need to pee
    • Restlessness, confusion
    • Constant dizziness or lightheadedness
    • Nausea or poor appetite
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