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Heart Failure Health Center

Medical Reference Related to Heart Failure

  1. Topic Overview

    Why is diet important for heart failure?Diet is critical in the treatment of heart failure. Sodium is the key nutrient that must be controlled in order to improve the status of your heart failure (prevent fluid buildup). But some other nutrients or substances also play a role as well. Heart failure can become more severe if diet and medicine recommendations for heart failure are not closely followed. Medicine and diet therapy are most effective when used together in the treatment of heart failure. Taking your medicines and following the diet your doctor has recommended for you will make it easier for you to breathe and help you feel better and be able to do more of your normal daily activities. A registered dietitian can help you make needed dietary changes by providing meal-planning guidelines that are realistic and specifically tailored to your individual needs and preferences. Why do you need to limit sodium or fluid?SodiumLimiting sodium to help treat heart failure cannot be

  2. Topic Overview

    Heart failure means that your heart muscle doesn't pump as much blood as your body needs. Because your heart cannot pump well,your heart and your body try to make up for it. This is called compensation. Your body has a remarkable ability to compensate for heart failure. The body may do such a good job that many people don't feel symptoms in the earlier stages of heart failure. It is only ...

  3. Topic Overview

    Certain conditions are known to trigger sudden heart failure in people with already-weakened heart muscles. If these conditions subside or are treated effectively,heart function may be restored. Conditions that trigger sudden heart failure include: Failure to properly take medicines for blood pressure,heart failure,or chest pain (angina). This is one of the leading causes of sudden heart ...

  4. Topic Overview

    What is heart failure?Heart failure means your heart muscle does not pump as much blood as your body needs. Failure does not mean that your heart has stopped. It means that your heart is not pumping as well as it should.Because your heart cannot pump well, your body tries to make up for it. To do this: Your body holds on to salt and water. This increases the amount of blood in your bloodstream. ..

  5. Topic Overview

    Heart failure is most often a lifelong illness that will require frequent changes in your medicine schedule and regular follow-up with your doctor. Over the years,many factors will affect the course of your disease,including other illnesses that you develop,your age,your diet,your ability to tolerate and comply with your treatment,and hopefully the development of new drugs to treat heart ...

  6. Topic Overview

    Heart failure is a very serious illness that can cause life-threatening complications and significantly limit your life span. Fortunately,many drugs have been shown to slow the progression of heart failure,and several drugs (angiotensin-converting enzyme [ACE] inhibitors,diuretics,beta-blockers) have been shown to prolong survival. Each of these medicines has risks and benefits that you and ...

  7. Topic Overview

    What is restrictive cardiomyopathy? Restrictive cardiomyopathy is a serious problem that makes your heart muscle stiff. When your heart muscle is stiff,it can't stretch to allow enough blood to enter its lower chambers,the ventricles. So blood that would normally enter the heart backs up in your circulatory system. Most of the time,this leads to heart failure. Heart failure doesn't mean ...

  8. Heart Failure: Checking Your Weight

    People with heart failure need to track their weight carefully. Sudden weight gain may mean that fluid is building up in your body because your heart failure is getting worse.

  9. Living With Heart Failure

    Your attitude and level of participation in your treatment can strongly impact how you feel. Taking care of yourself will help you feel better and improve your health so that you can enjoy life. Taking your medicines as directed, controlling your diet, and getting regular exercise are lifestyle changes that are key to controlling heart failure symptoms and preventing sudden heart failure.Limit ...

  10. Surgery

    People who have heart failure with chest pain (angina) or who have had a heart attack in the past may benefit from coronary artery bypass surgery or angioplasty to open clogged arteries. Some people may have surgery to repair specific underlying causes of heart failure, such as damaged valves. In cases that have a specific treatable cause, surgery sometimes can greatly improve or eliminate heart .

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