Heart Failure - Topic Overview
Medicines and lifestyle changes can slow or even reverse heart failure
for some people. But heart failure often gets worse over time.
Early on, your symptoms may not be too bad. As heart failure
gets worse, you may need to limit your activities.
Treatment can often help reduce symptoms, but it usually does not get rid of
Heart failure can also lead to other health problems. These
Your doctor may be able to give you medicine or other
treatment to prevent or treat these problems.
Heart failure can
get worse suddenly. If this happens, you will need emergency care. To prevent
sudden heart failure, you need to avoid things that
can trigger it. These include eating too much salt, missing a dose of your
medicine, and exercising too hard.
You may want to think about
planning for the future. A
living will lets doctors know what type of
life-support measures you want if your health gets much worse. You can also
health care agent to make decisions in case you are
not able to. It can be comforting to know that you will get the type of care
Knowing that your health may get worse can be hard. It
is normal to sometimes feel sad or hopeless. But if these feelings last, talk
to your doctor. Antidepressant medicines, counseling, or
both may help you cope.