Heart Failure - Treatment Overview
Your treatment for
heart failure depends on:
heart failure can be fixed if another problem can be corrected, such as
by replacing a heart valve or treating hyperthyroidism.
caused by a heart attack may be treated with coronary artery bypass surgery or
angioplasty, medicine, and
In the early stages of
heart failure, you'll take medicines and make
lifestyles changes that can improve your symptoms. Treatment also may prevent
more damage to your heart.
You will have
regular doctor visits to see how treatment is working and to make changes to
your care as needed.
You will likely
You also will likely take medicines to treat
the cause of your heart failure. For more information, see the
It's very important to take your medicines exactly as your
You will need to make some changes in your daily life to treat
heart failure. Your doctor may ask you to:
- Eat less salt.
- Be more active.
- Stay at a healthy weight, or lose weight if you
need to. Even
a few pounds can make a difference.
- Stop smoking.
- Limit alcohol.
- Control your blood pressure.
- Control your diabetes.
- Limit how much
fluid you drink.
Making lifestyle changes can be hard. For
more information, see the
Living With Heart Failure section.
You will keep
following your lifestyle changes, such as limiting sodium, not smoking, and
Your doctor will add other medicines and
other treatments as you need them. Your doctor also will try to
prevent or treat problems-such as fever,
anemia-that can lead to
sudden heart failure.
treatment may include:
Getting vaccines. Your doctor may want you to get vaccines against
pneumonia and the flu (influenza). These vaccines can keep you from getting
infections that could put you in the hospital.
Checking your weight. Your doctor will probably give you
guidelines for watching fluid buildup and tell you how much weight gain is too
Getting devices to fix heart rhythm problems. In some cases, your doctor may recommend a
biventricular pacemaker that is
placed in your chest to keep your heart beating at a normal rhythm. This is also called cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT). Or you may
implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) to stop a deadly rhythm. Some people get a pacemaker that is combined with an
Oxygen treatment. Your doctor may recommend
oxygen therapy to reduce your
shortness of breath and increase your ability to exercise.
Treatment if your condition gets