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Quick Tips: Self-Care for Heart Failure - Get started

When it's an emergency

Sometimes the symptoms get worse very quickly. This is called sudden heart failure. It causes fluid to build up in your lungs.

Sudden heart failure is an emergency. If you have any of these symptoms, you need care right away. Call 911 if:

  • You have severe shortness of breath.
  • You have an irregular or fast heartbeat.
  • You cough up foamy, pink mucus.

Other tips to help you stay healthy

There are other things you can do to take care of your body and your heart. These things will help you feel better. And they will also reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke.

  • Try to stay at a healthy weight. Eat a healthy diet with lots of fresh fruit, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • If you smoke, quit.
  • Limit the amount of alcohol you drink.
  • Keep high blood pressure and diabetes under control. If you need help, talk with your doctor.

Also let your doctor know if:

  • You're having trouble sleeping. Sleep is important to your well-being. It also helps your heart work the way it's supposed to. Your doctor can help you decide if you need treatment for sleep problems.
  • You're feeling sad and hopeless much of the time or if you are worried and anxious. Heart failure can be hard on your emotions. Treatment with counseling and medicine can help. And when you feel better, you're more likely to take care of yourself.
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: April 26, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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