Lifestyle Changes to Manage Heart Failure
Maintain Normal Blood Pressure
Decrease or Discontinue Alcohol Consumption
Take Prescribed Medications
- Oxygen therapy—Increases oxygen in the blood. Oxygen therapy may allow you resume or continue activities.
- Vaccination—Yearly flu and pneumonia shots can help prevent respiratory infections.
- Cardiac rehabilitation—Provides supervised education and counseling to increase exercise, manage symptoms, and reduce the risk of further heart-related conditions.
- Follow any additional recommendations from your doctor, such as monitoring your weight on a daily basis. Record and report significant weight gains that occur in a day or week. An upswing in weight may indicate a worsening of your heart failure.
- Maintain regular communication with your health care team, adhere to your treatment plan, and go to any recommended appointments. Your needs may change over time. Regular contact with your healthcare team will help you stay on top of any changes.
- Be an active participant in your care. Talk to your team about symptoms or treatments that you are having difficulty with. Other treatments options may be available to help you better manage your heart failure.
When to Contact Your Doctor
- Sudden weight gain
- Shortness of breath that wakes you up at night, is present at rest, or is increased with exertion
- Increased swelling in the limbs, legs, or ankles
- Swelling in the abdomen, lack of appetite, or nausea
- Trouble sleeping
- Frequent dry, hacking cough
- Increased fatigue
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3/5/2013 DynaMed Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Dinicolantonio JJ, Pasquale PD, Taylor RS, et al. Low sodium versus normal sodium diets in systolic heart failure: systematic review and meta-analysis. Heart. 2013 Jan 24. [Epub ahead of print.]
- Reviewer: Michael J. Fucci, DO
- Review Date: 09/2014 -
- Update Date: 09/17/2014 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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