Nutrition Guide For Heart Failure
Following a low-sodium diet and drinking less fluid can help you feel better and allow your heart failure medicines to work better. A low-sodium diet may even keep you out of the hospital. It is not an easy diet to follow. You may find eating with heart failure is a bit of a balancing act. While you dont want to eat too much of high sodium foods, you have to be sure to eat enough to maintain good nutrition.
Nutrition and Heart Failure
The recommended salt intake is 2,000 mg of sodium per day.
Salt is a mineral that is made of sodium and chloride. It is found in food, table salt and sea salt. Sodium acts like a sponge and makes the body hold water.
Eating too much sodium when you have heart failure can cause fluid buildup in your legs, stomach and lungs and force you heart to work harder.
Most of the sodium we eat is hidden in foods. Even food that does not taste salty can contain a lot of sodium.
You should restrict the amount of sodium you eat to 2,000 mg or less each day. Try to keep the sodium content of each meal to less than 600 mg. This helps spread out your sodium intake over the day to prevent excessive fluid retention.
You can take a few basic steps to reduce the amount of sodium in your diet:
- Dont add salt when you cook or at the table
- Learn to read food labels
- Choose more foods that are lower in sodium
- Limit high sodium foods
Reading a Food Label for Sodium
Follow these easy steps to read the label:
What Will Happen Towards The End
Heart failure usually gets gradually worse over time. It may eventually reach a point where it becomes very severe and it’s unlikely the person will live much longer.
Palliative care will usually begin when heart failure reaches this stage.
This involves treatment to help you feel as comfortable as possible, as well as being offered psychological, spiritual and social support for both you and your family.
You can choose whether you want palliative care and where you’d like it to be provided.
Care can be provided:
Managing Shortness Of Breath Caused By Extra Fluid
If you have extra fluid in your body, you may feel like you cant catch your breath. If your shortness of breath is a new symptom or if it is worse than it has been, call your doctor or nurse. The following tips can help you get rid of extra fluid and breathe more easily.
Limit Sodium and Fluids
- Reduce the amount of sodium in your diet for 2 days. For example, if you normally have about 2,400 mg of sodium each day, limit your sodium to about 2,000 mg per day.
- Reduce the amount of fluids you have for 2 days. For example, if you normally have 8 cups of fluids each day, reduce your fluid intake to 6 cups per day.
- If you reduce your sodium and fluids for 2 days and are still short of breath, call your doctor.
Try Changing Positions
If you are short of breath at night, use pillows or a cushion so you are more upright. You may also try sleeping in a reclining chair. Tell your doctor or nurse if you need extra pillows or need to sleep in a chair.
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Rapid Weight Loss In Congestive Heart Failure
Congestive heart failure is a condition in which the heart is not able to pump enough blood to supply the body with the amount of blood its tissues needs 1. The blood that enters the chambers of the heart, is not completely pumped out. According to Cedars Sinai Medical Center, this leads to a weakening of the heart due to blood backing up into the lungs and veins 1. It also leads to the body not being supplied with adequate amounts of oxygen. St. Luke’s Texas Heart Institute states that approximately 285,000 patients died in 2008 due to heart failure.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Nyha Functional Classification System
The New York Heart Association functional classification considers heart failure symptoms that happen during exercise to determine stage. Patients can go back and forth between stages depending on how well-controlled symptoms are on a given day.
- Stage 1: The person has heart disease, but it isnt yet causing symptoms or limiting activities.
- Stage 2: The person has mild symptoms that only slightly limit activity.
- Stage 3: The person has significant limitations to activities. He or she is only comfortable when resting.
- Stage 4: The person has major limitations and experiences symptoms when at rest.
Definition Of Weight Change And Obesity
Weight change was defined as the change in body weight from the baseline measurement to the end of the first year of follow-up. For 118 participants missing body weight at 1-year follow-up, we impute with measures at 8 or at 18 months if it missing at 8 months. A positive value means increased weight, and a negative value means decreased weight. Patients were classified according to weight change into three strata as follows: weight loss , weight stability , and weight gain . BMI was analyzed according to weight and height at baseline using the formula weight /2. Obesity was defined as BMI 30 kg/m2 based on the criteria defined by the World Health Organization . In present analysis, non-obesity was defined as BMI 18.5 to < 30 kg/m2.
Which Symptoms Should I Track
Treatment congextive require medical intervention in the form of surgeries, hospitalization, and medications. More info Got it! We did not adjust for the presence of oedema in these weight change analyses. Anker, Karl B. The main aim of this analysis in the CHARM programme was to assess and quantify the effect of weight loss on mortality.
You may need to make changes to your diet in order to stay healthy. Also, learn to recognize the signs of a heart attack.
Why It Happens Shortness of breath also called dyspnea
Without treatment, deep vein thrombosis DVT can cause serious, life-threatening complications. Shortness of breath: Fluids can build up in the lungs, and blood can back up around the lungs.
She has a nursing background and is going back to nursing school in September for her R.
A study found that not all types of obesity are considered equal when it comes to risk. At the 14 month visit date, this was updated to the percentage weight change from 6 weeks to 14 months, again adjusted to an estimated 12 month rate.
What are the side effects of the medicines used to treat heart failure? You should also call your doctor if you have any questions about your condition or medicine. If you are not a candidate for medications, there are several surgical procedures that will help with congestive heart failure. The radioactive substance is safe and leaves your body completely after the test is finished. Your doctor will talk about these medicines with you.
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Weight Loss Can Still Be Healthy
Losing excess weight can be an effective way to reduce a personâs risk of several potentially life threatening conditions. These include:
Research is more extensive in these benefits than the possible cardiac risks of sudden weight loss in some groups.
Findings from one observational study may not be representative of potential results from a randomized group. The benefits of losing excess weight may far outweigh the possible cardiac risks associated with a sudden drop in weight.
People living with heart failure can develop rapid weight loss. This is known as cardiac cachexia, and the outlook for people with the condition is not positive due to an increased risk of mortality.
Cardiac cachexia is a condition that causes a person to lose weight, skeletal mass, and muscle mass. It can also cause inflammation and affect several organs.
The condition can cause a person to have an increased risk of death regardless of other risk factors associated with heart disease.
is associated with an increased risk of premature death, independent of other risk factors, such as age or overall health.
A person living with cardiac cachexia will therefore have an increased risk of death even if they have no other risk factors that would indicate a shortened lifespan.
What Procedures And Tests Diagnose Congestive Heart Failure
Congestive heart failure can be a medical emergency, especially if it acutely decompensates and the patient can present extremely ill with the inability to breathe adequately. In this situation, the ABCs of resuscitation need to be addressed while at the same time, the diagnosis of congestive heart failure is made.
Common tests that are done to help with the diagnosis of congestive heart failure include the following:
- Electrocardiogram to help assess heart rate, rhythm, and indirectly, the size of the ventricles and blood flow to the heart muscle.
- Blood tests may include a complete blood count , electrolytes, glucose, BUN, and creatinine .
- B-type natriuretic peptide may help decide if a patient has shortness of breath from congestive heart failure or a different cause. It is a chemical that is located in the heart ventricles and may be released when these muscles are overloaded.
- Echocardiography or ultrasound testing of the heart is often recommended to assess the anatomy and the function of the heart. In addition to being able to evaluate the heart valves and muscle, the test can look at blood flow within the heart, watch the chambers of the heart contract, and measure the ejection fraction .
Other tests may be considered to evaluate and monitor a patient with suspected congestive heart failure, depending upon the clinical situation.
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What If I Get Thirsty
Being thirsty does not always mean your body needs more fluid. Be careful NOT to replace fluids that diuretics help your body get rid of. Try these tricks if you get thirsty:
- Snack on frozen grapes or strawberries
- Chew sugar-free gum or suck on hard candy
- Suck on ice chips or a washcloth soaked in ice water
- Avoid milk, ice cream and salt as they can make you thirsty
- Use lip balm or petroleum jelly to keep your lips moist
If you sweat a lot or are outdoors in hot weather, make sure you do not become dehydrated. Signs of dehydration/not taking in enough fluids are:
- Dark urine
- Feeling dizzy when you move around
- Very dry mouth and tongue
- Feeling faint
If you have signs of dehydration, have one or more extra cups of water or other fluid.Reviewed: 10/16
Can Heart Failure Be Prevented Or Avoided
Heart failure is the result of other diseases or conditions weakening your heart. These can include coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. The best way to avoid heart failure is to prevent those conditions. The following can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle:
- Quit smoking.
- Limit alcohol.
- Limit sodium.
If you do have a condition such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes, you need to manage it. Keep levels under control and take any medicines youve been prescribed.
Tips For Limiting Fluid Intake
In addition to limiting sodium, a doctor may also recommend limiting fluids. This helps to keep the heart from being overloaded with fluids throughout the day.
While the amount of fluid restriction varies from person to person, doctors often recommend people with CHF aim for 2,000 milliliters of fluid a day. This is the equivalent of 2 quarts of fluid.
When it comes to restricting fluid, make sure to account for anything thats a fluid at room temperature. This includes things like soups, gelatin, and ice cream.
What Causes Heart Failure
Although the risk of heart failure doesnt change as you get older, youre more likely to have heart failure when youre older.
Many medical conditions that damage the heart muscle can cause heart failure. Common conditions include:
- Tobacco and recreational drug use.
- Medications. Some drugs used to fight cancer can lead to heart failure.
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The Heart Disease And Weight Loss Connection
Heart disease and weight loss are closely linked because your risk for heart disease is associated with your weight. If you are overweight or obese, you may be at higher risk for the condition.
Medical experts consider obesity and being overweight to be a major risk factor for both coronary heart disease and heart attack. Being 20 percent overweight or more significantly increases your risk for developing heart disease, especially if you have a lot of abdominal fat. The American Heart Association has found that even if you have no other related health conditions, obesity itself increases risk of heart disease.
What Are The Types Of Heart Failure
There are many causes of heart failure, but the condition is generally broken down into these types:
Left-sided heart failure
Heart failure with reduced left ventricular function The lower left chamber of your heart gets bigger and cannot squeeze hard enough to pump the right amount of oxygen-rich blood to the rest of your body.
Heart failure with preserved left ventricular function Your heart contracts and pumps normally, but the bottom chambers of your heart are thicker and stiffer than normal. Because of this, your ventricles can’t relax properly and fill up all the way. Because there’s less blood in your ventricles, your heart pumps out less blood to the rest of your body when it contracts.
Right-sided heart failure
Heart failure can also affect the right side of your heart. Left-sided heart failure is the most common cause of this. Other causes include certain lung problems and issues in other organs.
How Does Heart Failure Affect The Quality Of Life And Lifestyle
With the right care and treatment plan, many adults still enjoy life even though heart failure limits their activities. How well you feel depends on:
- How well your heart muscle is working.
- Your symptoms.
- How well you respond to your treatment plan.
- How well you follow your treatment plan.
This includes caring for yourself by:
- Taking your medications.
- Tracking and reporting new or worsening symptoms to your provider.
- Keeping regular follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider.
Because heart failure is a chronic, long-term illness, talk to your doctor and your family about your preferences for medical care. You can complete an advance directive or living will to let everyone involved in your care know what you want. A living will details the treatments you do or dont want to prolong your life. Its a good idea to prepare a living will while you are well in case you arent able to make these decisions at a later time.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
If you have heart failure, you can take steps to improve your heart health. Take your medications as instructed, follow a low-sodium diet, stay active or become physically active, take notice of sudden changes in your weight, live a healthy lifestyle, keep your follow-up appointments and track your symptoms. Talk to your healthcare provider about questions or concerns you have about your medications, lifestyle changes or any other part of your treatment plan.
Losing Weight Could Reduce Risk Of Diabetes
While the link between Type 2 diabetes and obesity isnt fully understood, the connection itself is undeniable. Diabetes elevates your blood sugar levels and puts you at risk for heart attacks and strokes. Losing weight can help manage blood sugar levels, and therefore improves your chances of avoiding heart problems.
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Does Weight Loss Occur With Congestive Heart Failure
Congestive heart failure occurs when the heart cannot pump enough blood and oxygen into the rest of the body. More than 5 million Americans are affected by congestive heart failure, and the number continues to grow.
Some people experience unplanned weight loss with congestive heart failure. The cause of this is still uncertain, but current research suggests there are two major reasons for it.
What Is Congestive Heart Failure
Heart failure describes the inability or failure of the heart to meet the needs of organs and tissues for oxygen and nutrients. This decrease in cardiac output, the amount of blood that the heart pumps, is not adequate to circulate the blood returning to the heart from the body and lungs, causing the fluid to leak from capillary blood vessels. This leads to symptoms that may include shortness of breath, weakness, and swelling.
Understanding blood flow in the heart and body
The right side of the heart pumps blood to the lungs while the left side pumps blood to the rest of the body. Blood from the body enters the right atrium through the vena cava. It then flows into the right ventricle where it is pumped to the lungs through the pulmonary artery, which carries deoxygenated blood to the lungs. In the lungs, oxygen is loaded onto red blood cells and returns to the left atrium of the heart via the pulmonary veins. Blood then flows into the left ventricle where it is pumped to the organs and tissues of the body. Oxygen is downloaded from red blood cells into the various organs while carbon dioxide, a waste product of metabolism, is added to be removed in the lungs. Blood then returns to the right atrium to start the cycle again. The pulmonary veins are unusual in that they carry oxygenated blood, while the pulmonary artery carries deoxygenated blood. This is a reversal of duties versus the roles of veins and arteries in the rest of the body.
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