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How To Avoid Congestive Heart Failure

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“Management of Congestive Heart Failure” by Christina VanderPluym, MD, for OPENPediatrics

Its tempting to guzzle a bunch of water when youre thirsty. But sometimes, just moistening your mouth can do the trick.

The next time youre tempted to gulp down some water, try these alternatives.

  • Swish water around your mouth and spit it out.
  • Suck on sugar-free candy or chew sugar-free gum.
  • Roll a small ice cube around the inside of your mouth.

S For The Primordial Prevention Of Heart Disease

Five key lifestyle steps can dramatically reduce your chances of developing cardiovascular risk factors and ultimately heart disease:

1. Not smoking

One of the best things you can do for your health is to not use tobacco in any form. Tobacco use is a hard-to-break habit that can slow you down, make you sick, and shorten your life. One way it does this is by contributing to heart disease.

In fact, researchers examining the relationship between cigarette smoking and smoking cessation on mortality during a decades-long perspective study of over 100,000 women found that approximately 64% of deaths among current smokers and 28% of deaths among former smokers were attributable to cigarette smoking.

  • This study also reported that much of the excess risk due to smoking may be drastically lowered after quitting. Additionally, the excess risk for all-cause mortalitythat is, death from any causedecreases to the level of a never-smoker 20 years after quitting.

The nicotine that tobacco products deliver is one of the most addictive substances around. That makes tobacco use one of the toughest unhealthy habits to break. But dont get discouraged many smokers do quit! In fact, in the United States today there are more ex-smokers than smokers. Learn more about the hazards of smoking, the benefits of quitting, and tips for quitting from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

2. Maintaining a healthy weight

3. Exercising

4. Following a healthy diet

5. Improving sleep health

Know Your Risk Factors

Certain populations have a higher risk for heart failure than others. Adults who are 65 or older have a higher risk than younger people. However, children and adolescents can have heart failure as well, particularly those who have a congenital heart defect. Men have a slightly higher risk for heart failure than women, and African-Americans have a higher risk than other races or ethnicities.

People who are overweight or obese also have a high risk for heart failure, as do people who have previously had a heart attack. Those suffering from coronary artery disease, in which narrowed arteries limit the heart’s supply of oxygen-rich blood, also have a high risk. Diabetes and some diabetes medications can increase the risk for congestive heart failure.

Other risk factors include high blood pressure, smoking, and excessive alcohol consumption.

Read Also: What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of A Heart Attack

Take Any Prescribed Medicine

If you have CHD, you may be prescribed medicine to help relieve your symptoms and stop further problems developing.

If you do not have CHD but have high cholesterol, high blood pressure or a history of family heart disease, your doctor may prescribe medicine to prevent you developing heart-related problems.

If you’re prescribed medicine, it’s vital you take it and follow the correct dosage. Do not stop taking your medicine without consulting a doctor first, as doing so is likely to make your symptoms worse and put your health at risk.

Page last reviewed: 10 March 2020 Next review due: 10 March 2023

Congestive Heart Failure Diet: Foods To Avoid

Congestive Heart Failure and Vitamin D? Could Vitamins Be Your Problem ...

Sometimes it is easier to subtract than add. Subtracting your eating habit is the first step to safeguard yourself from congestive heart failure. If you are suffering from heart failure, you can improve your quality of life by adding a congestive heart failure diet plan to your eating habit.

There are many unnecessary foods that we consume. If we can simply reduce these foods intake, it will directly help us fight heart failure.

Lets explore the foods that can be avoided.

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Emotions Relationships And Sex

Being diagnosed with heart failure can be a shock. Some people feel scared, anxious, depressed or angry. These feelings are completely normal.

Some people also become depressed. Speak to your GP or care team if you feel unable to enjoy the things you used to or cope with everyday life.

You may find your physical relationship with your partner changes after your diagnosis because of worries about having a heart attack, or because you lose interest in sex or are unable to get an erection, which can sometimes be caused by heart failure medicines.

You can discuss any worries or problems you have with your GP or care team if you feel unable to talk to your family or friends. They’ll be able to advise you and arrange support.

You may also find it helpful to join a heart support group, where you can talk to other people with heart conditions whose circumstances are similar to yours.

You can call the British Heart Foundation’s heart helpline on 0300 330 3311 to find out about support groups in your area.

Preventable Hospitalizations For Congestive Heart Failure: Establishing A Baseline To Monitor Trends And Disparities

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Suggested citation for this article: Will JC, Valderrama AL, Yoon PW. Preventable hospitalizations for congestive heart failure: establishing a baseline to monitor trends and disparities. Prev Chronic Dis 2012 9:110260. DOI: .


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Lose Weight If You Need To

Another important way to prevent heart failure is to stick to a healthy weight. Aim for a body mass index between 18.5 and 24.9. And pay particular attention to belly fat, which can increase your risk of heart disease even more than fat on other parts of your body. Even a small weight loss can add up to big gains in your health.

Symptoms Of Congestive Heart Failure

3 Ways To Improve Heart Failure, No Extra Meds Needed

The symptoms of congestive heart failure are also associated with other diseases and ailments.

In the early stages of congestive heart failure, there is a possibility that you might not feel any changes or symptoms. But as the disease progresses, symptoms appear.

Following symptoms would indicate a person has congestive heart failure:

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What Foods Should Be Avoided With Congestive Heart Failure

You should avoid foods that are high in sodium, including many cheeses, deli meats, smoked meats and fish. You should also avoid foods that are high in fat and cholesterol, such as rich desserts and processed foods. Also, avoid alcoholic beverages if your heart condition is associated with heavy drinking.

Foods To Avoid With Congestive Heart Failure

If you have heart failure, youâll quickly learn that to feel your best, the food and beverages you donât consume may be as important as those you do.

Heart failure, sometimes called congestive heart failure, means your heart continues to pump blood and push oxygen throughout your body. But it doesnât work at a top-notch pace.

âYour organs arenât getting the proper nourishment and oxygen that they need,â says Leslie Beck, a registered dietitian in Toronto. You may find that you tire more easily or that you get short of breath.

Also, âwhen your heart is having more difficulty pumping blood, the body has trouble getting rid of that extra fluid and water.â If that happens, you may notice that your legs and ankles look and feel more swollen, she says.

Along with taking your medications and getting regular exercise, avoiding or cutting back on some types of food and drink can help guard against that uncomfortable swelling, says Barry Greenberg, MD, who directs the advanced heart failure treatment program at the University of California San Diego Health.

âThey are really important in improving long-term outcomes,â he says. âThe payoff can be substantial, and itâs absolutely worth doing.â

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Get Rid Of The Salt Shaker

When it comes to reducing salt in your diet, out of sight, out of mind is an effective approach. Simply getting rid of the salt shaker in your kitchen or on the dinner table can make a big impact.

Need some motivation? One shake of salt contains about 250 mg of sodium, which is one-eighth of your daily intake.

Physical Activity And Heart Failure Incidence

Causes of Congestive Heart Failure Your Doctor Won

In contrast, cardiorespiratory fitness can be directly measured and is closely related to physical activity and exercise. In the Cooper Center Longitudinal Study, mid-life cardiorespiratory fitness was measured by exercise testing and was observed to be strongly and inversely associated with HF mortality over the next 20 years . Furthermore, fit individuals had significantly reduced risk of HF mortality compared with unfit individuals with the same risk factor profiles, demonstrating that the benefits of cardiorespiratory fitness were independent of traditional cardiovascular risk factors. The associations of physical activity with cardiorespiratory fitness were not explored.

The preceding reports demonstrate consistent findings linking higher physical activity, less sedentary time, and improved physical fitness with a reduced risk of HF. However, causal inferences are limited by the observational design of these prior investigations. Of greatest concern, perhaps, is the possibility of reverse causality whereby subclinical or undiagnosed cardiac dysfunction may be associated with lower levels of physical activity , thereby apparently resulting in the association of the latter with HF risk. In order to further evaluate the impact of physical activity on HF risk, we will explore the associations of physical activity across the stages of HF disease progression.

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Symptoms Of Heart Failure

It is not always compulsory to have any symptoms before heart failure. There are some cases in which heart failure does not have any symptoms.

Heart failure treatment is very difficult in some cases, but using ventricular assist devices and heart transplant gives the medical field solve the difficulties related to heart failure. Some of the symptoms of heart failure or heart failure symptoms includes

Menopause And Hormone Therapy

Menopause does not cause heart disease. But the decline in estrogen after menopause may be one of several factors in the increase in heart disease risk.

Other risks, such as weight gain, may also increase around the time of menopause.

Hormone therapy can be used to treat some of the problems women have during menopause. However, the FDA has not approved any estrogen hormone replacement therapy for reduction of heart disease. Learn more about menopause and hormones.

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How Is Heart Failure Treated

Your treatment will depend on the type of heart failure you have and, in part, what caused it. Medications and lifestyle behaviors are part of every treatment plan. Your healthcare provider will talk to you about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment is the same, regardless of gender.

As heart failure gets worse, your heart muscle pumps less blood to your organs, and you move toward the next stage of heart failure. Since you cant move backward through the heart failure stages, the goal of treatment is to keep you from moving forward through the stages or to slow down the progression of your heart failure.

Stage A treatment

The usual treatment plan for people with Stage A heart failure includes:

  • Regular exercise, being active, walking every day.
  • Stopping the use of tobacco products.
  • Treatment for high blood pressure .
  • Treatment for high cholesterol.
  • Not drinking alcohol or using recreational drugs.
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor or an angiotensin II receptor blocker if you have coronary artery disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, or other vascular or cardiac conditions.
  • Beta-blocker if you have high blood pressure.

Stage B treatment

The usual treatment plan for people with Stage B heart failure includes:

Stage C treatment

The usual treatment plan for people with Stage C HF-rEF includes:

If the treatment causes your symptoms to get better or stop, you still need to continue treatment to slow the progression to Stage D.

Stage D treatment

Tracking Your Daily Fluid Intake

Congestive Heart Failure: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment Options – St. Mark’s Hospital

If you have heart failure, its common for your body to retain fluid. So your healthcare team may recommend limiting your liquid intake.

Many people are prescribed diuretics to help them get rid of extra water and sodium to reduce their hearts workload.

Talk with your doctor about how much liquid to drink every day.

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The Signs And Symptoms

Congestive heart failure occurs when the heart muscle is weakened and unable to pump enough blood and oxygen to support the body’s other organs. A single symptom of heart failure may not warrant much concern on its own. Similarly, because the symptoms of heart failure can be similar to those of other conditions, it can be difficult to recognize them at first. However, if you have several of these symptoms, you should talk to your doctor and ask for a heart evaluation.

  • Confusion: This includes memory loss and being disoriented. This may be noticeable to friends and loved ones first.
  • Edema: This excess fluid buildup may present as swelling in the abdomen, ankles, feet, or legs. It may also present as weight gain.
  • Fatigue or weakness: Because the heart can’t pump enough blood, the body redirects blood from less-vital organs to the brain and heart. This can make it difficult to perform daily activities.
  • Increased heart rate: Heart palpitations are caused by the heart trying to make up for the loss in pumping capacity by beating faster.
  • Nausea and/or loss of appetite: Blood is diverted from the digestive system and makes it difficult to digest food.
  • Persistent coughing or wheezing: Mucus may have a white or pink tinge from fluid buildup in the lungs.
  • Shortness of breath: People with heart failure may experience breathlessness at rest or while sleeping or lying down.

Preventing Adverse Changes In Cardiac Structure And Function

In athletes, the ability of the heart to adapt to the physiologic stress of exercise is well described, and has been termed athletes heart . Increased left ventricle mass with proportional elevations in volume to preserve the LV mass-to-volume ratio , improved LV diastolic function, right ventricle enlargement and increased left atrial volumes have been reported in endurance athletes , but individual-level adaptations appear to be affected by the specific sport or the type of exercise performed .

Observations from community-based studies indicate that favorable cardiac remodeling with physical activity is also detectable in non-athletes. In the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis , higher levels of physical activity were associated with greater LV mass and end-diastolic volumes in a non-athletic sample aged 4584 years . Physical activity, measured by accelerometry for one week, was associated with higher LV mass and reduced vascular stiffness in the Framingham Heart Study . Similarly, in the Cooper Center Longitudinal Study, higher cardiorespiratory fitness was associated with larger LV mass, increased end-diastolic diameters, and a lower prevalence of LV diastolic dysfunction . Although these epidemiologic data do support associations of physical activity with cardiac traits, much is unknown regarding the duration, modality and chronicity of physical activity necessary to achieve these results, and if these adaptations indeed affect individual outcomes.

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Be More Physically Active

Combining a healthy diet with regular exercise is the best way of maintaining a healthy weight. Having a healthy weight reduces your chances of developing high blood pressure.

Regular exercise will make your heart and blood circulatory system more efficient, lower your cholesterol level, and also keep your blood pressure at a healthy level.

Exercising regularly reduces your risk of having a heart attack. The heart is a muscle and, like any other muscle, benefits from exercise. A strong heart can pump more blood around your body with less effort.

Any aerobic exercise, such as walking, swimming and dancing, makes your heart work harder and keeps it healthy.

Read more about fitness and exercise.

Early Intervention In Patients At Risk For Coronary Heart Failure

Congestive Heart Failure doesnât happen in a day  it takes many months ...

The patient with a dilated left ventricle already has a reduced life expectancy that can only modestly be prolonged with ACE inhibitor therapy.13 Identification of high-risk patients and early intervention before ventricular dysfunction has developed is an attractive public health strategy. This strategy has already been demonstrated to be effective in patients with acute myocardial infarction. Some patients, especially those who develop infarcts of the anterior wall, develop late ventricular dilation, which significantly increases morbidity and reduces survival rate. Early intervention with ACE inhibitors has been demonstrated to slow the progression of left ventricular enlargement and reduce morbidity and mortality.14,15

Other interventions, including the early administration of nitroglycerin and the early administration of beta blockers, have also been tested in patients with acute myocardial infarction with varying results. Some studies have shown early administration of nitrates to be beneficial18 and others have not.19 It is likely that selective administration of these drugs would be effective in responsive patient populations, but the criteria for identifying these populations are not yet available.

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Eat A Heart Healthy Diet

This means focusing on:

  • High-fiber whole grains, such as oatmeal and barley
  • Low to moderate consumption of red wine

Limit saturated fat, trans fats, sodium, fatty cuts of red meat and other proteins, and soda, baked goods, and other foods and beverages with large amounts of added refined sugar. The Mediterranean diet is based on these principles and has been associated with cardiovascular health.

Congestive Heart Failure : What Is It

Before understanding the best ways to reduce the risk of an unwanted hospitalization, you first must understand a disease. Heart failure, also known as congestive heart failure , is not something that occurs suddenly like a heart attack. Heart failure is a condition that develops gradually over time. The heart keeps pumping, but its not pumping blood throughout the body as efficiently as it once did. Congestive heart failure may involve one part or multiple parts of the heart. There are many symptoms to look out for, according to the Mayo Clinic.

While CHF may shorten lives, a good care plan implemented by a team of clinicians, caregivers, and the patient themselves, can extend and improve the quality of life. Chapters Health System has a continuum of care suited toward CHF patients. Vice President of Medical Services, Dr. Stewart Stein, explains them in the following video:

While a team of trained nurses, nurse practitioners and doctors can certainly help, there are several simple things caregivers and patients can do at home. With that in mind, here are the top 10 tips to avoid hospitalizations for CHF.

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