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How to Live with Congestive Heart Failure

Learn how to live with congestive heart failure from Dr. Dennis Finkielstein in this Howcast video.

Transcript

So, how can we live with heart failure? Once your doctor diagnoses you with having heart failure, he or she will often go after the main cause. Once your doctor diagnoses you with heart failure, the first thing will be to try to reverse the causes.

Some of those causes would be blocked arteries, which can be opened with various procedures. Or, weakened heart muscle, from various other conditions, which can be strengthened.

The keys to living well with heart failure would be to see your doctor regularly and to take the medicines that they prescribe. In addition, oftentimes exercise and healthy dietary choices can make the difference.

Heart failure has a wide spectrum of symptoms. Some people are minimally symptomatic or have minimal symptoms. While others have significant shortness of breath and difficulty getting through the day.

For most people with heart failure, regardless of the cause, taking your medicines every day is a large part of living well with heart failure. In addition, avoiding things which can exacerbate your heart failure, or make your heart failure worse, would be important.

One major thing would be your intake of sodium or salt. For most people, sodium restriction is a large part of making healthy choices and doing better with their heart failure.

In addition, doctors often recommend checking your weight everyday and keeping a log or diary of your weights. If you see your weight go up, or you see signs of lower extremity or leg swelling, it's important to speak with your doctor sooner rather than later.

There are many therapies which help people live longer and healthier with heart failure. We have medicines as well as different devices, such as special pace makers and defibrillators, which help people live longer and healthier lives.

So, a good way to live healthier with heart failure is to see your doctor regularly. Take your medicines. Avoid excessive salt intake, and keep a daily weight log.

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