Aug 17, 2019 | Updated: 07:24 AM EDT

Cardiologist Provide Tips for Heart Failure Patients

Aug 14, 2019 08:24 AM EDT

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Our hearts need to pump to be able to send oxygen and blood to our body. However, there are instances wherein out heart becomes damaged and does not work as well as it used to for numerous reasons, it has to work twice as hard to pump oxygen and blood to the body. This abnormality is called heart failure. 

There will come a time wherein our heart won't be able to keep up with its work, and the fluids will back up and get stored into our abdomen and lungs, making it harder to breathe. A lot of patients with heart failure always ask their cardiologist the same questions. Here are tips that can give patients some knowledge about their heart condition so that they can still live their life despite their illness. 

The first thing that we all need to remember is that heart failure can be avoided. Patients who are at risk of heart failure often think that it is inevitable, and there is nothing that they can do, most of them think that it is a part of getting old. This assumption is not true. You can remove the risk of heart failure by leading a healthy lifestyle.

Some of the things that you can do is to lose weight if you need to, exercise regularly, lower your high blood pressure, reduce your alcohol intake, quit smoking and cut down on your sodium intake. Of course, there will still be inevitable risk factors, like family history and a person's ethnicity, but there are numerous ways that people can lower their risk of heart failure by staying healthy. 

It is also important to remember that just because you have heart failure, it does not mean that you can no longer enjoy the things that you normally do. Most patients think that their heart has failed and it does not work anymore. Heart failure means that your heart did not fail or stop working; it just needs to work harder to deliver oxygen and blood to your body. It is still working, but it is weaker than before. 

Another misconception is that people with heart failure can't exercise or do any physical work. They think that it forces their hearts to work harder, and it could lead to serious problems. However, you need to remember that your heart is still a muscle, so it needs to be used for it to be stronger. Patients need to know that they still need to do physical work so they can manage their condition. 

Doctors recommend that patients who are old enough need to get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every week or at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise. Although not all patients will be able to achieve that, they can still talk to their doctors to plan an activity that can fit their condition and their current lifestyle. A little exercise can go a long way in keeping the patients healthy and making them stronger. 

Heart failure is, unfortunately, a long-term condition, patients need to commit to a lifestyle that they need to follow for the rest of their lives and to make sure that they will follow the treatment regimen. These changes are easier to do when the patients have a support system. The caregivers need to know how important it is that the patients stick to their diets that are low in fat, sodium, and no cholesterol. 

It is also important for caregivers to be aware of the medications that their patients take, like the dosages and how frequent they should take it. They should also help patients monitor their symptoms, and they should be able to tell if they are getting worse. The caregivers also need to remember to take care of themselves, so they will be in a good physical and mental state to take care of their patients and provide them with what they need.  

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