Managing A Failing Heart

More and more Americans are concerned about heart health, and for a good reason. Conditions like heart failure are on the rise, with 1 in every 5 deaths in the US due to heart ailments. Heart failure occurs when the heart muscle becomes weak or damaged and cannot pump blood effectively. If left untreated, heart failure can lead to severe complications and reduced quality of life. However, this condition can be managed effectively with proper medication and lifestyle changes.


Cardiac medications

A heart failure diagnosis is not the end but rather the start of an effective, holistic treatment plan. Medication plays a critical part in managing the disease. Healthcare providers often prescribe a combination of medicines to help reduce symptoms and improve heart function. Some will relax blood vessels, strengthen contractions, or slow the heart rate, improving the heart's efficiency. Others, like diuretics, help reduce fluid buildup in the body, which can occur due to heart failure. Taking medication as prescribed and discussing any side effects with the presiding doctor is essential for long-term health.

Time for change

In most cases, medication is not enough to manage the effects of heart failure. Doctors will also encourage lifestyle changes, such as adopting a healthy diet, to improve overall health and support medication effectiveness. A heart-healthy diet should be low in sodium and saturated fats but high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Exercise is also essential for improving the heart's efficiency and overall health. Walking, biking, swimming, and aerobics can significantly improve heart health.

For the sake of your heart

Smoking is harmful to heart health and can worsen heart failure symptoms. Quitting smoking is an integral part of managing heart failure. Additionally, excessive alcohol consumption can worsen heart failure symptoms and increase the risk of complications. Limit alcohol intake to a moderate level to improve the quality of life.

Emotional health and support

Living with heart failure can be emotionally challenging, and patients tend to avoid this fact. However, the stress and anxiety that comes with a diagnosis can impact the body. Seek emotional support from friends, family, and healthcare providers. Talk therapy can help people deal with not only the stressors of life but the disease as well. Support groups can also provide valuable emotional guidance. Connecting with others living with heart failure can be reassuring and rewarding.

A full, active life awaits

Living with heart failure can be challenging, but that does not mean a healthy life is no longer possible. Thanks to proper management, thousands have achieved a better quality of life. Take medication as prescribed, eat well, exercise, and seek emotional support for the best outlook. With the proper preventative efforts, living with the condition becomes easier over time.