Congestive Heart Failure – What it is and how it effects your life.

Heart Failure (CHF) and You

Understanding Heart Failure

Be smart about your heart.

The first thing to understand about heart failure (HF) is that your heart hasn’t failed! Heart failure simply means your heart is not as strong as it used to be and has to work harder to pump blood throughout your body. Whether it’s mild, moderate or severe, your heart condition can be controlled. You can still enjoy life just by learning what you can do and taking action to improve your heart function…

Setting Goals – Reduce Sodium

It’s a matter of setting goals. Goal #1

On the following pages, you’ll find advice for healthier living and specific goals to reach for, based on guidelines from The American College of Cardiology.

You can customize the goals to fit your personal needs to follow the care plan that is best for you.

Reduce Sodium

Our bodies do require sodium, but very little …only one tenth of a teaspoon a day! Less than 3,000 mg per day…

Limit Fluid Intake

Goal #2 – Limit Fluid Intake

Drinking large amounts of fluid can increase the amount of work your heart has to do. Check the goals below, but be sure to ask your physician about the amount of fluid best for you.
Daily maximum:

  • 1 to 2 quarts of fluids
  • to 3 cups of caffeine

Cut down on caffeine.

Caffeine increases your heart rate, making your heart work even harder, so it’s important to limit coffee to two or three cups per day or less…

Smoking Cessation

Goal #3 – Quitting is essential

Smokers who have heart failure can automatically eliminate a major source of damage to their heart by quitting.

Each puff of nicotine from tobacco smoke temporarily increases heart rate and blood pressure.

It also leads to clumping or stickiness in the blood vessels feeding the heart.

People who quit smoking are more likely to have their heart failure symptoms improve….

"Heart failure is a chronic condition. It won’t go away, but you CAN do a lot to improve it!"

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