Your doctor checks how your heart is working and prescribes your medicines, but you play a major role in keeping yourself well, too. Here are some ways you can care for yourself when you have heart failure.
Know the warning signs and have a plan. Discuss with your doctor signs to watch for that may mean your heart failure is getting worse. Know what you should do if they occur. Catching problems early and taking steps to treat them—such as adjusting your medicines, if needed—can prevent an issue from becoming much worse.
Take your medicines as prescribed. Follow all of your doctor’s instructions for taking your medicines correctly. If you experience any problems while taking a medicine, discuss them with your doctor.
Exercise. Increasing your physical activity can reduce risk factors such as high LDL cholesterol and high blood pressure, and help you lose weight. Ask your doctor for specific recommendations about the type and amount of exercise that’s right for you.
Eat a low-sodium diet. Eating too much salt causes your body to hold on to fluid, which puts extra strain on your heart. Try to eat no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day.
Quit smoking. Smoking can make your heart condition worse. Ask your doctor about programs and products that can help you quit. Many people find that joining a support group helps.
Whether you’re interested in prevention, diagnosis, or treatment, Western Connecticut Health Network’s outstanding heart care has you covered. Learn more: