If a person has been diagnosed with heart failure they then must be closely monitored by their doctor. This involves visiting the doctor once every three to six months and even more if the doctor feels it is necessary. The doctor must determine what is causing the heart failure and must be able to treat it as effectively as can be.
Periodically the patients heart will need to be tested to determine if the heart is functioning well or not. To use an example, an echocardiogram, which is an ultrasound of the heart, will need to be done occasionally to see how well the pumping action of the heart is doing.
It is important for the patient to also take responsibility for his health by watching his weight and making sure that if he puts on pounds that he loses them just as easily. Be aware that weight gain might not be fat if you have suffered from heart failure but instead could mean that you are retaining water and that the heart is not pumping blood as it is supposed to be. Taking the time to weight yourself on a daily basis and to take notice of how you feel is so very essential to your health maintenance.
It is also important fro the heart failure patient to make a list of the medications he is supposed to take on a regular basis and to always have an adequate supply with him (especially when he is traveling). It is essential to limit how much salt and sodium you eat. Never add salt to meals or recipes for seasoning. Smoking is not a good idea for anyone but it is particularly bad for a heart failure patient.
Always stay as physically active as you can. It does not matter what type of exercise you do, just do it consistently. You can take a walk, use the treadmill or ride a stationary bicycle just do everything you can to stay active on a regular basis and this will help your heart a great deal. If you weigh too much lose the weight. This last point can never be emphasized often enough.
Excess patient is very hard on heart failure patients. Getting enough rest every night is very important, as your body needs time to relax and recharge its batteries. If you have a difficult time sleeping at night then take naps throughout the daytime.
There are a variety of medications that a doctor will prescribe for heart failure and it all depends on the patients specific situation as well as what the underlying cause of the heart failure is. The most common types of medications for heart failure include ACE inhibitors such as for example, enalapril and captopril, diuretics to help drain fluid from around the heart, digitalis glycosides, angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) and beta-blockers.
When your doctor puts you on a specific type of medication keep him or her closely informed about how the medication makes you feel in terms of your day to day life. If one type is not working he may prescribe you another type.
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