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Is congestive heart failure serious?

Linda Rohyans
Cardiac Rehabilitation

When you think about, anything that is not taken care of early and effectively has a high chance for getting worse or more serious! If your car's engine is not running properly, you have it checked out as soon as possible and you follow your mechanic's advice to make it better. If you don't do these things, you may eventually be faced with an engine that is not able to be repaired and most likely, a huge bill! The same is true if you receive the diagnosis of congestive heart failure. Act early and do all of the things your health care team advises you to do! By being an active participant in your care, you may very well feel better for a longer period of time. Your health care team will develop a plan just right for you: it is recommended that you weigh yourself daily and monitor your daily weights (this will help you see if extra water weight is coming on-board); maintain a low-sodium diet (generally, 2000 mg sodium/salt per day; this not only makes the work of your heart easier, but also your kidneys!); take your medications as directed and make sure you have a supply always on hand; follow-up with a member of your health care team often and consistently; and report any symptoms to your health care team - early - so treatment may begin early.

Congestive heart failure never goes away; but you have great control over how much it affects your life.

Joane Goodroe
Nursing
Congestive heart failure can be serious. However, physicians can treat heart failure. The heart is a muscle that can be weakened for many reasons. As people age, the heart may lose some of its muscle tone. Continuous high blood pressure will change the muscle in the heart because of the constant pressure. Some people may develop heart failure due to a condition caused cardiomyopathy that causes the muscle to weaken. Heart attacks can weaken the muscle. If you have congestive heart failure, there are medicines to make your heart pump stronger. There are times that your heart can get better. It is very important is to see your physician on a regular basis, take the medicines prescribed, and follow the instructions you are given.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.