How do I manage my heart failure on a daily basis?

Manage heart failure on a daily basis by following a treatment plan designed by your doctor. The plan may include lifestyle changes and medications. Discuss the proper level of activity that is best for you, including exercise, work, leisure, and sex. Track your daily blood pressure and weight. Continue to visit your doctor and maintain an open dialog on medication, especially side effects from different medicine combinations. Ask your doctor before taking over-the-counter medications, especially if the medicine contains nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (ibuprofen and naproxen), cold medicines, and diet pills.

The following is recommended to help people with heart failure manage their condition:

  • Take your medicine as prescribed.
  • Weigh yourself each morning before breakfast. Wear the same amount of clothing each time. If your weight increases over 2 pounds in 24 hours, contact your healthcare provider.
  • Limit your sodium to no more than 1 teaspoon a day. Salt can worsen heart failure by causing fluid buildup.
  • Follow daily fluid intake restrictions.
  • Eat right. Limit fat and cholesterol and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  • Exercise. Low-intensity aerobic exercise can help improve heart failure symptoms.
  • Visit your healthcare provider regularly. Don't wait until your symptoms are so severe that you have to go to the hospital.

Trinity Health is a Catholic health care organization that acts in accordance with the Catholic tradition and does not condone or support all practices covered in this site. In case of emergency call 911. This site is educational and not a substitute for professional medical advice, always seek the advice of a qualified health care provider.

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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.