If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with heart failure, you may be wondering what to do next.  And, if you’re already battling another chronic disease – such as diabetes – a new diagnosis with new prescriptions medications may seem even more complicated.  There isn’t a cure for heart failure; however there are ways to effectively manage the disease.

Those with heart failure can better manage their quality of life by making certain lifestyle changes.  Here are some tips for those battling heart failure:

  • Eat a heart healthy diet that is low in sodium and fat
  • Be as physically active as possible
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Avoid smoking and alcohol
  • Discuss your daily fluid intake with your physician
  • Reduce caffeine intake
  • Take medications as prescribed

Medication management plays an important role in treating heart failure. It’s important to take your medication as their prescribed, to become familiar with side –effects and to talk to your doctor right away if you experience and side effects.  All heart failure patients should maintain close contact with their primary care physician to discuss health status and any questions or concerns.

Also, home health care can assist newly diagnosed heart failure patients by providing trained professionals who make regular house calls. The purpose of these visits is to assess a patient’s likelihood of a hospitalization and to help manage patient and family need, as well as provide education on self management techniques, medication management, preventative care and warning signs of the disease worsening. 

This article was submitted by Amedisys Home Health and Hospice Care.