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Managing Heart Failure

Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014

Heart failure is a major health problem in Bucks County, and in the United States.

Heart Failure is a chronic, progressive condition in which the heart loses its ability to pump blood through the body. According to the American Heart Association, about 5.7 million people in the United States have heart failure and it is one of the most common reasons why adults age 65 and older require hospitalization.

Signs of Heart Failure

People with heart failure typically experience an increase in symptoms as the heart becomes weaker and less able to pump blood through the body. Signs of heart failure include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling tired or run-down
  • Coughing or wheezing
  • Swelling in feet, ankles and legs
  • Weight gain
  • Confusion

Managing Heart Failure

While there is no cure for heart failure, there are recommendations for managing the condition. It is important to consult your healthcare providers before making any lifestyle changes.

Tips for managing heart failure:

  • Quit smoking or don’t start
  • Take medicines as prescribed
  • Weigh yourself daily and report any weight gains to your doctor
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine
  • Eat a diet low in salt and saturated fat
  • Monitor your fluid intake and blood pressure daily
  • Exercise as recommended by your physician
  • Rest and respect your limits

About Doylestown Health's Heart Institute

Expert cardiologists and cardiac surgeons assist patients and physicians with managing risk factors for heart disease, offer advanced treatment options and provide outstanding emergency cardiac care. The multidisciplinary team at the Heart Institute is dedicated to providing the highest level of quality care and patient safety.

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