How to Live Your Best Life With Heart Failure.
|“First of all, heart failure is an unfortunate and inaccurate term,” says Expert. “It usually means that the heart is handicapped, not that it can’t function.”|
|No one will tell you that heart failure isn’t serious business. It’s certainly a tough pair of words to hear.|
|All of the sudden you feel like your life has kind of fallen out from underneath your feet, and that you’re facing this big uncertainty,” Stevenson says. “But it’s not that your life has become uncertain. It’s always been uncertain. We never know if we’re going to make it through the day.|
|You can live a productive, fulfilling life with heart failure if you follow a few steps.|
|1. Don’t become your disease.|
|It’s easy to get wrapped up in your heart failure and your personal struggle with it. But don’t let it define who you are or what you do with your life. “Always keeping a positive attitude,” says Allison Durant, “is definitely key.”|
|2. Take your medicine.|
|It may seem obvious, but with heart failure, it's crucial. The sooner you get a handle on it, the better.|
|3. Get involved with your health care team.|
|Talk to your doctors regularly. “Feeling comfortable with doctors is important,and being able to trust them and know you’re getting the care you need.”|
|4. Realize you can’t do it all … but do what you can.|
|People with heart failure often have things like fatigue, light-headedness, and shortness of breath. But if you rest when you need to and get plenty of sleep, that can make a huge difference.|
|Move around. Go for a walk. It’s important. You may have to start slowly. And you may tire easily. That’s OK. Some people with heart failure may shy away from exercise or a trip away from home. “But if they have a day where they do too much, it’s not going to hurt their heart,” Stevenson says. “It’s not going to make their heart fail faster.”|
|6. Watch your sodium and your weight.|
Too much sodium in your diet makes you retain water, and that can put undue pressure
on your heart. The American Heart Association recommends you get no more than 1,500
milligrams of sodium a day.
How do you do that?
> Stop adding salt to your food.
> Eat low-sodium versions of the foods you like.
> Pick foods naturally low in sodium, like fresh or frozen meats, eggs, yogurt, tortillas and many fruits.
> Learn to read food labels.