Congestive Heart Failure Does Not Have to Control You
By: Laken Rawls
Congestive Heart Failure is an everyday normal to the 5.7 million Americans diagnosed. Congestive Heart Failure is linked to high blood pressure, which is hereditary. There are plenty of ways to prevent and control it (Kotz).
“Congestive Heart Failure means the heart is not pumping blood as well as it should” (Adult Health Adviser). There are plenty of causes of Congestive Heart Failure, some of which include: infection of the heart, heart attack, high blood pressure, alcoholism, and genetic problems with the heart muscle. Symptoms of Congestive Heart Failure include: shortness of breath or trouble breathing, coughing, swollen ankles, feet, and legs, weight gain caused by extra fluid in the body, and feeling like your heart is racing and fluttering. Congestive Heart Failure can be treated to get better or even be cured. If it is caused by an infection, getting the infection treated will help with the Congestive Heart Failure. If it is caused by something more serious, it can be treated to get better but more than likely not cured (Adult Health Adviser).
Exercising is a big part in keeping your heart healthy. Although, for years doctors always thought rest was the best thing for heart-failure patients, today they encourage regular exercise (Harvard Heart Letter). “A study in the June 21, 2000, Journal of the American Medical Association found that middle-aged men with heart failure who exercised regularly for six months experienced significant improvement in exercise capacity, resting heart rates, and the volume of blood pumped with each heartbeat” (Harvard Heart Letter). Walking, swimming, and biking are just a few mild activities that are often used with a doctors okay (Kotz). “Findings from the ongoing Nurses Health Study back up claims that walking is simple, easy, and offers up a health bonanza. Walking up to 1.5 hours per week provides the following health benefits: physical ability, mental health, cancer and diabetes prevention. Walking up to 3 hours per week provides these additional health benefits: heart health and stroke prevention” (Zipes).“Exercise helps your heart and body get stronger. It also improves your blood flow and energy level. Do not exercise outdoors if it is very hot, cold, humid, or smoggy. Also, avoid getting very hot or cold because it may make your heart work harder” (Adult Health Advisor).
“Salt, also known as Sodium Chloride, is a mineral that occurs naturally in food” (Geracimos). People with Congestive Heart Failure have to monitor how much sodium they consume. It is always a good idea to watch your sodium intake. “The AHA recommends a daily limit of 2,000 milligrams, which is a teaspoon”. Too much sodium leads to high blood pressure, which can lead to Congestive Heart Failure (Kotz). Too much sodium can also have a tendency to draw fluid out of body cells. “Physical exercise as well as a balanced diet containing plenty of whole grains, fish, and low amounts of fat and cholesterol are good preventive measures and can help reduce high blood pressure” (Geracimos).
Stress plays a big part in our health, especially our heart. Stress can trigger high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Taking time out every day to relax and exercising are good ways to control stress levels. Do not sign up for more than you can handle. If you are having a hard time managing your stress, talk with your doctor.
Check your family history for any heart disease, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol. If there is any involvement of these conditions in your family, talk to your doctor at your next checkup. “A study on hypertension in the Journal of the American Heart Association shows that brothers and sisters of people who had heart disease before age 60 had a greater risk of developing high blood pressure, a major risk for heart disease” (New York Amsterdam News). Better to keep track of your health so it does not happen with your least expecting it. Monitoring your health means, you can change your lifestyle, before it changes you.
Congestive Heart Failure can be an everyday thing but it does not have to restrain your life. There are ways to prevent and control it.
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Kotz, Deborah. “Six Smart Ways To Treat Heart Failure.” U.S. News & World Report 146.11 (2009): 55. MAS Ultra – School Edition. Web. 18 Dec. 2012.
“Low-Salt Diet Fights Heart Disease Directly. (Cover Story).” Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter 25.5 (2007): 1. MAS Ultra – School Edition. Web. 23 Dec. 2012.
“THE EVOLUTION OF CONGESTIVE HEART FAILURE CARE. (Cover Story).” Harvard Heart Letter 11.10 (2001): 1. MAS Ultra – School Edition. Web. 18 Dec. 2012.
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