All treatment for CHF should be carried out under the supervision of a doctor. CHF usually is managed with lifestyle adjustments and medications. If you have CHF, you may have to make some of the following lifestyle adjustments:
- cut back on fluids – weighing yourself daily is often necessary to help adjust fluid intake and medications
- stay active, but avoid triggering CHF symptoms
- lower sodium intake. If possible, try for 2 g or less each day – lower (1.5 g) if you also have high blood pressure. Less sodium reduces fluid retention
- wear special elastic stockings to reduce swelling in the legs caused by fluid retention
- follow an appropriate weight-loss program (for those who need it)
Congestive heart failure can be treated with the following medications:
- ACE inhibitors (e.g., enalapril*, lisinopril) expand blood vessels, allowing blood to flow more easily and making the heart's work easier or more efficient
- angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs; e.g., candesartan, valsartan) may be useful in place of ACE inhibitors when they cannot be used or sometimes in addition to ACE inhibitors.
- certain beta-blockers (e.g., bisoprolol, carvedilol, metoprolol) have been proven to help improve heart function
- aldosterone receptor blockers (e.g., eplerenone, spironolactone) work by blocking the effects of aldosterone, which can make CHF worse, and by helping the body eliminate excess salt and water. They may help to reduce the risk of death in certain people with heart failure who have had a heart attack.
- digoxin increases the force of the pumping action of the heart
- diuretics (e.g., furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide) help the body eliminate excess salt and water
- hydralazine and nitrates (e.g., isosorbide dinitrate, nitorglycerin patch) may be useful in place of ACE inhibitors or ARBs when they cannot be used, or sometimes in addition to other therapies when symptoms are still present
Your doctor may prescribe these medications, usually in combination, to manage your CHF. In some cases, surgery (e.g., surgery to insert a pacemaker) may be necessary to help improve heart function.
CHF can't always be prevented, but there are many things you can do to help. Try preventing CHF by practising good heart health. This will also guard against heart attack, stroke, and coronary artery disease. Tips to follow include:
- control high blood pressure
- eat a healthy diet
- control blood sugar levels (especially if you have diabetes)
- maintain good blood cholesterol levels
- quit smoking
- reduce alcohol consumption
*All medications have both common (generic) and brand names. The brand name is what a specific manufacturer calls the product (e.g., Tylenol®). The common name is the medical name for the medication (e.g., acetaminophen). A medication may have many brand names, but only one common name. This article lists medications by their common names. For information on a given medication, check our Drug Information database. For more information on brand names, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2017. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/condition/getcondition/Congestive-Heart-Failure