When you hear the term heart failure, you probably associate it with your heart-stopping or failing to beat. However, the reality is not quite as scary. Heart failure is the medical term used when a patient’s heart doesn’t pump enough blood around the body. This could be because your heart isn’t strong enough to efficiently pump blood or perhaps because the heart isn’t filling with enough blood. Heart failure is one of the most common chronic conditions in the world, affecting an estimated 6 million adults in the USA alone. While it is a chronic condition and potentially fatal, those suffering from heart failure can take measures—such as lifestyle changes, daily monitoring, and medication—Managing Heart Failure and live a relatively normal life. If you’re suffering from heart failure, try these 6 tips to stay healthy and manage your condition from home. 6 Tips For Managing Heart Failure At Home-
1. Weigh Yourself Daily
One of the first signs of heart failure is weight gain as a result of fluid retention. This is why those living with heart failure should invest in good-quality scales and weigh themselves every morning after going to the bathroom. If you notice that you have gained more than three pounds in a day or five pounds in a week, consult your doctor immediately. Look out for swelling around the ankles, legs, or abdomen as this could indicate edema or fluid buildup in the tissues.
2. Reduce Liquid Intake
Did you know that when you have heart failure your kidneys aren’t able to eliminate sodium and water? This is why patients with heart failure should limit their intake of liquids and foods with high water content such as melon, soup, and ice cream. Speak to your doctor to gauge how many liquids you should be consuming per day to avoid dehydration but not put the kidneys under extra pressure.
3. Cut Down On Salt
Salt causes fluid retention and can exacerbate heart failure. If you are suffering from heart failure, there are some easy steps you can take to reduce salt intake:
- Opt for ‘reduced salt’ or ‘no added salt’ options when buying canned or frozen good
- Avoid sodium-laden foods such as bacon, fried food, and salted butter
- Don’t add salt to your meal, season your food with other herbs and spices to add flavour
- Steer clear of fast food and processed food
4. Wrap Up Well
How you dress can affect your health. If you have heart failure, avoid clothing that restricts blood flow such as socks or tights with a tight band at the top. Clothes that restrict blood flow from the lower body to the heart can lead to clots. It’s also important to layer up and stay warm. Patients with heart failure especially need to control temperature, so dress in layers and avoid being in cold temperatures for a prolonged period.
5. Get Good Quality Sleep
A good night’s sleep is key when you have heart failure. Your body needs time to rest and patients with heart failure tend to experience sleep-disordered breathing, such as sleep apnea. Develop a good bedtime routine to improve your sleep quality and give your body the rest it needs. Here are a few tips to help you:
- Avoid napping in the late afternoon or evening
- Keep your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet
- Try to stick to a routine; go to bed and wake up at the same time every day
- Invest in a special pillow to ease the symptoms associated with sleep apnea
- Stop using blue lights (computers, smart phones, etc,.) at least an hour before bedtime
6. Invest in Home Monitoring Devices
It’s crucial to check your vitals every day if you’re suffering from heart failure. To make this process easier, invest in some home monitoring devices such as a digital blood pressure monitor, a thermometer, an at-home ECG monitor, and a pulse oximeter from a trusted medical supplier, such as Sensoronics. With these four home monitoring devices, you can track your blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen levels, and temperature nd report any changes in your condition to a nurse or doctor.
When used consistently, at-home monitoring devices can be an essential part of your at-home treatment. Not only do they reduce the time spent in hospital waiting rooms, but they help you to get in tune with your body.
Living with heart failure is possible. With some lifestyle changes, medication, and daily monitoring you can lead a relatively normal life for years to come. At-home monitoring devices allow you to Managing Heart Failure or monitor your vital statistics safely from home to give you peace of mind and save precious time wasted on unnecessary trips to the hospital. Always speak to your doctor before beginning at-home monitoring and if you notice any changes in your symptoms.