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Heart Failure

What is Heart Failure?

According to the American Heart Association, about 5.7 million Americans are living with Heart Failure today, and it is one of the most common reasons people 65 and older go into the hospital.  Heart failure doesn't mean that your heart has stopped beating; it means that your heart isn't pumping blood as it should.  The heart keeps working, but the body's need for blood and oxygen isn't being met.  Heart failure can get worse if it is not treated, so it is very important to do what your doctor tells you to do.

Signs and Symptoms

Shortness of Breath, especially when lying down; Tired, run-down feeling; Swelling of feet, ankles and legs; Weight gain from fluid build-up; Confusion or inability to think clearly.

Causes

  • Coronary Heart Disease
  • Prior Heart Attack
  • Heart Rhythm Disorders
  • Heart Defect since birth
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart valve disease
  • Heart muscle disease
  • Infection of the heart 

What can you do

  • Follow your doctor's advice
  • Take your medicine as prescribed
  • Weigh yourself daily to check for fluid retention
  • Eat a healthy diet that's low in salt and saturated fat
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Stop smoking

Carol Traphagan, APRN and Nicole Comstock, APRN are here for you at Walker Heart’s Heart Failure Clinic. For more information call 479-463-8740. 

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