Early Stages Of Heart Failure? 3 Tips For Slowing The Progression

Posted on: 24 March 2016

Being diagnosed in the early stages of heart failure opens doors to lifestyle and non-invasive methods of helping to manage the condition. Following your treatment plan closely and improving your lifestyle choices can slow further decline of your heart.

Engage In Exercise

Heart failure can make you nervous about placing stress on your heart. However, exercise is a positive type of stress which can help strengthen your heart and improve other coronary disease risk factors. Before you engage in any exercise program, you need to discuss the types of exercises that are appropriate for your unique cardiovascular situation.

Ideally, you should stick with low impact cardio, such as walking or swimming. Light resistance training using your own body weight or exercise bands are a way to help improve strength without adding heavy weights. In addition to helping strengthen your heart, regular exercise can reduce the risk of coronary artery disease, which can lead to a poor prognosis in people with heart failure.

Be Cautious About Sodium

Your doctor likely informed you about the need to cut back on sodium. Since heart failure causes an increase in fluid retention, you must make every effort to prevent additional fluid retention. You may need to eliminate processed foods from your diet completely. Since processed foods typically have high amounts of sodium, it can be nearly impossible to stick with a low sodium diet without eliminating these foods.

To help you adhere to a low sodium diet, you need to focus more on flavorings to enhance the taste of foods. Many seasoning mixes are available in salt-free varieties, but it is often less expensive to make your own mixes. Since complying with a low sodium diet is critical for your health, you need to also read labels on other items, such as candy, gum, and retail medications, especially chewable and liquid formulations. Although these items may taste sweet or seem to have no taste at all, many contain some amount of sodium.

Consider Your Kidneys

The health of your kidneys may not be on your radar; however, there is a strong correlation between heart failure and kidney problems. In addition to heart failure, hypertension can also cause significant damage to your kidneys. Keeping your kidneys healthy can be difficult with heart failure because you may be restricted in the amount of liquid you are allowed to consume each day. Make sure to limit your fluids to plain water. Alcohol, carbonated beverages, and other liquids with artificial ingredients can be harder for your kidneys to handle when they are already predisposed to problems related to cardiovascular disease. Add fresh or frozen pieces of fruit to your water to help reduce boredom.

For more information, contact Temecula Valley Cardiology or a similar location.