Treatments for Congestive Heart Failure

Congestive heart failure affects five million people in the United States. This condition has no cure but can be managed with lifestyle changes and medications. Your doctor will design the best possible course of treatment for you. The following is only a guide to some possible changes your doctor may make in your life and should in no way be used as a replacement for proper medical care.

The treatment of heart failure can prolong your life and help alleviate some of the symptoms. It is important for you or your caretaker to closely monitor your symptoms and to make sure all medical advice is followed to the letter. Keep all medical appointments and always be honest with your doctor about how you are feeling.

Possible Medications

ACE Inhibitors: These are basically used to keep control of your blood pressure. They stop your blood vessels from contracting which in turn may cause your blood pressure to shoot upwards.

Beta Blockers: These keep your heart rate down.

Blood Thinners: Blood thinners keep the blood flowing freely by stopping the blood from clotting and reducing your chances of having a stroke.

Calcium Channel Blockers: These block calcium from causing your blood vessels to contract.

Digitalis Preparations: This helps to slow irregular heartbeats.

Diuretics: Diuretics are used to help the kidneys to remove excess fluids and salts from your blood thus helping to alleviate swelling and fluid retention.

Potassium: When diuretics are administered there is a marked loss of potassium in your system and it needs to be replaced.

Vasodilators: These are used to help relax blood vessels.

Possible Medical Procedures

Surgeries and medical procedures are not often used to treat congestive heart failure. However, surgeries can help with other issues that may be contributing to the problem

Angioplasty or Coronary Artery Bypass: Angioplasty can be done if any of the arteries feeding blood to the heart are blocked. The reopening of these arteries can improve heart function. Coronary artery bypass can be done if angioplasty is not an option. This entails removing a piece of healthy vein from another part of the body and use it to by pass the blocked artery.

Defibrillator: These can be implanted if the heart is experiencing abnormal and irregular heart rates. These send electrical shocks to the heart to keep it beating in a steady rhythm.

Valve Replacement: At times the hearts valves weaken and this can exacerbate heart failure. The valves can be replaced for better heart function.

Diet and Exercise

Though you may be afraid to exercise it can often help prolong your life and affect your quality of life. You should never attempt to do any exercise without the consent of your doctor. He or she will tailor an exercise program to fit your needs if exercise is possible.

You will find that you have to modify your diet. It is important you choose foods that are good for your heart. These include lots of vegetables and lean meats. Keep high fat foods out of your diet. You may also need to limit salt intake. Your doctor will help you modify your diet and give you tips to help you manage water and sodium intake.


Stress management can be very important to your overall health and this applies to living with heart failure as well. Undue stress on the heart will make your condition worse. Work with your doctor on ways to prevent or lessen the effects of stress on your body.

Smokers will be told they should quit. Smoking can lead to heart failure and if you continue after you are diagnosed you are not doing your heart any favors. Nicotine can increase heart rate and put stress on your heart.

If you are obese your doctor may try to get your weight down. You should also pay close attention to your weight on a daily basis. If you suddenly have gained at least three pounds in a twenty four hour period you are gaining water weight which means your condition is worsening or not properly being monitored.

Patients who are having trouble sleeping at night should make time to rest during the day. Rest is important to the health of your heart. Many heart failure patients who take diuretics find they need to get up at night to use the restroom, which leads to poor sleep. The inability to breath deeply and effectively may also hamper proper nighttime rest.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

3 × four =