Here are a few tips for all heart failure patients:
Talk to your cardiologist!
It is good to have regular conversations with your cardiologist. Report new or worsening symptoms you observe immediately. These timely check-ups will help you keep track of your progress and get the right advice at the right time.
Check your salt consumption
Inadequate blood flow to the kidneys causes the body to retain water and fluids which leads to swollen legs, abdomen and ankles, increased urination, and weight gain. High salt consumption is known to cause extra fluid build-up in your body and worsens heart failure. Therefore, keep your salt intake in check by lowering salt levels in your meals, replacing salt with herbs and spices or choosing 'low-salt' or preferably 'no salt added' when buying canned or frozen foods.
Track your fluid intake
Drinking a lot of fluids can worsen your heart failure. It is advisable to limit beverages like tea, juice, and soft drinks, as well as foods with high water content like soups, watermelon or even ice cream! Quick weight gain can be a sign of fluid build-up in your body.
Stick to the prescribed treatment
Staying on top of taking your medications as prescribed is crucial for effective heart failure management. Use reminders or alarms to never miss a dose or an appointment! If you live alone, paste sticky notes on your cabinets or refrigerator as an easy reminder.
According to prof Sundeep Mishra, former professor of Cardiology Department of AIIMS and presently vice-chancellor of NIMS University, "With the increasing burden of Heart Failure in India, especially in the younger population, it is necessary to recognize it - as a public health priority. The key reason for the rise in heart failure cases is the growing dependency on a sedentary lifestyle, higher consumption of salt, sugar and fat in the diet and rising stress levels. Although, heart failure can be still managed better by regular treatment and regular conversations with a cardiologist and a holistic treatment plan can help one manage the condition better."