Heart Failure – Diet and Recommendations
The first treatment measures which must be applied in a heart failure are related to lifestyle modification.
Heart failure regime
People with obesity are advised to lose weight by 10-20% in 6-12 months. Also the weight should be monitored, and if there is an increase in weight of more than 2 kg in 3 days, the patient with heart failure must present himself to the doctor. Equally should be avoided cachexia (severe decrease in weight). In advanced forms of heart failure we can meet anorexia (loss of appetite). Installing state of cachexia represents an unfavorable prognostic factor for heart failure.
Salt should be avoided and even excluded from consumption. It contributes directly to the formation of edema. It is recommended a salt intake in the diet, less than 3 grams per day (low sodium diet). Thereby it is indicated unsalting the cooked food (do not use any salty flavors), food consumption and bread without salt and be very careful at hidden salt products: sausage, sausages, canned, frozen, fast food. Salt substitutes are not recommended. Potassium salt can worsen potassium retention of patients and increased serum potassium can cause arrhythmias.
In severe cases of heart failure with massive edema, which doesn’t occur only in the legs, it is recommended a fluid intake of less than 2 liters per day.
The alcohol is prohibited in patients with chronic dilated cardiomyopathy ethanol as a cause of heart failure. Stopping alcohol consumption may give back the disease in this case. In people who have myocardial ischemia as well as heart failure it is recommended for drinking a glass of red wine in the evening. Smoking is strictly prohibited.
Bed rest is recommended only in episodes of aggravation of insufficient heart rate. Moderate physical exercise in limited endurance ameliorates the clinical status of the patient and the evolution of the disease. Patients with heart failure NYHA stages 3 and 4 (with limitation importance of physical activity, symptoms in small efforts and / or at rest) are not recommended sexual activity. For them there is a high risk for intercourse to uncompensated disease.
All patients with heart failure are advised to avoid traveling to altitudes above 1500 meters and aircrafts. Also it is advisable to stay away from extreme temperatures (cold) but avoid very hot and humid areas.
Treatment for heart failure it is prescribed by the cardiologist and should be followed strictly. The patient must be informed by the current doctor about side effects of medicines and to monitor for appearing of any adverse effects thereof. Medications for heart failure must not be interrupted by own initiative.
Also must be used with caution and under the doctor’s accord, or even avoid the classes of medicines as: non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (commonly used by people in the shed for rheumatic pain), calcium blockers, antiarrhythmic class 1, corticosteroids or tricyclic antidepressants.