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Congestive Heart Failure

Heart Health > > Congestive Heart Failure

As people get older, our bodies begin to shut down very slowly. This is a normal reaction to old age and as this happens it is not uncommon to receive a diagnosis of congestive heart failure. This is a progressive condition that slowly worsens over time. Congestive heart failure is basically when the heart begins to lose its ability to pump blood through the body. As this happens blood and fluids back up in the lungs and the lower extremities which leads to breathlessness and swelling. Among the possible reasons for contracting congestive heart failure are high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, and heart valve abnormalities.

Diet and exercise and reducing your intake of sodium should be the first and foremost part of your regime to prevent any major complications. Sodium promotes the retention of excess fluid, which puts a greater load on the heart's pumping mechanism and foods that contain it should be avoided. Sodium intake can usually be cut in half simply by excluding added table salt and salt enrich foods which includes canned goods. Eliminating added salt in cooking is also a good idea. Salt substitutes are permissible and can make food more palatable. Frozen and fast foods, which are notorious for containing unhealthy amounts of salt, should be avoided. You should also quit smoking and limit the amount of alcohol you drink.

Common symptoms of congestive heart failure can include shortness of breath, swelling, chronic pains in the chest and arms, and in more severe cases the skin and/or lips turn blue or purple. Although this diagnosis sounds extremely grim, people do live healthy lives after getting the diagnosis as long as they take the necessary precautions to maintain their personal physical fitness levels. If you are overweight, now would be a perfect time to begin to try and lose it. Eating foods that are in their natural state is best. By natural state, I mean fresh fruits and vegetables rather than processed foods are best.

Heart Health > > Congestive Heart Failure