Guidelines for Managing Heart Failure

August 19, 2009 by  
Filed under Education

If you have just been diagnosed with , this information is for you. It will give you an idea of what you can to and what to expect while you are waiting to see a specialist. There are links to pages that will help you keep records so you can talk with your doctor.

Having heart failure isn’t always easy. But people can still live a full and happy life. Learning how to manage and control heart failure is very important in living a normal life. It is common to have lots of concerns about what you should do to manage heart failure. At the minimum, you should continue follow ups with your regular doctor, see a heart failure specialist and a Registered Dietitian (Nutritionist), diet plays a very important part in controlling heart failure. If possible, attend a class at your local hospital or medical center about living with heart failure.

Steps for Managing Heart Failure

  • See your regular doctor on an ongoing basis and talk to your doctor about your treatment plan.
  • Keep all follow-up appointments with your doctors
  • See a Registered Dietitian (Nutritionist) for help with meal planning,?? weight loss or weight control
  • Take your medications exactly like the directions say.
  • Weigh yourself every day. Keep a written record of your weight.
  • Cut down your sodium (salt) intake in foods that you eat and medicines that you take.
  • Stay active. Make sure to balance rest with activity.
  • Ask your hospital if they offer a class for people with heart failure.
  • Get a flu shot every fall.
  • Get a pneumonia shot. Most people only need one.
  • If you smoke, STOP! Need help to quit?
  • Check your blood pressure every day and keep a record or your readings. Monitoring your blood pressure can help you keep it under control and prevent problems.
  • Sometimes people with a chronic health conditions become depressed. Finding out if you have depression and then treating it as important as treating other health conditions. Talk with your doctor if you think you may be depressed. Your doctor can ask you some questions to find out if you are having problems with depression.

General Guidelines for Cutting Down On Salt (Sodium)

  1. Avoid or greatly reduce the use of table salt.
  2. Avoid cured, salted, canned, or smoked meats.
  3. Avoid prepackaged dinners ??? diet or regular
  4. Avoid instant and prepared foods ??? potatoes, cereals, etc.
  5. Avoid high sodium condiments and sauces (check the ingredients and Nutrition Facts Labels for sodium).
  6. Avoid Snack foods with salted toppings.
  7. Use sparingly: Regular canned vegetables, processed cheese/cheese spreads, & regular peanut butter.
  8. Avoid high sodium, non-prescription medications like Baking soda, Bromoseltzer, Alka Seltzer, Fleets enema, Instant Metamucil Mix.

Beverages and Condiments – Avoid these foods:

  • A-1 sauce
  • V- 8 Juice, unless no salt
  • Celery, Garlic or Onion Salt
  • Sports drinks
  • Mustard
  • Catsup/Ketchup/Chili Sauce
  • Horseradish, prepared
  • Worchestershire Sauce
  • Soy Sauce
  • Pickles/Pickle Relish
  • Olives
  • Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
  • Tomato Juice, unless no Salt
  • Barbecue Sauce

Gravies and Sauces – Avoid these foods:

  • Bouillon/Broth
  • Gravies, commercial
  • Meat Sock Sauces
  • Soups, canned and dehydrated
  • Meat Extracts
  • Soups, homemade, except low salt
  • Meat Tenderizers

Meats and Fats – Avoid these foods:

  • Bacon
  • Frankfurters, Hot Dogs – any type
  • Salt Pork/Fat Back
  • Kosher Meat
  • Streak O???lean
  • Luncheon Meats- like bologna, etc.
  • Sausage
  • Salted or Smoked Meats
  • Ham, cured or smoked
  • Canadian bacon
  • Fish, salted or dried, such as sardines, mackerel, anchovies, cod, canned tuna, and salmon unless rinsed.

Snack Foods - Avoid these foods:

  • Breads, rolls and crackers with salted toppings
  • Caviar
  • Potato Chips, regular
  • Chitterlings
  • Pretzels
  • Peanut Butter type crackers
  • Nuts, salted
  • Saltines/Butter type crackers
  • Pork Rinds
  • Salted Popcorn

Read labels carefully. Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, limit your salt (sodium) intake to 2,000 mg per day.

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Tags: heart disease, heart failure, allergic reactions, Tomato Juice, Salt Barbecue Sauce

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