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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Warning Signs Of Heart Failure

Warning Signs Of Heart FailureHeart failure is usually a chronic disease. It is a long-term condition that tends to gradually become worse over time. By the time someone is diagnosed, chances are that the heart has been losing pumping capacity little by little for quite a while. You can decrease the chances of heart failure by looking for the warning signs. Below is a list of warning signs that may appear:
Sudden weight gain (three or more pounds in one day, five or more pounds in one week, or whatever amount you were told to report)
Shortness of breath not related to exercise or exertion
Increases in swelling of the lower limbs (legs or ankles)
Swelling or pain in the abdomen
Trouble sleeping (waking up short of breath, using more pillows
Frequent dry, hacking cough
Increased fatigue If caught early, these symptoms may just require an adjustment in medication or in life style.Quick Tips For A Healthier Heart:
To help you live a more prosperous and healthy life here some quick tips that will strengthen your heart.
Start making some changes today - whatever your condition will allow. Begin an exercise program (with your doctor's permission), take the stairs instead of the elevator or walk a little farther than you usually do in a day.
Weigh yourself at the same time each morning, preferably before breakfast and after urinating. Notify your doctor if you gain three or more pounds in one day, five or more pounds in one week, or whatever amount you were told to report.
To give your heart a rest, try napping after lunch or putting your feet up for a few minutes every couple of hours. Or put your feet up while watching TV.
Quit smoking - you'll eliminate a major source of stress on your heart.
To improve your sleep at night, use pillows to prop up your head, and avoid naps and big meals right before bedtime.
When exercising, always stay within your physician's recommendations and your own comfort zone. Avoid activity right after meals or when it's very hot or humid.
Exercise at the same time of day so it becomes a regular part of your lifestyle. For example, you might walk every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at noon for 30 minutes.
Join a support group for people with heart failure and other heart conditions.
Ask your doctor about getting a yearly flu vaccine and a one-time pneumococcal (pneumonia) vaccine. These will guard against illnesses that could put more stress on the heart.
Many people with heart failure can still have sex. Choose a time when you're feeling rested and free from the day's stresses.

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