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Getting diagnosed with Heart Failure is NEVER good news.   To be blunt, in most cases Heart Failure is not curable - but the GOOD NEWS is if you CAREFULLY and STRICTLY manage your Heart Failure, you can maintain better health and minimize your visits to the hospital.  Most people who manage their Heart Failure diligently live longer and have a better quality of life.    To help you get started, here are some important concepts you MUST LEARN and NEVER FORGET:      

  • HEART FAILURE is NOT a condition where you're "cured when you leave the hospital."  Unlike other illnesses, such as pneumonia, where you "take the medicine and then you're cured," once you've been diagnosed with HEART FAILURE, it is a condition you will have for the rest of your life.
  • Patients must STRICTLY and CONTINUOUSLY manage their Heart Failure - every day for the rest of their lives - or they'll QUICKLY develop symptoms and be BACK IN THE HOSPITAL, often within just days of getting out of the hopspital!
  • The MAIN CAUSE of patients having to return to the hospital - often by ambulance after calling 911 - is their lungs FILL WITH FLUID.     This very scary emergency - where patients are essentially "drowning in their own fluids - develops rapidly when patients fail to CUT BACK of consumption Sodium (Salt) and/or Fluids.
  • There are usually WARNING SIGNS that you need to constantly look out for.  These early indicators will let you know if the fluid levels in your body are STARTING TO RISE.  If you PAY ATTENTION to these early warning signs, you can usually TAKE CORRECTIVE ACTION BEFORE your lungs fill with fluid.  By doing this, you can REDUCE your episodes of shortness-of-breath and you can often keep yourself OUT of the Hospital.  THE EARLY WARNING SIGNS of INCREASING BODY FLUID LEVELS INCLUDE:
    • An INCREASE in Body Weight of 3 pounds or more in 2 - 3 days.
    • Swelling of Ankles and/or around abdomen.
    • Becoming short-of-breath quicker or worse than usual.  This often occurs when walking, going up stairs or laying flat.
    • Fatigue worse than usual.
If you experience any of the above "early warning signs," CALL YOUR HEATLH CARE PROFESSIONAL IMMEDIATELY.   Over the phone or during a quick office visit, your Health Care Professional may instruct you to increase diuretics (water pills), adjust other medications and/or help you chose a healthier, lower-salt diet.  THE EARLIER YOU CALL, the more your Health Care Professional can do to help you AVOID the need for Hospitalization!   


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