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It is highly recommended that patients alter their diet in order to live a healthier lifestyle. Dietary changes would consist of decreasing sodium intake and fatty foods, while increasing whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. In addition, patients should decrease alcohol consumption and smoking, while increasing exercise.
Exercise is important because it promotes vasodilation, increases muscle strength, improves quality of life, and decreases mortality.
Patients should also be educated on signs to monitor if their CHF is under control, and when to notify emergency personnel. An easy way to monitor fluid retention is through a daily weighing. An increase in more than 5 pounds in 3 days is a sign to give the primary care physician a call.
It is also pertinent to bring education to those patients at risk before the disease starts. Keeping patients in the primary prevention stage of the disease is much easier to manage and with less long term effects. Patient education and lifestyle changes can be extremely effective in the management of CHF.
↑Eckel RH, Jakicic JM, Ard JD, et al. 2013 AHA/ACC Guideline on Lifestyle Management to Reduce Cardiovascular Risk. JACC: Journal of the American College of Cardiology. http://www.onlinejacc.org/content/63/25_part_b/2960. Published July 1, 2014. Accessed November 30, 2018.
↑Swedberg K, Cleland J, Dargie H, Drexler H. Guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of chronic heart failure: executive summary (update 2005): The Task Force for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Chronic Heart Failure of the European Society of Cardiology. OUP Academic. https://academic.oup.com/eurheartj/article/26/11/1115/2888244. Published May 18, 2005. Accessed November 27, 2018.
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