What is Congestive Heart Failure?

Congestive Heart Failure
Congestive Heart Failure
Written by David Patterson and last updated Mar 17, 2016

Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) can be a scary and confusing diagnosis. Congestive heart failure has a number of causes including heart attacks, infections, cardiac arrhythmias, high blood pressure and even genetics. Once you are diagnosed with congestive heart failure it is important to alter your lifestyle to limit the impact that the disease has on your health. You may be stuck with congestive heart failure, but it doesn’t have to define your life.
Let’s start at the beginning. What is Congestive Heart Failure?
The heart is a pump. Its job is to pump old non oxygenated blood from the body to the lungs so it can be oxygenated and then be pumped out so that each and every cell can be supplied. Congestive heart failure is the inability of the left side of the heart to pump an adequate amount of blood due to different factors. Because of this condition, the heart is weak and unable to pump all of its blood forward and some of it backs up to the lungs. This results in the lungs becoming congested with blood and fluid. Thus the name, “congestive” heart failure. This congestion makes the patient, feel short of breath. The more you exert yourself, the more oxygen the body requires and the less able the heart is to supply it. This is mainly the reason people may have a poor tolerance for activity if the CHF is not well controlled.
Heart failure, if left untreated, can cause damage to other important organs. Each and every tissue in your body requires a supply of oxygen and nutrients to do well. Your kidneys, your liver, your abdominal organs, and even your lungs must be supplied constantly with an adequate supply of oxygenated blood. If your heart is unable to deliver that oxygen rich blood those vital organs will begin to fail over time.

Signs and Symptoms

Some of the signs and symptoms of heart failure may be easy to miss or to blame on other simpler issues. They include:
  • Feeling tired more often and with less exercise
  • Experiencing shortness of breath with less and less exertion
  • Unexplained weight gain – especially the appearance of being bloated, this is called "edema"
  • Cough without the presence of a cold or sinus infection, along with traces of blood in the saliva
Resources to help you recognize the signs and symptoms of heart disease:

What Treatments are Available for Congestive Heart Failure?

Most treatment options for congestive heart failure involve the use of various medications. A physician will work closely with you to find the perfect combination of medications that will help your heart work better and help with the demands of the body. Managing CHF requires a delicate balance between taking the work load off the heart and supplying enough oxygen and nutrients to the organs of the body. There are a couple of things you can do to make that job just a bit easier for your heart. We will discuss those a little later in the article.
There are invasive treatments for advanced congestive heart failure including heart transplantation and even the implantation of a pump that helps the heart push the blood along, but they are beyond the scope of this article. Let’s concentrate on some of the more common treatment options.
You may be prescribed a combination of the following medications to help with your heart failure.
  • Anticoagulants - (commonly known as blood thinners) – they don’t actually “thin” the blood, but they prevent clots from happening. If your heart is not beating in an organized and strong manner, sometimes blood can remain in small pockets of the atrium and form blood clots. This increases your risk of stroke or blood clots in the lungs if they were to dislodge and travel there. If you are on a blood thinner you will most likely require regular blood tests to check your levels. You should be careful not to injure yourself and pay attention to symptoms that may indicate internal bleeding such as dark stools.
  • Antiplatelet Agents – (Plavix) these medications also help with preventing blood clotting by inhibiting platelets that play an important role in forming them.
  • ACE Inhibitors – Decrease the work that the heart has to do in order to pump blood around the body. They do this by dilating (widening) the blood vessels and decreasing the resistance that the heart has to pump against. They also help keep blood pressure under control.
  • Beta Blockers – used to take the “workload” off of the heart. They slow your heart rate and decrease the strength of contraction to allow your heart to pump using less energy. These are used to control hypertension as well.
  • Calcium Channel Blockers – used to decrease the work load of the heart. They are also used to control arrhythmias (irregular heart rhythms). The most common in congestive heart failure is atrial fibrillation.
  • Statins – used to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. They have also been shown to help raise HDL (good) cholesterol levels and lower triglycerides. All patients with any type of heart disease are generally prescribed a statin due to the fact that one of the forms of plaque formation is a direct cause of lipid acids.
  • Digitalis Preparations – used to keep the heart rhythm regular with patients who have a problem with atrial fibrillation along with congestive heart failure. They are also used in advanced stages of the disease. Special care must be taken with the use of these medications due to its adverse effects.
  • Diuretics – cause the body to excrete excess water. This prevents the heart from becoming overloaded and backing up into the lungs and causing symptoms of congestive heart failure, particularly shortness of breath. In addition, they prevent the build up of fluid and subsequent edema in the body such as the legs and ankles.
  • Vasodilators (Nitroglycerin) – is given to reduce the amount of oxygen needed by the heart muscle and to dilate the coronary arteries to increase the amount of oxygen available to the heart muscle. This medication is particularly used to treat the pain of angina.
For more information regarding medications used to treat congestive heart failure:
Since you will be taking multiple medications at multiple times during the day it is essential that you develop a system that works for you. Perhaps purchasing a pill box that you can fill once a week and use each day may help. It is imperative that you be 100% compliant with your medication regimen. Each medication is designed to not only to work with your body, but to also work with each other to maximize your heart’s ability to pump blood. It can be dangerous to take your medications at the wrong times or in wrong dosages.

Keeping your Heart Failure from Progressing

There are some relatively straight forward recommendations that may help keep your congestive heart failure at bay. The first we have already dealt with: 100% compliance with medication.
  • Regular visits with both your PCP and your Cardiologist. Congestive heart failure must be monitored closely and any changes treated promptly. You should weigh yourself at least weekly and any 3lb or more weight gain should be reported to your physician. It may be the result of your body retaining fluid.
  • Dietary Changes – If you are even slightly overweight, weight loss is imperative to prevent further damage to your heart muscle. The larger your body, the harder your already damaged heart has to work in order to supply much needed oxygen and nutrients. Even moderate weight loss can have a large impact on your congestive heart failure management.
  • Exercise – can be a challenge because of the symptoms of congestive heart failure. However, any increase in activity is of utmost importance. Simple things like parking far away from the store instead of looking for the closest space. Walking is a great low impact exercise for patients with congestive heart failure. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, or you don’t have a safe, level place to walk, try the local shopping mall. Many malls open early and even place distance markers to be used by people who utilize the mall for exercise. It’s a great way to meet people, have some fun and stay healthy too! Just be careful not overdo it. You always have to consult your doctor before you start exercising and more so when have CHF.
  • Avoid Fluid Overload – restricting fluid intake is important. Do remember, that the more fluid the heart is unable to pump forward, the more symptoms that will appear in the long run due to the amount of workload imposed. It only stands to reason that a decrease in fluid intake can reduce the amount of work the heart has to deal with.
  • Salt Intake – where there is salt there is water. If you have a lot of salt in your body, you will retain fluid. It is important to avoid foods with high salt content and to refrain from salting foods.
  • Smoking – Must be avoided at all cost. The smoke in cigarette carries a lot of carbon monoxide, this molecule worsens the ability of oxygen to be carried properly to the different tissues
  • Stay healthy – it takes a lot of energy for your body to fight off everyday illnesses like the flu virus. Be sure to stay current on flu and pneumonia vaccinations. A respiratory disease may cause decompensation of your heart failure, so it's not a good idea to take the risk.
Additional resources to help with healthy life style changes in patient with congestive heart failure:

Written by David Patterson and last updated Mar 17, 2016 

Ten ways to lose five pounds!


 
The principle is very simple ! You need to change only a few principles in diet and lifestyle . Want to lose weight ? Do not worry , you do not have to starve yourself or do strenuous exercise . Oddly enough, but the best way to lose weight - is to make small adjustments to your diet and lifestyle. Here are ten simple ways that will help you lose those extra calories forever!


1. Do not skip meals . Skip one meal a day seems a sensible way to get rid of a few kilograms . For example , ceasing to have breakfast ( the usual breakfast - 500 calories ) , you seven days cut 3500 calories, which is equivalent to burning about 500 grams. But the disadvantage of this approach is that you missed , as a rule, to make up for lunch . Those who eat breakfast , eat foods with a lower fat and higher carbohydrate content than those who skip breakfast. And breakfast will help reduce the desire to eat high-calorie fatty foods and also helps to speed up metabolism.


2 . Twice a week become a vegetarian. A vegetarian diet is low in fat helps reduce waist . To lose weight , no need to constantly sit on a vegetarian diet . To start twice a week instead of meat with pasta eat vegetables: eggplant , mushrooms or peppers. Or try the beans with rice instead of sausages and beans. This will save you 550 calories a week , or even more - about five pounds in 16 months.


3 . Follow the rule of " one to one " . Some in unlimited quantities absorb fat foods and foods with low fat content. For many labels, report low fat content , perceived as permission to eat in unlimited quantities. Follow the rule of " one to one " . That is , replacing the chocolate cake on a low-calorie , eat the same portion , not great . If you every day instead of four low-fat muffins will eat two , you can lose five pounds in ten or 12 months.


4 . Do not deprive yourself of too many calories. To weigh less , you have to eat less, but do not overdo it , reducing the amount of calories consumed. Otherwise the body will feel impending famine , slow metabolism and start saving energy , functioning on fewer calories. Keep a food diary . Keep a record of how much you ate . Then prune 50-100 kcal each day. Eventually you will come to the level of calories, which will contribute to the slow , stable weight loss, and will be able to throw five kilograms in 12 months.


5 . Avoid snacking . Monday. You have already had breakfast . Well, what can be set two small donut eaten at work? On Tuesday, you grabbed a few cookies before dinner. And so all week. You may not have thought about it , but an extra 100 calories a day can turn to you five extra kilos in god.Esli you can not refuse to snacking , replace the low-calorie -dense foods . Alternative may be carrots (four calories each) , celery ( six kcal beam) or popcorn (30 calories a cup ) . If you eat in a day is less than 75 calories , you can easily lose five pounds in 16 months.


6. Big Dance . Dancing - a lovely way to burn extra calories. Dance for two hours on the weekend (it burns 200 calories per hour), and you will drop five pounds in 21 months. And if you dance the lambada or the twist , you will lose weight in just 11 and a half months.


7. Add seasoning food. Use mustard instead of mayonnaise to meat and vegetable oil in salads. These small changes may significantly contribute to weight loss . Go with mayonnaise on your daily sandwiches on mustard removes 85 calories from the diet , that is, you will lose five pounds in 14 months.


8. Eat slowly . Average " boa " swallows food in 12 minutes. This leads to overeating . Stomach requires twenty minutes to send a signal to the brain about the saturation of the organism . Pushing a dinner for ten minutes, you do not give your body time to realize that he is no longer goloden.Uzhinaya slower , you can eat two slices of pizza instead of four or small burger with fries instead stogrammovye burger with a large portion of potatoes. You can easily exclude from 300 to 500 calories daily and lose from 200 to 450 grams per week - five kilograms in three to five months.


9. Follow the size of their portions. Periodically read the label and use the measured glass and kitchen scales to keep a record of how much you eat . After analyzing the recording, you can easily estimate the size of the portions . How many pounds you lose ?


10 . Avoid night meals. The main obstacle to losing weight - it's food after dinner. If you can not get away from thinking about food , low-calorie intercept anything , for example fresh fruit. Eliminating from the diet bag of crisps or a candy bar , you can save yourself from extra 600 calories a week. In six weeks you will lose a pound ; fifteen months - five kilograms .
Taken separately , each of these ten ways to help you lose weight . Results will appear slowly, but they will depend on changes in habits that will facilitate your life. The real secret to successful weight loss - to change the habits that originally led you to be overweight .

11 Variations on a tasty snack.


Do not know what to eat? Offer ideas for sandwiches! Underlying - tselnozerovoy loaf, cheese and 11 Variations on a tasty snack.

1 and 7. Salmon and dill

2. Grated low-fat cheese

3. Blueberries and Maple Syrup

4. Cherry tomatoes and spices

5. Cucumber and spinach

6. Strawberries and chocolate topping

8. Hazelnuts and peach jam

8. Boiled egg and green onions

9. Passivated leek

10. Radishes

11. Cucumber and parsley

Amazing Health Benefits of cocoa


Cocoa powder is made from the seeds of the cacao tree and its two tablespoons contain :

1.5 grams of fat and only 25 calories, 14% magnesium and 8 % of the iron from the RDA .

According to many studies , a cup of hot cocoa contains more antioxidants than a glass of red wine or a cup of tea.

Benefits of Cocoa :

1) struggling with depression.

2) Improves memory and resistance to stress . Scientists have proved that to reduce the negative effects of stress should eat 1-2 cups of cocoa a day.

2) Protect your skin from the harmful effects of free radicals and accelerate cell regeneration .

3) Reduce the risk of developing diabetes.

4) Prevents the development of cardiovascular diseases and strengthens the walls of the arteries.

5 ) Clears the liver from toxins.

6) Slow down aging of the skin . Regular consumption of cocoa improves the appearance of the skin and slows down the aging process.

7) Reduces the risk of cancer. Suffice it to 1-2 cups a day is better with skim milk .

Beneficial properties of vegetable oils

Learn beneficial properties of vegetable oils and types

Olive oil.
This is one of the most popular mineral oils known as the best tool for the prevention of diabetes , obesity, various tumors and cardiovascular disorders.


Sunflower oil.
Sunflower seed oil is rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids. These nutrients are most beneficial to the body. They enhance the immune system , increase resistance to colds , give elasticity vessels involved in the construction of cells and the synthesis of hormones .


Soy oil .
This oil contains in its composition fatty acids and vitamin E, which strengthens the heart and blood vessels , contains phytosterols , phospholipids , tocopherols them other essential nutrients to the human body .


Corn oil .
It is the high content of vitamin E. It is known that this vitamin slows the aging process and improves the functioning of the liver , gall bladder and intestines.
Due to the content in the oil of vitamin B, it has beneficial effects on skin and hair .

Linseed oil .
It is useful for all women , especially expectant mothers . The fact that the linseed oil contains twice as much omega -3 and omega - 6 than fish oils.


Sea buckthorn oil .
The product strengthens the immune system , nourishes the human body with vitamins and trace elements that are beneficial to the human circulatory system , the state of the mucosa of the stomach and intestines.


Cedar oil .
Due to the presence of a whole range of vitamins, eating it increases efficiency and eliminates chronic fatigue syndrome.


Sesame oil .
Sesame oil is rich in zinc and calcium, vitamins E, A and polyunsaturated fatty acids , proteins and antioxidants.


Mustard oil .
This oil has an antibacterial property. It is useful in gastric ulcer and 12 duodenal ulcer . It is also used for the normalization of the gastrointestinal tract .

List of products that better eliminate your diet


There 11 kinds of products that better eliminate your diet and should reduce their use to a minimum :

1. Sugar.

2 . Potatoes will benefit the body , but only the young and only boiled or baked .

3 . Products containing flour.

4 . White polished rice contains a lot of starch , which is not the best way affects the figure. Completely abandon the rice is not necessary, you can simply restrict their consumption to 1-2 servings per week .

5 . Quick-cooking cereals , muesli . Quick breakfasts contain "empty" carbohydrates, which briefly create satiety .

6. Nourishing meat and chicken broths contain a lot of cholesterol.

7. Fatty meat , bacon , sausages , carbonates - products that are not only hinder the slim , but also undermine the state as a whole .

8. Sprats , smoked fish , canned in oil. These products are saturated with fats that inhibit the process of weight loss .

9. Butter - a product containing a huge amount of calories and fat. However , to completely abandon his doctors do not recommend : butter incorporates vitamins A , D, E, PP , as well as B vitamins, fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein , calcium, potassium , iron, magnesium , manganese, copper , sodium, phosphorus and zinc. Without these nutrients we do not achieve healthy skin, hair and nails.

10 . Mayonnaise , including marked "Light" .

11. Seeds, chips, crackers , peanuts and any " fast food ."

losing 1500 calories and don't feel hungry


With  1500 calories diet you will lose weight and comfortable at the same time do not feel hunger.
Weight loss occurs gradually from 4 to 6 kg. Duration 3 4nedeli .
diet Menu

Monday

Breakfast: a cup of milk , coffee or tea without sugar , cream, skim milk can , a piece of toast with ham , fruits ( 150 g)
LUNCH : Green beans or lentils (200 g) , boiled potatoes (200 g) , boiled beef with salad (150 g), 1 toast, fruit (150 g)
DINNER: 100 g low-fat cottage cheese, grated carrot salad with apple , 200 ml. low-fat yogurt


Tuesday

BREAKFAST : 20 g oatmeal (dry weight ), 200 ml. milk fat content of 1.5% , half a banana , coffee / tea maker , 2 dried apricots ;
Lunch : 120 g chicken breast ( baked in the oven ) , '50 buckwheat (dry weight) , 150-200 g , boiled green beans , 1 tsp olive oil
DINNER:
100 g cod (or any other white fish ) , baked in foil with spices.
Salad of tomato and cucumber , dressed with 1 tsp olive oil.


Wednesday

BREAKFAST: 2 boiled hard-boiled eggs, 1 tomato , 3 rye loaf or approx. 50g wholemeal bread , coffee / tea maker , 2 pcs . prunes
Lunch: salad of fresh cucumbers, tomatoes , onions and lettuce (150 g) , boiled or grilled chicken (150 g) , a slice of black bread or toast, fruit (200 g)
DINNER: 100 g lean beef , rice 40 g (dry weight) , any leaves of lettuce, 1 tomato , half the onions, 2 tsp olive oil , seasoning, slice of black bread ,


Thursday

BREAKFAST : 20 g oatmeal (dry weight ), 200 ml. milk fat content of 1.5 %, 1 medium apple ( rub and add to oatmeal ) , '20 raisins , coffee / tea
LUNCH : Chicken breast (200 g) with spinach
DINNER: 100 g low-fat cottage cheese, 300 ml. low-fat yogurt , 100 g of any berries, 1 tsp of jam / honey


Friday

BREAKFAST : 40 g buckwheat (dry weight ), 100 g grated carrots , 20 g of nuts , dried apricots 4 ;
coffee / tea
Lunch : 120 g chicken fillet , '50 pasta from durum wheat , 3 cherry tomato , 1 clove of garlic , half the onions, half the pepper , 1-2 tsp olive oil.
DINNER: 100 g low-fat cottage cheese, 1 small apple ( rub ), 1 tsp honey 200 ml. low-fat yogurt


Saturday

BREAKFAST: Scrambled eggs : 1 whole egg , 2 protein , 100 ml. 1.5% milk , black bread ( 40 g), 1 cherry tomato , 1 cucumber , 1 teaspoon olive oil , tea
Lunch : 100 g salmon ( baked in foil or boiled for a couple ), 1 medium potato ( baked in the oven ) , 200 g broccoli,
DINNER: 100 g baked chicken breast or turkey , half the peppers , zucchini and onions and bake in the oven in foil or under the grill . Add 1 tsp olive oil.

Sunday

Select any menu from previous days.


Important recommendations about diet :

• Do not eat between meals.
• Drink only water , herbal and green tea.
Dining snacking.
1) 1 orange, 4-5 walnuts
2 ) 20 y almond 1 plain yogurt
3) 1 fruit of your choice , 1 natural yoghurt
4) 5 walnuts, 2 medium tangerine , coffee / tea maker.