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Heart failure - what to ask your doctor

What to ask your doctor about heart failure; HF - what to ask your doctor

Your heart is a pump that moves blood through your body. Heart failure occurs when blood does not move well and fluid builds up in places in your body that it should not. Most often, fluid collects in your lungs and legs. Heart failure most often occurs because your heart muscle is weak. However, it can happen for other reasons as well.

Below are some questions you may want to ask your health care provider to help you take care of your heart failure.

I Would Like to Learn About:

Questions

What kinds of heath checks do I need to do at home and how do I do them?

What are the signs and symptoms that my heart failure is getting worse? Will I always have the same symptoms?

What medicines am I taking to treat heart failure?

How much activity or exercise can I do?

Do I need to go to a cardiac rehabilitation program?

Are there limits on what I can do at work?

What should I do if I feel sad or very worried about my heart disease?

How can I change the way I live to make my heart stronger?

Related Information

Heart failure - overview
Hypertensive heart disease
Hardening of the arteries
Heart attack
High blood pressure - adults
Cardiomyopathy
ACE inhibitors
Aspirin and heart disease
Cholesterol and lifestyle
Dietary fats explained
Fast food tips
Low-salt diet
Heart failure - fluids and diuretics
Heart failure - home monitoring
Heart failure - discharge
Cholesterol - drug treatment

References

Januzzi JL, Mann DL. Approach to the patient with heart failure. In: Zipes DP, Libby P, Bonow RO, Mann DL, Tomaselli GF, Braunwald E, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 21.

Mcmurray JJV, Pfeffer MA. Heart failure: Management and prognosis. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 59.

Rasmusson K, Flattery M, Baas LS. American association of heart failure nurses position paper on educating patients with heart failure. Heart Lung. 2015;44(2):173-177. PMID: 25649810 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25649810.

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Review Date: 1/28/2019  

Reviewed By: Michael A. Chen, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington Medical School, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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