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Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)

Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) is also referred to as Heart Failure. If you have CHF that means your heart can't pump enough blood to meet your body's needs. The heart compensates by pumping ‘harder’ and over time, conditions such as narrowed arteries in your heart (coronary artery disease) or high blood pressure gradually leave your heart too weak or stiff to fill and pump efficiently.

While you can’t reverse the effects of CHF, there are treatments that can have good outcomes. Medications can improve the signs and symptoms of heart failure and help you live longer; lifestyle changes, such as exercising, reducing the salt in your diet, managing stress, treating depression, and especially losing weight, can also improve your quality of life.

The best way to prevent heart failure is to control risk factors and conditions that cause heart failure, such as coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes or obesity. You and your physician can determine the best course of treatment for your CHF.

Hoag is pleased to offer an Outpatient Heart Failure Clinic

Created in 2001, Hoag’s Outpatient Heart Failure Program was developed to complement the care of patients hospitalized with heart failure as a comprehensive long term approach to heart failure care.​


At Hoag's Heart Failure Clinic we work to improve your quality of life by helping manage your symptoms of heart failure. We educate you about the condition and the ways it can be controlled. Our primary objective is to reduce the number of unnecessary visits to the emergency room, prevent hospitalizations, and help you to live a full and productive life. The heart failure nurse practitioner monitors and responds to data with ongoing physician collaboration.


In collaboration with your cardiologist, the Heart Failure Clinic helps with:

  • Education and support
  • Managing symptoms of heart failure
  • Assistance with risk factor modification, such as decreasing blood pressure and improving diet
  • Managing medications

The Heart Failure rehabilitation program is a comprehensive approach to helping individuals with heart failure to improve their activity tolerance and quality of life. The program consists of two (1-hour) Phase 3 level weekly sessions per week for 4 weeks requiring a physician referral.

Cost: $322.00 for 9 sessions (not covered by insurance) * subject to change

Location: Jeffrey M. Carlton Heart & Vascular Institute Cardiac Rehab Newport Beach

Phone: 949-764-5594

Hoag's Telemedicine Support Program

A nurse practitioner facilitated telephonic heart failure monitoring program for symptoms and education. Nurse-directed management provides “coaching and support” to patients to improve patients' health status and outcomes.

A Basic Approach to Controlling Risk Factors

​Consult with your physician before you make changes or additions to your diet.

Dietary Measures

  • Do not use salt in cooking or add it to your food. Salt will make you retain fluids and make your heart failure worse.
  • Consult with your physician or nutritionist to find out about specific dietary requirements and ways to enhance your eating plan to maximize your heart health.

Herbs and Supplements

Before taking any herbs or supplements, ask your caregiver if it is OK. Talk to your caregiver about how much you should take. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the label. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to. The herbs and supplements listed may or may not help treat your condition.

Many of these herbs and supplements can cause problems with medicines you are already taking. Talk with your caregiver before taking any of the following herbs or supplements.

Herbs

  • Hawthorn (Crataegus oxyacantha) may be helpful for CHF and has been studied in people.
  • Terminalia (Terminalia arjuna) has been used for many years, but has not been studied in people who have CHF.

Supplements

  • Arginine has been used, but has not been studied in people who have CHF.
  • Carnitine (L-carnitine), an amino acid, may be effective and has been studied in people who have CHF.
  • Coenzyme Q10 may be helpful for CHF and has been studied in people.
  • Creatine may be helpful for CHF and has been studied in people.
  • Magnesium is often used to help with other problems that people with CHF may have, but has not been studied in people who have CHF.
  • Potassium is often used to help with other problems that people with CHF may have, but has not been studied in people who have CHF.
  • Propionyl-l-Carnitine may be helpful for CHF and has been studied in people.
  • Taurine may be helpful for CHF and has been studied in people.

Complementary Therapies

  • Acupuncture may be helpful in CHF.
  • Exercise. Work with your caregiver to make an exercise plan.


Other ways to treat your symptoms are available to you.
Talk to your caregiver if:

  • You would like medicine to treat CHF.
  • Your symptoms have not gone away or improved by these self-help measures.
  • You have swelling in your ankles, feet, hands, face, or neck.
  • You have gained more than 3 pounds in 1 day or 5 pounds in 1 week.
  • You are lightheaded or dizzy, sweaty, or nauseated after you take your medicine.
  • You cough up yellow, green, or pink sputum.
  • You have a dry cough that does not go away.
  • You are wheezing (a high pitched noise when breathing in or out).
  • You do not have an appetite and do not want to eat.
  • You have questions about what you have read in this document.

SEEK CARE IMMEDIATELY IF:

  • You are too dizzy to stand up.
  • You have signs of a heart attack:
    • You have chest pain or discomfort that spreads to your arms, jaw, or back
    • You have nausea (upset stomach).
    • You are sweating.
    • You have more trouble breathing than usual or cannot sleep or rest because of breathing problems.
    • This is an emergency. Call 911 or 0 (operator) for an ambulance to take you to the nearest hospital or clinic. Do not drive yourself!