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Living With Heart Failure

The term “heart failure” may sound frightening but it does not mean the heart is not working at all. Heart failure is not a specific disease but a shorthand way of describing a group of symptoms caused by the diseases that make the heart unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s requirements.

If you have heart failure, you are not alone – an estimated 6 million Americans are diagnosed with heart failure. Education can increase quality of life, self confidence and decrease the incidence of re-hospitalization by assisting you and your caregivers to incorporate the recommended behaviors into your lifestyle.

Individuals with heart failure may also experience irregular heartbeats called arrhythmias. Many conditions and substances affect the heart's rhythm. Conditions like diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are common causes.

The #1 member of the health care team is you! Hoag can assist you in gaining self-reliance with education to better manage your heart failure. The key to success is your lifelong commitment to following the guidelines for medication, diet, exercise, and self-monitoring daily weight and symptoms.

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!