Heart Failure (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Your treatment for heart failure depends on:
Sometimes heart failure can be fixed if another problem can be corrected, such as by replacing a heart valve or treating hyperthyroidism.
In the early stages of heart failure, you'll take medicines and make lifestyles changes that can improve your symptoms. Treatment also may prevent more damage to your heart.
You will have regular doctor visits to see how treatment is working and to make changes to your care as needed.
You will likely take:
You also will likely take medicines to treat the cause of your heart failure. For more information, see the Medications section.
It's very important to take your medicines exactly as your doctor prescribes.
You will need to make some changes in your daily life to treat heart failure. Your doctor may ask you to:
Making lifestyle changes can be hard. For more information, see the Living With Heart Failure section.
You will keep following your lifestyle changes, such as limiting sodium, not smoking, and being active.
Your doctor will add other medicines and other treatments as you need them. Your doctor also will try to prevent or treat problems—such as fever, arrhythmia, and anemia—that can lead to sudden heart failure.
Your treatment may include:
Treatment if your condition gets much worse
In some cases when standard treatment doesn't help, you may have other treatments. These include:
But these are options for only a very small number of people.
As your heart failure gets worse, you may want to think about palliative care. It's a kind of care for people who have illnesses that don't go away and often get worse over time. It's different than care to cure your illness. But some people combine both types of care.
If you are interested in palliative care, talk to your doctor. He or she may be able to manage your care or refer you to a doctor who specializes in this type of care.
For more information, see the topic Palliative Care.
Because heart failure tends to get worse over time, it's important to think about what kind of care you would like at the end of your life. It's also important that your doctor and family know what you want.
An advance directive is a legal document that tells doctors how to care for you at the end of your life. For more information, see End-of-Life Decisions.
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