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 Living with Heart Failure – Questions and Answers

Living with heart failure? Ask Ohio State's Ross Heart Hospital experts your questions and we will reply with the answer.

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  • "My mother at age 9- developed heart failure, she is health and on the go, this has slowed her down, her drs have doubled up on her meds and is feeling some better, they will not do a cth because of her age although bloodwork and her health is great. Will she be this way forever or does it heal???"

    Unfortunately, with heart failure, once the size and shape of the heart have changed, it is not likely for it to correct itself. From your comments, it sounds like your mom has done pretty well and more invasive (riskier) tests like a heart catheterization would not be provide any more information to her doctors at this time. It is also not uncommon to have to increase medications to keep patients with heart failure feeling well. To help keep your mom feeling her best, make sure that she continues to take all of her medications as ordered, sees a healthcare professional regularly, and that she follows a low salt (2000 mg of soduim/day) diet. Also encourage her to weigh herself each morning and report weigh gain to her doctor or nurse so that that medication changes can be made before she feels bad and needs to go to the hospital.

    Todd Yamokoski, Ross Nurse

  • "Why do I need to restrict water consumption?"

    Restricting not only water but all fluid intake to 2 liters, 2000 ml or about 6-8 cups per day will help your heart function at its best. Because heart failure causes a weakening of the heart muscle and pump, it can only handle so much fluid at one time. By keeping fluid levels low you will prevent weight gain, swelling, shortness of breath and any other symptoms related to fluid overload. Remember to not drink or eat more than 2 liters or 2000 ml of fluid per 24 hours.

    Maghee Disch, Ross Nurse