Once a patient has been diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure (CHF), the doctor will suggest a course of treatment. The actual plan will vary from patient to patient, and depend on how serious the condition is. If the case of heart failure is relatively mild, the doctor may suggest that the patient make some lifestyle changes to deal with the symptoms of this disorder which include:
- Shortness of breath
- Swelling in the lower extremities
Lifestyle changes that can help to reduce the symptoms of CHF include lowering salt intake and increasing physical activity. The doctor may also suggest that the patient abstain from consuming alcohol.
Medications for Congestive Heart Failure
Along with lifestyle changes, the doctor may prescribe medications to treat CHF. One of the options available is a type of drugs known as Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. This type of medication may also be prescribed for high blood pressure.
It dilates the arteries, which lowers the strain on the heart and makes it easier for the cells in the body to stay supplied with oxygenated blood.
Since CHF can also make the heart work harder since the condition interferes with its ability to pump strongly, BETA blockers may also be prescribed. This type of medication helps the heart to relax and takes some of the strain off of it as it pumps. BETA blockers may be prescribed for mild to moderate cases of CHF.
The dosage of the BETA blockers must be regulated carefully, since this drug has a number of side effects, including low blood pressure, nausea, weakness, and difficulty breathing. The dosage of the BETA blockers may be slowly increased over several months until the correct amount of the medication is found.