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Heart DiseaseCongestive Heart Failure

Let's Talk About Congestive Heart Failure

When the heart weakens, it can trigger a serious domino effect in the body. We explore why it happens and what you can do.

    Our Pro PanelCongestive Heart Failure

    We went to some of the nation’s top experts in heart failure to bring you the most up-to-date information possible.

    Michael Goyfman M.D., MPH

    Michael Goyfman M.D., MPHDirector of Clinical Cardiology

    Long Island Jewish Forest Hills
    Queens, NY
    David Friedman, M.D.

    David Friedman, M.D.Director of Heart Failure Services

    Northwell Health’s LIJ Valley Stream
    Long Island, NY
    Olujimi A. Ajijola, M.D., Ph.D.

    Olujimi A. Ajijola, M.D., Ph.D.Cardiologist and Assistant Professor of Medicine

    David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA
    Los Angeles

    Frequently Asked QuestionsCongestive Heart Failure

    What heart failure symptoms should I never ignore?

    Not everyone realizes their heart is in trouble until they wind up in the emergency room. To avoid that scenario, never ignore shortness of breath, especially without exercise, or swelling in your arms or legs, which may be a sign that excess fluids are collecting inside your body. For any symptom that concerns you, don’t wait to see if gets better. Call your doctor today.

    How do I know if my heart failure is severe?

    Your doctor will determine this during diagnosis. No matter what stage of your disease, keep in mind there are many treatment options available, including medications, implantable devices, and even heart transplantation.

    What is the right heart failure treatment for me?

    Every heart failure patient is different, and so is the right treatment. Your best strategy is to get to know your disease, how it affects you, and how to monitor yourself. Then you and your doctor will come up with a plan that works for you.

    What can I do to help my heart work better?

    Follow your treatment plan, manage any other underlying health conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes, be as active as possible, and get enough sleep. If you smoke, quit. Most doctors also suggest people with heart failure should also avoid alcohol.

    Matt McMillen

    Matt McMillen

    Matt McMillen has been a freelance health reporter since 2002. In that time he’s covered everything from acupuncture to the Zika virus.