Congestive Heart Failure Tampa VA Patient Education


Hi welcome, I’m here to talk to you about Congestive heart failure. I know it sounds like a terminal illness It sounds like you’re dying but I’m here to tell you today we have patients who live a long time with a quality of life.

so what is congestive heart failure some people describe it as if you think of your body as the car and your heart is the engine well its the engine is weak and as a result of that fluid backs into the lungs and you feel like you’re drowning or suffocating?

it’s our job to determine what caused the engine to fail we get asked a lot is how to deal with the craving to want to eat more salt because we limit your salt intake to 2,000 mils a day again that’s barely a teaspoon well we ask you to use as a substitute .

Actually use herbs and spices if not just use the garlic or time red pepper and black pepper any one of these herbs or spices if not just use garlic or thyme red pepper or black pepper anyone of these herbs or spices will take the place of your craving for salt.

I promise you if you give it 4 weeks you will not miss the salt at all, in fact, the next time you go out to someone’s house or a restaurant you almost went to split the food out because then you will notice and taste every morsel of that sodium.

Lastly how to deal with your craving to want to drink. we asked you to limit it to 64 ounces a day we recommend that you chew gum or candy, sugarless if you are diabetic.

Unless you chit’s really going to get that saliva going help you deal with that craving some of our patients recommend freezing grapes.

if you ever tried it it’s pretty good but it really helped deal with your Cravings to want to drink so freeze whatever fruit you like grapes were really well or freeze that water bottle that you drinking. That 16 ounces or 20 oz bottle instead of just drinking it straight freeze it and then, you can step on it for several hours.

so those are just some of the tricks we want you to do to deal with those cravings. In addition to those Lifestyle Changes in medication is our job to determine what caused the engine to fail or to weekend and they can be a number thing some of the most common things is bad plumbing.

Are the arteries clogged up, how do we fix that, we do a procedure called heart catheterization? Where we looking and see if you have blockages. we can remedy that by sometimes surgery bypass surgery that’s when the surgeons I have to do a bypass or we can open up the artery with a balloon and leave a device still call a stent will keep that artery propped open it acts as a scaffold.

In addition to the bad Plumbing, it can be a leaky valve or tight valve with an opening that is very small so not enough blood to go through that opening and so it’s very easy for fluid to back up in the lungs and make you feel like you’re drowning.

Uncontrolled blood pressure alcohol sleep apnea we’re finding more and more people actually have sleep apnea including myself. Okay, so what is sleep apnea.

Well, for example, if you have obstructive sleep apnea and you have a big tongue for example when you lay down that tongue blocks your breathing tube, and when it blocks your breathing tube not enough of the normal oxygen that enters actually goes down the lungs and your lungs collapse and you stop breathing.

Okay, so, fortunately, God made it so for the brain that wakes us up when it’s been since we’re not breathing and so you wake up almost like in the panic, and as a result of that, you don’t get your good deep REM sleep because you don’t sleep well at night when you don’t get your REM sleep you’re extremely fatigued for the rest of the day and you may still have problems with your memory you may wake up with a headache.

You may notice uncontrolled blood pressure you may notice the rapid heartbeat. Those are some of the signs and symptoms related to untreated sleep apnea and eventually congestive heart failure.

We try to treat that a lot of patients wear a mask called the CPAP device and what it does is it allows the normal oxygen that enters and it creates and vacuum around your mouth and nose that will force literally the oxygen down the lungs under pressure.

Those lungs open so you don’t stop breathing you don’t wake up in the middle of the night you get a good deep sleep. And in and we can prevent those unfortunate side effects for complications that we spoke of and more specifically congestive heart failure. If you getting short of breath especially when you lay down and you have to sit up to breathe, that’s most likely congestive heart failure.

or you get on that scale in the morning and you gained 3 lb of unexplained weight gain. generally, that means the fluid is back and you had too much salt or water.

So what we expect you to do is go ahead and double up on those water pills, instead of taking one in the morning or one in the evening we don’t mean that you double up by taking two at the same time and if that doesn’t work then that’s when we want you to call us.

Obviously, if you’re very short of breath even sitting up we want you to call 911. So when you double up we want you to go ahead and do that for two to three days until you lose those 3 pounds of extra fluid and again if it doesn’t work please give us a call because we may instruct you to triple up or quadruple up and then we’ll have to see you in the office because you can lose too many electrolytes.

For example potassium.

Then you start getting that cramping and that painful feeling. So we also don’t want you to wait till you gain 5 to 10 lb because again these water pills may not work when you double up and again we may have to triple up or quadruple up.

Okay so now that’s how you recognize when you have too much fluid we also want you to recognize when maybe you taking too many water pills. So most people if you drink 2 liters or 64 oz is a day and you’re taking your water pill that kind of keeps your fluids status even.

You don’t have too much and you don’t have too little but you can have too little if you doing what we ask but in addition to that you have diarrhea. For some reason or you working out in that sun in your sweater does that means you may be putting out more than you’re taking in and you will experience lightheadedness or dizziness.

Okay, Feeling like you want to pass out. okay, or you may start to see that your urine instead of being clear yellow urine looks pretty dark. If that’s the case that may be a sign that you’re not drinking enough water.

We asked you to go ahead to drink an additional 8 ounces of water that day Or maybe you decide to hold off on your fluid pill that day or the following day okay so but if you have any questions about whether or not if you have too much fluid or perhaps dehydrated just give us a call. We’ll help too, help you figure that out as well.

Otherwise, thank you for your attention please don’t hesitate to call us if you have any questions about anything we talked about today. Thank you.

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