Heart Failure Disease Management Program
We offer a program is designed to provide information and resources to members with heart failure. Members in this program receive some or all of the following information:
- Educational materials and other resources to assist you in the self-management of your heart failure
- Recommendations for appropriate lifestyle changes to better control your heart failure
- Nurse Case Management services (based on severity and risk factors) if needed
I have Heart Failure. What Can I Do?
The best thing you can do is learn as much as you can about heart failure and the steps you can take to help reduce your risk of developing complications.
Other things you can do:
- Weigh yourself daily
- Take your medications as prescribed
- Limit your Sodium (salt) intake
- Limit your fluid intake
- Stop Smoking
- Get Immunized
- Have recommended tests/procedures
Weigh Yourself Daily
Weigh yourself every day at the same time, and write it down. Call your health care provider if your weight increases by 2 pounds overnight or 5 pounds in one week. Monitor for and call your health care provider if you have increased swelling of feet, ankles, legs, and/or abdomen.
Take Your Medications As Prescribed
Taking medications as prescribed is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Your healthcare provider may treat you with one or more medications; call your provider if you have any concerns about taking your medications.
Limit Sodium Intake As Recommended By Your Healthcare Provider
You will be asked to limit your sodium to no more than 2000 mg. of sodium (salt) daily. Limiting sodium is an important way to decrease symptoms of heart failure. Eating sodium can make your body retain too much water, which in turn makes your heart work harder.
Limit Fluid Intake As Recommended By Your Healthcare Provider
You will be asked to limit your fluids to a maximum of 2 quarts per day. Fluids include not only all liquid intake, but also items that melt or are soft at room temperature. Too much fluid may force your heart to work harder. Stop Smoking If you smoke, quit. Smoking narrows blood vessels, making it harder to breathe. It increases your blood pressure, and also your heart rate. It puts you at greater risk for developing other heart and health problems. If you are interested in quitting, go to For You, our protected member portal to learn more about Breathe, our web based tobacco cessation program. Or, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW to access your local tobacco quit line and talk with someone who is trained to help people quit.
Discuss the possibilities of exercise with your healthcare provider. Physical exercise has been shown to have many benefits for people with heart failure. It can help your heart pump more efficiently and improve the flow of blood through your body. Your healthcare provider can help you develop an exercise plan based on your fitness level.
- Influenza: People with chronic illnesses such as heart failure are at high risk for complications of the flu. The best way to protect yourself from getting the flu and possible complications is by getting an annual flu shot
- Pneumonia: People with heart failure are at risk for pneumonia. Getting vaccinated against pneumonia is good protection. One dose provides life-long protection for most people.
Have Recommended Tests/Procedures
Your health care provider may order some of the following tests:
- Echocardiogram (Echo): An Echo is a painless, safe ultrasound test for your heart. This test shows how well your heart muscle and valves are working, and it shows us how large your heart is
- Electrocardiogram (ECG): An ECGis a non-invasive, painless test to record the heart’s electrical activity. This test may be done while you are resting, or while walking on a moving treadmill.
- Chest X-ray: A chest x-ray may be done to help in diagnosing heart failure.
Learn More about Heart Failure
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This web page was updated on January 5, 2018.