|Living With Congestive Heart Failure |
|Heart Beats, Inc. Welcomes You!|
|FREE Lecture: “New Tests in Cardiology”|
|With ||Cardiologist Adolfo Luciano, MD|
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
|6:00 p.m.||Refreshments and conversation
Bridgeport Hospital, Café 267|
|6:30 p.m.||Speaker and discussion,|
Hollander Auditorium, Fourth Floor
|Sharing & Caring Group (formerly Support Group)||Wednesday, February 18, 2009
|5:30 p.m.||Bridgeport Hospital,|
duPont Board Room, First Floor
|Open to cardiac patients (from any hospital), their
loved ones and anyone interested in heart disease.
Share your experiences and concerns and learn from
others with similar experiences.|
Living With Congestive Heart Failure
More than five million adults in the United States live
with congestive heart failure—a serious condition for
which there is no definitive cure. Congestive heart
failure can be life-threatening, but with appropriate
treatment and lifestyle changes, most people can
continue their regular activities.
What is congestive heart failure?
Congestive heart failure is a condition in which the
heart struggles to pump an adequate amount of blood
throughout the body. The weakened heart either cannot fill
with enough blood or pump with enough force—or both.
This decreased pumping power can cause fluid to back
up into the lungs or the abdomen, or build up in the
lower extremities, causing shortness of breath, fluid
retention and other symptoms.
Breaking News: Bridgeport Hospital
BEST in Connecticut for Heart Attack Survival!
According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human
Services’ Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Could a person have congestive heart failure
and not know it?
Symptoms can come on so gradually that some people
do not realize something is seriously wrong with their
heart. Most people with congestive heart failure have
shortness of breath, low energy, nausea, a recurrent
cough and swelling in the abdomen, hands, feet and
legs. Others report feeling a heavy heart beat and an
unusually fast heart rate. Some people need to use
more and more pillows to elevate their head to sleep
comfortably, while others experience a sudden weight
gain of three to five pounds in a week or more than
two pounds in a day.
What causes congestive heart failure?
Congestive heart failure is usually caused by another
heart problem. Common causes include high blood pressure,
coronary heart disease (blocked arteries), valvular
heart disease (leaky or blocked valves), cardiomyopathy
(heart muscle damage) and congenital defects (problems
with the heart structure present at birth).
What can a person with congestive
heart failure do to stay healthy?
heart failure do to stay healthy?
A comprehensive strategy combining education,
medication, exercise and healthy eating can make
all the difference in maintaining quality of life.
First, treat the underlying cause of your congestive heart
failure. For example, if you also have high blood pressure,
work on ways to lower it (with your doctor’s help) through
diet, exercise and medication.
Second, consider making several lifestyle changes that
may improve symptoms. A few things you can do:
- Limit the amount of sodium (salt) you eat to
2,000 mg per day. Reading food labels can help
you track how much sodium is in your food.
- Reduce your saturated fat and trans fat intake to
approximately 15 grams per day.
- Exercise three to five times per week. Start slowly,
increase gradually and be consistent.
- Lose weight if you are overweight. Weigh yourself
daily to check for fluid retention or swelling, and
call your doctor if you gain more than three to
five pounds in a week or two pounds in one day.
You will need a good scale.
- Stop smoking, reduce stress and drink little or
There are a variety of medications that can help improve
your quality of life as well as reduce the need for
hospitalizations related to congestive heart failure.
Make sure to keep your doctors’ appointments, take
medications as prescribed and report any symptoms
of worsening heart failure to your doctor.
New pacemakers and defibrillators can help improve
the function of a damaged heart muscle and dramatically
reduce the risk of life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias
(irregular heartbeat). As heart failure worsens, intravenous
medications (IVs) given in the setting of a
congestive heart failure clinic (available at Bridgeport
Hospital) can help and may be recommended by your
doctor. In extreme cases, a person may be a candidate
for a heart transplant (available at Yale-New Haven
Hospital, our partner in the Yale New Haven Health
Although there is no cure for congestive heart failure,
there are several things you and your doctor can do to
help you live life to its fullest. By addressing the cause of
your congestive heart failure and developing an individualized
treatment plan to help you maintain a healthy
lifestyle, you can better maintain your heart health.
Need a Physician?
|Bridgeport Hospital proudly offers Fairfield
County’s most comprehensive congestive heart
failure services with access to state-of-the-art
diagnostic and treatment in a caring environment.
For a referral to an expert physician affiliated
with Bridgeport Hospital, or a cardiologist
who specializes in congestive heart failure,
call us toll free, 24/7, at 1-888-357-2396 or visit
Bean and Macaroni Soup
A cholesterol-free, inexpensive, low calorie, high-protein
hearty winter soup.
- 2 cans (16 oz) great northern beans or any
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 cups carrots, sliced
- 1 cup celery, coarsely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3 cups cut-up peeled fresh tomatoes or
1-1/2 lbs canned whole tomatoes, cut up
- 1 tsp dried sage
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- Black pepper to taste
- 1 bay leaf, crumbled
- 4 cups cooked elbow macaroni
- Drain beans and reserve liquid. Rinse beans.
- Heat oil in a 6-quart kettle. Add mushrooms, onion,
carrots, celery and garlic. Sauté for 5 minutes.
- Add tomatoes, sage, thyme, oregano, pepper
and bay leaf.
- Cover and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook macaroni according to directions
on package using unsalted water. Drain when
cooked. Do not overcook.
- Combine reserved bean liquid with water to
make 4 cups.
- Add liquid, beans and cooked macaroni to
- Bring to a boil; cover and simmer until soup is
thoroughly heated. Stir occasionally
Yield: 16 servings, 1 cup each