Congestive Heart Failure
Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a condition where the heart is unable to pump blood through the body as well as it should. While the term might sound frightening, many people can live a long, productive life with CHF simply by making lifestyle changes.
Studies have shown that people involved in a disease management/wellness program are better able to control certain factors that can reduce symptoms and improve health and well-being.
Possible benefits of the disease management/wellness program:
- Feel better and more productive
- Reduce medical expenses by reducing urgent doctor visits and emergency room visits
- Improve overall health
Components of the program can include:
- Phone contact with a nurse case manager
- Educational materials
- Coordination with the member's doctor
Find valuable information on congestive heart failure at these related Web sites:
Making changes in your lifestyle can greatly improve your quality of life with CHF and may even extend your life.
Work to make the following lifestyle changes:
- Lower sodium and salt intake.
- Maintain a simple exercise program.
- Monitor your weight daily and try to keep your weight down.
- Be aware of changes in other symptoms, such as increased shortness of breath or chest discomfort. Be sure to report these changes to your doctor.
- Know the name of each medicine you take and develop a plan for remembering to take these medications daily.
- Eat a diet low in cholesterol and fat.
- Quit smoking (if you smoke).
- Monitor your blood pressure.
Symptoms of CHF
Some of the symptoms of congestive heart failure include:
- Shortness of breath, especially after exercise or at night while lying in bed
- Swelling of the feet, ankles and sometimes the abdomen
- Chest discomfort (not always present)
- Weight gain
The information provided on BCBSOK's disease management/wellness pages is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice or health care services. Consult with your physician before undertaking any new treatment program, or if you have questions regarding care for a medical condition.