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Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) Contributions by ColleenO

Article Revisions

American Lung Association website. Available at: http://www.lungusa.org/. Accessed July 15, 2008.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/. Accessed July 15, 2008.

National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/. Accessed July 15, 2008.

3/25/2008 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php : Parkes G, Greenhalgh T, Griffin M, Dent R. Effect on smoking quit rate of telling patients their lung age: the Step2quit randomised controlled trial. BMJ. 2008;336:598-600.

7/6/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php : Myung SK, McDonnell DD, Kazinets G, Seo HG, Moskowitz JM. Effects of Web- and computer-based smoking cessation programs: meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Arch Intern Med. 2009;169:929-937.

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A number of different health professionals may have different methods and products that can support you in quitting smoking.

  • MD
  • Naturopathic doctor
  • Acupuncturist
  • Herbalist
  • Nutritionist
  • Health coach
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A number of different health professionals may have different methods and products that can support you in quitting smoking.

  • MD
  • Naturopathic doctor
  • Acupuncturist
  • Herbalist
  • Nutritionist
  • Health coach
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There are a number of ways to quit smoking. For more information and tips, see the Smoking Cessation article.

You don't have to quit alone. In fact, quitting with a friend or loved one can increase both of your chances for success.

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Because smoking is one of the major lifestyle contributors to the development of congestive heart failure, quitting can be an important part of preventing and treating the disease.

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Smoking is one of the top three lifestyle factors that put people at risk for developing congestive heart failure (CHF). Smoking damages your blood vessels, reduces the amount of oxygen in your blood, and forces your heart to work harder. These consequences are particularly problematic for people with congestive heart failure. Quitting smoking can improve your health and sense of well-being.

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Because smoking is one of the major lifestyle contributors to the development of congestive heart failure, quitting can be an important part of preventing and treating the disease.

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American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine website. Available at: http://www.sportsmed.org/tabs/Index.aspx . Accessed September 4, 2008.

Exercise: how to get started. American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: http://www.aafp.org/afp/20061215/2095ph.html . Published December 2006. Accessed September 4, 2008.

Health and fitness tips. American Council on Exercise website. Available at: http://www.acefitness.org/healthandfitnesstips/default.aspx . Accessed September 4, 2008.

Mayo Clinic. Stretching: focus on flexibility. Mayo Clinic website. Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/stretching/hq01447. Updated February 21, 2010. Accessed May 18, 2010.

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  • MD
  • Personal trainer
  • Yoga therapist
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See the Exercise article for more information and tips on starting a regular exercise routine.

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Even though you might find that you are unable to exercise as vigorously as in the past, keeping as physically active as possible is an important goal in managing your congestive heart failure (CHF).

See the exercise article for more information and tips on starting a regular exercise routine. Note: Do not begin any exercise program without consulting your doctor. Depending on the symptoms and severity of your condition, your doctor may have you do an exercise test before starting a program. If you have severe CHF, heavy lifting or extreme exertion is not recommended.

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Research suggests that people with stable CHF who participate in high-intensity aerobic training experience improvements in their physical activity level and quality of life.

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Even though you might find that you are unable to exercise as vigorously as in the past, keeping as physically active as possible is an important goal in managing your congestive heart failure (CHF).

Note: Do not begin any exercise program without consulting your doctor. Depending on the symptoms and severity of your condition, your doctor may have you do an exercise test before starting a program. If you have severe CHF, heavy lifting or extreme exertion is not recommended.

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Research suggests that people with stable CHF who participate in high-intensity aerobic training experience improvements in their physical activity level and quality of life.

... (more)

What is typically called a "heart-healthy diet" involves limiting sodium, certain types of fat, and cholesterol, while emphasizing more healthful foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats.

Because of the link between diabetes and heart disease, some experts consider a low-glycemic diet or low-carbohydrate diet to be the most heart-healthy option. To find what works best for you, talk with your doctor, investigate your options, and experiment.

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Consider the following lifestyle modifications, which are recommended for people with CHF:

  • Exercise regularly: Even though you might find that you are unable to exercise as vigorously as in the past, keeping as physically active as possible is an important goal in managing your CHF. Research suggests that people with stable CHF who participate in high-intensity aerobic training experience improvements in their physical activity level and quality of life. See the exercise article for more information and tips on starting a regular exercise routine. Do not begin any exercise program without consulting your doctor. Depending on the symptoms and severity of your condition, your doctor may have you do an exercise test before starting a program. If you have severe CHF, heavy lifting or extreme exertion is not recommended.
  • Lose excess weight: Excess weight can put a strain on the heart muscle, which can eventually lead to CHF. If you are overweight, adopt a sensible eating plan and exercise routine that will enable you to lose weight gradually and maintain your weight at the desired level. One indicator of healthy weight is body mass index. BMI of 25 and above is associated with high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, and increased risk of heart disease.
  • Discontinue or avoid smoking: Smoking damages your blood vessels, reduces the amount of oxygen in your blood, and forces your heart to work harder. Discuss with your doctor the best way to help you quit smoking. See the smoking cessation article for more information and tips. Also remember that secondhand smoke is detrimental to your health. Make sure you are not exposed to cigarette smoke at all.

For more lifestyle modifications recommended to prevent and treat CHF, click here.

Note: Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a serious disease that absolutely requires conventional medical evaluation and supervision. No one should self-treat for CHF. However, natural treatments such as lifestyle modification may complement standard medical care when monitored by an appropriate healthcare professional. Consult with your physician.

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What is typically called a "heart-healthy diet" involves limiting sodium, certain types of fat, and cholesterol, while emphasizing more healthful foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats.

Because of the link between diabetes and heart disease, some experts consider a low-glycemic diet][1] or [ low-carbohydrate diet to be the most heart-healthy option. To find what works best for you, talk with your doctor, investigate your options, and experiment.

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American Dietetic Association. Nutrition Care Manual. American Dietetic Association website. Available at: http://nutritioncaremanual.org . Accessed December 8, 2009.

American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.americanheart.org . Accessed January 12, 2006.

Shield J, Mullen MC. Patient education materials. Supplement to the Manual of Clinical Dietetics . 3rd ed. Chicago, IL: American Dietetic Association; 2001.

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It can be challenging to alter your diet, especially if you are trying to make big changes. Consider working with a nutritionist or dietitian to create a customized eating plan that is most likely to fit you and your life. Your doctor or naturopath may also have resources on heart-healthy eating.

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This diet involves limiting certain foods (those that are high in cholesterol, sodium, and some fats) and emphasizing others, such as whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and lean meats. For more details and tips, see the full article on Heart-Healthy Diet.

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