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What are the treatments for heart failure?

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Quick Answer

Treatments for heart failure include the use of medications, lifestyle changes, careful monitoring and surgery, according to WebMD. Addressing underlying conditions such as coronary heart disease, high blood pressure or diabetes is also critical in the treatment of heart failure, adds the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

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Full Answer

Heart failure results from damage to the heart or from diseases that weaken the heart, such as heart attacks and other medical conditions. When the heart is unable to properly pump blood, fluid backs up into the lungs and in other parts of the body, which can result in acute pulmonary edema, a life-threatening condition that requires emergency care, explains the Heart & Stroke Foundation. Symptoms of heart failure may include shortness of breath; sudden weight gain; bloating or feeling full; cough or cold symptoms that last for longer than a week; and a change in appetite. They also include increased urination at night; increased swelling of the ankles, feet, legs and sacrum or abdomen; and loss of energy or extreme tiredness.

Lifestyle changes to prevent damage to the heart include smoking cessation and abstinence from chewing tobacco, maintaining a healthy weight, regular exercise, cessation of alcohol use and control of high blood pressure, cholesterol levels and diabetes, notes WebMD.

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