Heart failure occurs when your heart can't pump enough blood in order to supply your body's cells with the oxygen that they need, and it can greatly reduce your quality of life. Symptoms of heart failure include constant shortness of breath due to the lack of oxygen along with fluid retention caused by the cells in your kidneys not receiving the oxygen that they need in order to filter waste properly.

Heart failure is a progressive disease, so symptoms tend to worsen over time as your heart becomes progressively less able to pump blood throughout your body. Managing your heart failure well can help slow the progression of the disease, and it can also help you reduce the severity of the symptoms that you're experiencing. One of the best ways to manage your heart failure is to seek the help of a cardiac care center, which helps people live with chronic conditions like heart failure. To learn more about how a cardiac care center can help you manage your heart failure, read on.

Dieticians Help You Modify Your Diet to Reduce Sodium Intake

One of the most important ways to help manage your heart failure is to control your diet. People who have heart failure often need to limit the amount of sodium they eat, as excess sodium in the diet can make fluid retention worse. Unfortunately, this can be quite difficult, as most processed food that you'll find at the store contains large amounts of sodium, making it off-limits when you need to limit your intake.

A dietician can help you reduce the amount of sodium you consume as part of your diet by helping you create meal plans. Dieticians work with you to find healthy alternatives to food that you enjoy eating, allowing you to reduce sodium intake without feeling deprived by being forced to eat foods that you don't like. Working with a dietician and following a low-sodium diet can help you avoid hospitalization due to extreme fluid retention, and it can also help lower your blood pressure, which can reduce kidney damage.

Physical Therapists Aid You in Developing an Acceptable Exercise Program

Regular exercise is another important component of managing heart failure. Aerobic exercise can increase the amount of air you're able to breathe in, which helps improve blood oxygenation and reduce heart failure symptoms. However, heart failure makes it very difficult to exercise — patients with severe heart failure often feel short of breath even while they're at rest, so vigorous exercise isn't an option.

Thankfully, this is another area where a cardiac care center is able to help. Nurses and physical therapists working at cardiac care centers are skilled at cardiac rehab, and you'll be able to receive an individualized aerobic exercise plan that's tailored to the severity of your heart failure symptoms. You'll be able to benefit from aerobic exercise without worrying that you're pushing yourself too hard, as the staff at the cardiac care center will ensure that the intensity of the exercise is safe for you.

Frequent Medication Management Helps Alleviate Symptoms While Minimizing Side Effects

Medication can be very useful in managing heart failure symptoms as well. Diuretic medication can help you expel excess fluid from your body through urination, and medication that lowers your blood pressure can reduce the damage done to your kidneys along with lowering your risk of future cardiac events such as a heart attack.

Medication management for heart failure is best done at a cardiac care center, as you're often able to schedule more frequent appointments with a medical provider at these centers when compared to your primary care provider. Your heart failure symptoms, the side effects you're experiencing from your medication, and the progression of your heart failure will all be closely monitored during your appointments. This allows the provider at a cardiac care center to finely adjust the dosage of your medications in order to ensure you're receiving maximum benefit while minimizing the side effects you feel from them.

If you have heart failure and you're not regularly attending a cardiac care center to help you manage it, find a center near you and schedule an appointment. Even if your heart failure isn't severe and isn't greatly affecting your life, it's still a good idea to seek the expertise of a cardiac care center because early intervention and management is very important when you have heart failure, as it can slow down the rate at which it worsens.