The heart isn’t just the proverbial seat of emotions – it is, more importantly, the complex machine that pumps life-giving blood in the body. The diagnosis of congestive heart failure is then a cause for concern because of its health complications.
Fortunately, the symptoms of congestive heart failure can be improved with the use of medications. These drugs then contribute to a better quality of life, even to a longer lifespan, especially when coupled with healthy lifestyle habits.
Here are the medications that doctors commonly use in congestive heart failure:
- Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitors
These are vasodilators that widen the blood vessels resulting in decreased blood pressure and improved blood flow. The workload being carried by the heart can then be reduced so the symptoms improve, too.
- Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers
These are usually drugs prescribed as an alternative for people who have little to no tolerance for ACE inhibitors. These drugs include valsartan and losartan, which have the same benefits as the ACE inhibitors but with a different mechanism of action.
- Beta Blockers
These have multiple effects including slowing down the heart rate, reducing blood pressure, and limiting some of the damage in case of systolic heart failure. In effect, these work by improving the function of the heart so living longer becomes a possibility.
These work by promoting more frequent urination resulting in less fluid buildup. Their proper intake also results in the decrease of fluid accumulation in the lungs, thus, allowing for easier breathing.
Your doctor will likely change your medications depending on your response and progress. You should ideally take note of your symptoms – their onset, frequency, duration and severity – so that your doctor can make the necessary changes.
You may also explore other treatment options including medical devices and surgery. These can include coronary bypass surgery and heart valve repair, both of which have their pros and cons for each person.
Healthy Lifestyle Habits, Too
But even these medications will be of little to no use when you fail to adopt healthy lifestyle habits. Your body needs your help, too, and it starts with taking good care of it especially in adopting habits that promote better heart health.
You should eat a healthy diet filled with fruits, vegetables and whole grains; engage in moderate exercise with your doctor’s approval; and manage your stress. Your dedication to taking good care of yourself will translate to a better heart!