Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a condition in which the
heart's function as a pump is inadequate to deliver oxygen rich
blood to the body.
Congestive heart failure can be caused by: 1. Diseases that weaken the heart muscle,
2. Diseases that cause stiffening of the heart muscles, or
3. Diseases that increase oxygen demand by the body tissue
beyond the capability of the heart to deliver adequate
Many diseases can impair the pumping action of the ventricles.
For example, the muscles of the ventricles can be weakened by
heart attacks or infections (myocarditis).
Diseases such as hemochromatosis (iron overload) or amyloidosis
can cause stiffening of the heart muscle and impair the
ventricles' capacity to relax and fill. Additionally, in some
patients, although the pumping action and filling capacity of
the heart may be normal, abnormally high oxygen demand by the
body's tissues (for example, with hyperthyroidism or anemia) may
make it difficult for the heart to supply an adequate blood flow
(called high output heart failure).
Congestive heart failure can affect many organs of the body
including the functioning of kidney because of which there is
retention of water in several body parts leading to pulmonary
edema or swelling of the legs and ankles. Even the intestinal
absorption of nutrients is affected.
Symptoms include Fatigue, Shortness of breath,
Increased urination especially at night, nausea,
and Decreased Appetite.
Dietary Modifications in CONGESTIVE HEART
Enjoying what you eat is important. Even if you crave salt you
can learn to like foods that are lower in salt. Your taste buds
will change soon, and you will not miss the salt. Removing salt
can bring out flavors that may have been hidden by the salt.
Restricting salt and fluid intake is often recommended because
of the tendency of fluid to accumulate in the lungs and
Reduce the salt content in your diet by trying the following
suggestions: *Choose plenty
of fresh fruits and vegetables. They contain only small amounts
that are low in salt, such as fresh meats, poultry, fish, dry
and fresh legumes, eggs, milk and yogurt. Plain rice, pasta and
oatmeal are good low-sodium choices. However, the sodium content
can increase if salt or other high-sodium ingredients are added
during their preparation.
with herbs, spices, herbed vinegar and fruit juices. Avoid herb
or spice mixtures that contain salt or sodium. Use lemon juice
or fresh ground pepper to accent natural flavors.
food labels before you buy packaged foods.
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