Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) Treatment

Medical Author:

Doctor's View on Congestive Heart Failure Treatment

Comment by Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

Congestive heart failure treatment

The treatment of congestive heart failure is complex and involves an interaction among lifestyle modifications, medications, and in some cases, electric or mechanical devices to assist the heart.

Congestive heart failure lifestyle changes

The most important lifestyle changes recommended for people with CHF is the restriction of dietary sodium and fluid. Patients with CHF often have excess fluid and overconsumption of sodium and fluid only worsen this condition. Most doctors recommend that no more than 2 grams of sodium be consumed each day by those with CHF and fluid intake is typically restricted to about 2 quarts a day.

Congestive heart failure medications

A wide variety of medications are used in CHF with different treatment goals. ACE inhibitors are a class of drugs that are used in most people with CHF and they have been effectively shown to relieve symptoms and prolong survival. Beta blockers may improve function in some patients who are already taking ACE inhibitors. Digoxin, which stimulates contraction of the heart muscle, has been used for many years to manage CHF. Diuretics can be useful in controlling fluid levels and preventing swelling of the legs.

Other treatments for congestive heart failure

Congestive Heart Failure Treatment Resources

Read patient comments on Congestive Heart Failure - Treatment

Doctor written main article on Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) Overview