(NewsUSA) – Sponsored News – Summer brings warmer temperatures, and that means more people are enjoying the outdoors. But if you have heart failure, it’s important to know that heat can also put extra stress on your heart.
Heart failure is a condition that signals the heart is already working harder to provide the body with enough blood, oxygen and nutrients. Heart failure doesn’t mean the heart has failed completely; however, it isn’t pumping effectively enough to meet the body’s demands. That’s why the hot summer temperatures can be particularly dangerous for heart failure patients — the heat forces an already stressed heart to work even harder to cool the body down. If you have a chronic heart condition like heart failure, there are simple precautions you can take to enjoy the outdoors and stay healthy.
How to Stay Heart- Healthy in the Heat
1. Drink plenty of water before spending time outdoors and take regular water breaks during any physical activity.
The Mayo Clinic recommends women drink an average of 9 cups and men 13 cups of water per day. The American Heart Association suggests avoiding alcohol and caffeinated beverages as the temperatures climb, as they can contribute to dehydration.
2. Wear light clothing and avoid the outdoors during hottest times of the day. The sun is strongest between the hours of noon and 3 p.m., so taking regular breaks in the shade will help your body avoid overheating.
3. In addition to making smarter choices while out in the hot summer temperatures, there are several other important ways that men and women with heart failure can live healthier lifestyles. One of the most important ways is to talk to your doctor about the best management strategies, which can include lifestyle changes, medications, medical devices or surgery.
In the early stages of heart failure, a doctor may suggest lifestyle changes such as a low-sodium diet and regular exercise. As the disease progresses, medications or an implanted device, such as a cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) device, may be necessary to help the heart continue beating more efficiently. CRT technology resynchronizes the lower chambers of the heart by sending uniquely programmed electrical impulses to stimulate each ventricle to beat in sync and offer optimal cardiac performance. A new technology, the CardioMEMS HF System, is designed to help physicians monitor pressures near the heart, which can increase weeks before fluid builds up and symptoms occur. This monitoring allows the doctor to proactively adjust medications to lower pressures, avoiding symptoms and possible hospitalizations. Late-stage heart failure therapy options include a left-ventricular assist device (LVAD), which is a mechanical heart pump that helps circulate blood throughout the body when the heart can’t effectively work on its own.
Patients with heart failure should remember that with a few slight lifestyle adjustments, they can enjoy the summer and take advantage of the warmer weather. Patients should remember to make smart choices about how much time they spend outdoors in the heat, listen to their bodies, and stay up to date on the latest management strategies available for heart failure treatment.
For more information, visit www.heartfailureanswers.com.