Congestive heart failure is one of the most prevalent conditions in clinical medicine. If you have it, you know that with a weakened heart muscle, you may find yourself feeling short of breath, fatigued, feeling dizzy or having no appetite.
If not managed, you also may find yourself making trips to the emergency department with things like pneumonia, or other medical conditions.
Unfortunately, heart failure is a lifelong condition and without management it can be debilitating. The good news is that you don’t have to let it control your life. You can control it.
If you are a heart failure patient or a family member, you will learn the basics about heart failure, along with all the ways you can manage the condition. Instructors will teach you about the importance of the proper diet and the specifics on proper medication.
The class is taught by Prairie Cardiologist, Nabil Al-Sharif, MD and the coordinator of the Cardiac Management Center, Vicki Miller, RN, BSN.
In addition to gaining a more in depth understanding of the disease, according to Miller, Heart Failure University is like its own support group. “It’s a chance to talk with others who are coping with heart failure,” she said. Patients also enjoy having the attention of professionals to get all their questions answered. “It’s every opportunity for knowledge all rolled up into one.”
Congestive heart failure happens when the heart becomes so damaged that it just cannot pump blood the way it should anymore. “If you’ve suffered for a long time with heart disease, high blood pressure, arrhythmias etc, eventually it takes its toll on the heart,” said Al-Sharif.
By modifying your lifestyle and learning the particulars, you can self-manage the disease to allow for better quality of life.