Health is the soundness of body and mind. It is concerned with principles and practices of proper diet, clothing, shelter, exercise, rest, sanitation, and the like. To maintain health, one must keep his body and his clothing clean. He should bathe frequently, wash his hands before eating, and brush his teeth. Drinking water should be pure, and food should be clean and properly stored and cooked. Surroundings should be kept sanitary at all times. Moderate exercise should be taken on a regular basis. Loss of health may result from disease, accidents, inherited biological defects, hazards of climate and weather, unhealthful surroundings, mental strain, or old age. When illness or injury occurs, the person with good health habits has the best chance of making a rapid recovery.
In my case, Heart disease runs in our family. That is why I take proactive measures by exercising regularly and eating healthy to reduce my risk of acquiring any of the heart disease like Congestive Health Failure and the like. I am also an avid runner and run 24 miles a week. I vividly know that regardless of the preventive measures that I am practicing I know that chances are I will still be prone of getting any heart disease because it is already in our genes.
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Heart Failure often referred to as Congestive Heart Failure is the inability of the heart to pump sufficient blood to meet the needs of the tissues for oxygen and nutrients. However, CHF is misleading, because it indicates that patients must experience pulmonary or peripheral congestion to have heart failure. It is also defined that heart failure is a clinical syndrome characterized by signs and symptoms of fluid overload or of inadequate tissue perfusion (Smeltzer et al. 796).
These signs and symptoms results when the heart is unable to generate a CO sufficient to meet the body’s demands. Some cases of HF are reversible, depending on the cause. Most often, HF is a life-long diagnosis that is managed with lifestyle changes and medications to prevent acute congestive episodes. CHF is usually an acute presentation of HF. The primary cause of HF is atherosclerosis of the coronary arteries.
Cardiomyopathy is a disease of the myocardium and usually heart failure due to cardiomyopathy becomes chronic. Valvular heart disease is also a cause of HF. The valves ensure that blood flows in one direction. With valvular dysfunction, blood has increasing difficulty moving forward, increasing pressure within the heart and increasing cardiac workload, leading to diastolic HF. Several systemic conditions contribute to the development and severity of HF, including increased metabolic rate like fever, thyrotoxicosis, iron overload, hypoxia, and anemia (Ammon, S. 34-40).
A critical step in the management of HF is early identification and documentation on the type of HF. Managing the patient with HF includes providing general counseling and education about sodium restriction, monitoring daily weights and other signs of fluid retention, encouraging regular exercise, and recommending avoidance of excessive fluid intake, alcohol, and smoking. A low- sodium diet and avoidance of excessive amounts of fluid are usually recommended for individuals having HF to avoid further complication and other potential health risks.
The purpose of sodium restriction is to decrease the amount of circulating volume, which would decrease the need for the heart to pump that volume. A balance needs to be achieved between the ability of the patient to alter the diet and the amount of medications prescribed. Any change in diet needs to be done with consideration of good nutrition (Bither, C.J., & Apple, S. 41- 47).
The individual having HF must keep track of his input and output record to identify a negative balance, one’s weight should also be monitored in a daily basis and auscultating lung sounds at least daily to detect an increase or decrease in pulmonary crackles, monitoring pulse rate and blood pressure, examining the skin turgor and mucous membranes for signs of dehydration (Kozier et al. 657).
Heart diseases are one of the chronic illnesses that one can never escape especially if it is already in your genes and you also have other member of your families who has been a victim and eventually died because of it. But one can always find ways to as much as possible lessen the risk of becoming vulnerable with this illness. Constant lifestyle check is always important. Like me, I see to it that I exercise regularly and eat healthy foods. As much as possible I avoid situations that produce stress and contribute a great level of anxiety towards me. I also sleep early and comfortably at night and most of all, I watch my diet. I also do not let myself get too exhausted and fatigued.
Heart disease is never a threat for me. It never stops nor hinders me from enjoying life as of the moment as long as I avoid a sedentary lifestyle so as not to contribute to the greater chances of me having. I know that if I continue to be watchful of my health chances are I won’t be able to acquire the illness at all. Heart disease can be avoided by anyone as long as all of us take extra concern regarding our health where in we don’t abuse our body through eating unhealthy foods, and practicing an unhealthy lifestyle.
Ammon, S. Managing patients with heart failure. American Journal of Nursing, 101 (12), 34-40, 2001.
Bither, C.J., & Apple, S. Home management of the failing heart. American Journal of Nursing, 101 (12), 41- 47, 2001.
Kozier B., Erb G., Blais K., and Wilkinson J. M. Fundamentals of nursing: Concepts process and practice (5th Ed.). Singapore: Pearson Ed. Asia Pte. Ltd., 2002.
Smeltzer, Suzanne, and Brenda G. Bare. Medical- Surgical Nursing. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2004.