CHF it is of course controllable ... this does not implies that people will not die of it.
It depends on many factors ...age, symptoms, adoption to new live styles, strict follow up of medication, original disease ....and luck.
My advise is to suppress all salt intake and look for the sodium content of everything you eat. If your doctor does not fix an amount, try to stick to a maximum of 1500mg/day of sodium. As rule of thumb:
1gr of salt = 300mg of sodium.
100gr. of normal bread = 600mg of sodium.
Simply put, CHF, by itself, is not a death sentence. However, uncontrolled symptoms can be. CHF basically means your heart isn't able to pump enough blood to remove the fluids from your body.
I have had CHF for about 3 1/2 years, and the most dangerous symptom of all seems to be fluid retention. Mainly because the disease is notorious for filling the lungs with fluid, making it hard to breathe. I have been at 100% whiteout twice in the time I've been fighting CHF, which means my lungs were full of fluid, landing me in the ER for breathing treatments.
There is medication, and treatments for the symptoms of CHF, but it's up to the patient to follow a strict low sodium diet, take their medication, and to know when they need a trip to the hospital and take action.
Also, if you have any extra weight, lose it. If you drink alcohol, quit, and if you smoke throw the cigarettes as far as you can, away from you. Then, get up and move as much as possible, but learn to listen to your body. Only excercise(including walking slowly, etc), until you have a slight problem with getting your breath when trying to talk. When you get to that point, quit what you're doing and rest for no less than 45 minutes, and longer if you need to, to feel rested and able.
If you do everything possible to fight the symptoms of CHF, you should do fine.
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