How Heart Failure Patients Can Succeed

March 13, 2015 1:16 PM

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Regina Rexrode, 46, an elementary school teacher in Noblesville, Indiana, works with some 600 kids every week in the school’s computer lab. She says her job is “a lot of fun” and keeps her really busy. So she doesn’t have time to dwell on her medical condition, even though it could make her a candidate for organ transplant. Rexrode, whose complicated medical history includes congestive heart failure, is determined to do whatever she can to avoid that surgery. She’s making major lifestyle changes – and above all, she’s taking control of the salt in her diet.

In congestive heart failure, or simply heart failure, a weakened heart can no long pump well enough to meet the body’s need for blood and oxygen. Patients become increasingly fatigued and short of breath, making it hard to get around. Fluid buildup is a heart-failure hallmark, leading to markedly sw...

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