ZocdocAnswersDo colder temperatures help with congestive heart failure?

Question

Do colder temperatures help with congestive heart failure?

My teenage son has congestive heart failure. I want to know what kind of lifestyle changes we can make to help him. In particular, we live in the south and I wonder if the high temperatures make it worse. Should we move? What else can we do?

Answer

I am sorry to hear that you son has congestive heart failure. Given how young he is, he must have a problem with his heart that he was born with. Nevertheless, the treatment for CHF has several core elements that common to all with the disease no matter how old they are. We not have any evidence that climate will have any effect on his CHF. Therefore, I do not think moving for temperature change will benefit or hurt him in any way. The key parts of CHF management is being on the right medications and maintaining his fluids. He should be on a class of medications called an ACE inhibitor (example lisinopril) and a beta blocker (example metoprolol). He should also weigh himself daily and report any weight gains of a couple pounds or more over a couple days. Weight gain can be an indicator of his fluids being out of balance. I think that you should attend you son's next appointment with his cardiologist. Discuss what medications he is on and what each of them are for. In addition, ask if there is any additional medications that would be of any help to him. Finally, bring up the issue of heart transplantation because he may be a candidate for this therapy down the road.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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