What is it?

Heart failure is when your heart can’t pump enough blood to the rest of your body. The most common causes of heart failure are heart disease, heart attack and high blood pressure.

There is no ‘cure’ for heart failure. But, a healthy lifestyle, education and support can help to improve your quality of life.

What will my GP do now?

Your GP can help you learn about heart failure treatment and long-term management. Your GP will also:

  • Organise suitable tests – such as blood tests, X-rays and ECGs
  • Grade your heart failure
  • Check your medications
  • Find the cause of your heart failure and work with you to develop a treatment plan
  • Give you tools and resources to help you manage your health
  • Consider your fitness to drive

What will my GP do now?

Your GP will continue to see you and check your heart health. Your GP may also suggest a cardiologist referral if treatment isn’t helping, you have another condition, or you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy.

Cardiac rehabilitation is recommended for people with heart failure. Speak to your GP about a referral to a local program.

What can I do?

Here’s how you can manage your condition.

  • Keep a diary – record your symptoms, diet and exercise
  • Ask questions – so you know what to do in an emergency
  • Take your medication – follow your GP’s advice
  • See your GP regularly –for heart health check-ups
  • Reduce salt – don’t add salt to your meals and avoid foods high in salt
  • Eat a healthy diet – include plenty of fruit, vegetables, whole grains and water
  • Quit smoking – phone 13QUIT to get started
  • Drink less alcohol – aim for no more than one standard drink daily
  • Exercise daily – aim to work movement into every day
  • Take steps to lose weight – talk to your GP about how to get started
  • Get your blood pressure checked often – your GP can do this for you
  • Limit fluids – try to limit fluids to 1.5 litres a day to ease pressure on your heart work and lower your risk