Self-management

Lifestyle and home remedies

There are ways to improve your condition, even though you can't cure it. Your doctor may recommend the following lifestyle changes:

  • Quit smoking.
  • Lose excess weight.
  • Limit salt in your diet.
  • Control diabetes.
  • Monitor your blood pressure.
  • Get modest exercise, after discussing with your doctor the most appropriate program of physical activity.
  • Avoid or eliminate alcohol and caffeine.
  • Try to sleep eight hours nightly.

Prevention

Tell your doctor if you have a family history of conditions that can cause an enlarged heart, such as cardiomyopathy. If cardiomyopathy or other heart conditions are diagnosed early, treatments may prevent the disease from worsening.

Controlling risk factors for coronary artery disease — tobacco use, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes — helps to reduce your risk of an enlarged heart and heart failure by reducing your risk of a heart attack.

You can help reduce your chance of developing heart failure by eating a healthy diet and not abusing alcohol or using illicit drugs. Controlling high blood pressure with diet, exercise and possibly medications also prevents many people who have an enlarged heart from developing heart failure.