Lifestyle and home remedies

By Mayo Clinic Staff

The following suggestions may speed your recovery from cardiac pulmonary edema and help prevent a recurrence:

  • Weigh yourself daily. Do so in the morning before breakfast and keep a record of your daily weight. Call your doctor if you've gained 2 to 3 pounds (about 1 to 1.4 kilograms) in a single day.
  • Follow your doctor's instructions regarding diet. Most people with cardiac pulmonary edema will need to follow a low-salt diet. Ask for a referral to a dietitian if you need help evaluating the salt content in foods. If you don't cook your own meals, have whoever does most of your cooking join you when you visit the dietitian. Most restaurant food is high in salt; learn about this if you eat out. Also aim to reach your ideal weight through diet and exercise.
  • If you have high blood pressure, take steps to control it. The best way to do this is to check your blood pressure with a home cuff at least once a day. Ask your doctor for guidelines regarding your optimal blood pressure.
  • Listen to medical advice. Follow your doctor's advice about controlling any underlying health problems, including advice about diet, weight and exercise.
  • Get plenty of sleep each night. Take a nap during the day if you feel tired. It may take as long as three to six months before the condition of your lungs returns to normal. If you snore or have other symptoms of possible obstructive sleep apnea, ask for a referral to a sleep center for evaluation.

If you've experienced noncardiac pulmonary edema — including some forms of ARDS — take care to minimize any further damage to your lungs, and as much as possible avoid the cause of your condition, such as drugs, allergens or high altitudes.

Jul. 29, 2011

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