Century Tree Health Education
TheCareGivingLife

CHF Overview - What to do about it: Part 3

3 - Water Pills (AKA Diuretics)

Anybody who has taken a water pill knows why they're called water pills:
They make you pee!
PEEING
ALAN, THE CareGivingLife
STUNT-DOG
People with CHF have too much water in their bodies.

The most obvious place: The Legs

The most dangerous place: The Lungs

That water in your lungs isn't enough to drown you,

BUT IT IS ENOUGH TO MAKE IT HARD TO BREATHE

WHEN YOU ARE
CLIMBING STAIRS

OR EVEN JUST
SITTING IN A CHAIR

The Heart Thing

Extra Water In Your Blood

Healthy blood vessel has blood with a normal amount of water in it.
This HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE blood vessel has blood with too much water in it.
So now - there is more BLOOD VOLUME, and blood is crammed into those pressurized blood vessels.  That is HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE.

it's a strain
on the heart

It's hard for the heart to pump blood into those crammed, high blood pressure blood vessels

if you're a healthy person, your kidneys make sure they don't collect too much water

NO EXTRA WATER IN THE LEGS

NO EXTRA WATER IN THE LUNGS

NO EXTRA WATER IN THE BLOOD VESSELS

Joe's KIDNEYS

MEET MR. AND MRS. KIDNEY

GLADYS

HANK

IT'S THEIR JOB TO MAKE SURE THAT OUR BODIES DON'T COLLECT TOO MUCH WATER.

one quart of blood is supposed to flow through the kidneys every minute

that's because mr. & mrs. kidney are always watching blood flow through them

amount of blood flowing through the kidneys is just fine

if they see too much blood flowing, they assume there's too much water in the blood

time to pee!

the kidneys separate the extra water out of the blood (and with it, extra water from the legs & lungs) and send it out in pee

but when a person has congestive heart failure, there's a problem - the kidneys get confused!  they don't order enough peeing!

that leaves too much water in…

so it's time for "water pill man" to the rescue!

water pill man makes people pee!

it's pee - perfect!

"Thanks, Water pill man!"

water pills

things to look out for

water pills are great medications but they can cause some problems

1

no running

2

because then you might fall

3

break your hip

4

and go to the hospital

5

water pills can make you lose so much water by peeing, that you feel dizzy

if you feel dizzy

sit down

so you don't fall down

and give the doc a call

tell her you're feeling dizzy and you're taking water pills.  sHe might want to do something about that!

6

take your water pills in the morning (so you don't have to get up to pee all night long).

if you take your water pills at night:

you'll have to get up to pee in the dark

which is dangerous

and leave you feeling tired and drained the next day

take your water pills in the morning and get a good night's sleep

7

if your doctor prescribes more than one kind of water pill, take them all

8

don't be embarrassed about wearing absorbent under-garments (like depends)

9

take care of your skin where it counts

urine can damage skin

moisturizer

soap

wash cloth + water

Related Entries

ANTIBIOTICS and PNEUMONIA

Antibiotics kill germs, pneumonia germs, an awful lung infection that happens to people with congestive heart failure.

Cellulitis

Cellulitis is a skin infection that makes your skin painful, red, and hot!

CHF with Preserved Ejection Fraction

(ejection fraction = EF)
When people have CHF, their hearts do a lousy job of beating and pumping blood around the body.

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