What you need to know about heart failure

Ignorance might be bliss in some cases -- but not when it comes to heart failure!

Despite what you've heard... despite what your own doc will tell you... it's possible to live long and live well even if you're battling heart failure.

But you can't do either if you don't know what you're up against.

Unfortunately, the latest numbers show most patients have no clue how serious the condition is, what they need to do to turn it around, or how to take action to not only survive but also thrive with this disease.

The study of patients both with and without heart failure shows that only 40 percent can name all three major symptoms: shortness of breath, leg edema, and intolerance to exercise.

Patients with heart failure often don't know how severe the disease is and don't realize how deadly it can be.

For the record, it's as deadly as malignant tumor -- in some ways, deadlier -- yet the patients in the new study DIDN'T know that.

And that, my friend, is the main reason heart failure kills half of everyone who has it within five years: They don't know how serious it is and how DEADLY it can be.

The study was done out of Germany, but you'd find the same results in the United States or just about anywhere else in the Western world.

Don't let ignorance kill you.

Heart failure is just what it sounds like: Your heart is failing at its main job.

Instead of pumping blood out with each beat, most of it just sits there in the heart. And if not enough gets pumped out, well... that's why this is so deadly.

But you can help your heart to keep the blood pumping with three simple, safe and natural steps.

1. Vitamin D: The sunshine vitamin can improve the amount of blood pumped out of the heart from 26 percent to 34 percent. That's enough of a difference that you might be able to avoid having an implantable defibrillator.
2. Fish oil: The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil can cut the risk of death in heart failure patients by 8 percent, which is why even mainstream docs now recommend these supplements.
3. Mediterranean diet: The same diet proven to cut the risk of heart disease and heart failure can also help you survive the condition if you get it. One study found women on this diet have a 15 percent lower risk of death.

Finally, remember heart failure means being more careful with everything and taking nothing for granted... including your meds.

Drugs you may have once taken without a problem could now cause serious risks, and some drugs are especially dangerous to patients with heart failure including acid reflux drugs, cold remedies and painkillers.