There are a number of congestive heart failure treatments that can be very helpful in the prevention and management of CHF. CHF is a condition where the heart does not pump effectively often resulting in an accumulation of fluid in the lungs and oxygen deprivation in the heart.
There are many conventional treatments varying from medications to open heart surgery. For discussion on these see the link below.
However, it is very exciting that there are also many natural congestive heart failure treatments that are effective in prevention and treatment of CHF and can facilitate other more conventional treatments. The follow sections are dedicated to discussion of these treatments.
Use Your Common Sense
The first precautions we can take are common sense. They may sound a bit simplistic but consider this…Heart disease is on the rapid increase in developing countries.The reasons are not primarily to be found in environmental alterations,but in lifestyle changes. Many of us live sedentary lives and have very unhealthy diets. The results include…
Therefore we should not underestimate the positive effects of…
Concerning exercise; do it. Concerning smoking; don’t.
In line with proper diet there are a number of naturally occurring compounds and nutrients that have been particularly useful as congestive heart failure treatments both in prevention and even reversing congestive heart failure. For now we can only touch on these briefly.
Low magnesium levels have been associated with arrhythmias (irregular heart beat) and ahigher mortality rate among those who have congestive heart failure.
Magnesium is important as a cofactor in the reactions of several enzymes influencing electrophysiologic functioning (which controls heart rhythm). Deficiency, therefore, has been linked to a number of risk factors and complications of heart failure.
Low magnesium levels also influence the effectiveness of traditional conventional heart failure treatments such as…
Magnesium therapy involves both supplementation for deficiency and high level dosages and has shown effectiveness in the controlling of arrhythmias which can lead to sudden cardiac arrest.
Magnesium toxicity is rare occurring only in patients with renal (pertaining to kidneys) dysfunction. The important role of magnesium on a biochemical and cellular level in cardiac cells is crucial in maintaining stable cardiovascular hemodynamics (a branch of physiology that deals with the circulation of the blood) and electrophysiologic function.
In patients with congestive heart failure, the presence of adequate total-body magnesium stores serve as an important indicator in the evaluation of…
Selenium is another important element used in congestive heart failure treatments. It is an essential element and a co-factor of the enzyme glutathione peroxidase, which is involved in the removal of hydrogen peroxide molecules produced during the lipid oxidation process in the cells.
Because glutathione peroxidase is found in all mammalian cells, selenium may provide a defense against…
Animal studies have shown a correlation between combined selenium and vitamin E deficiencies and the development of myocardial (heart’s muscle mass) disease.
Myocardial disease is a major factor in the development of CHF.
Selenium deficiencies have also been linked to sudden death syndrome in calves that died as a result of myocardial degeneration. When selenium levels were brought within an acceptable range no further cases of sudden death were observed. Sudden death was also observed in young camels with selenium deficiency. Autopsies revealed enlargement of the left ventricle evidence of myofibrillar (elements of a muscle cell that are composed of myosin and actin) degeneration.
We know about these. Antioxidants have long been acclaimed among the natural congestive heart failure treatments and are essential in the fight against free radicals. Free radicals are highly reactive molecules that are proven agents in tissue damage and have been associated with, among other things…
If you are not consuming a diet rich in antioxidants then please add quality dietary supplements to your daily regime. Antioxidants have far reaching health implications.
In short, free radicals destroy our bodies. Antioxidants destroy free radicals. Get lots of them.
Vitamin E is a well known antioxidant that…
Many people take vitamin E supplements on a daily basis. It is a proven effective antioxidant.
Hawthorn berry is a little less known. In addition to being an antioxidant it also…
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A strong proponent among natural congestive heart failure treatments is known as omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 (ALA) is found in some vegetative forms like flax seeds. But EPA and DHA are stronger forms of Omega-3. These are found in the oils of cold-water fish.
Much research has been done on the benefits of fish oils especially in the area of heart disease prevention and treatment. There is much evidence that Omega-3 from fish oils helps…
Congestive heart failure has many causes not the least of which is myocardial infarction (irreversible injury to heart muscle such as during a heart attack). Myocardial infarction is most often caused by progressive atherosclerosis (blockage of the arteries).
As return blood flow is reduced the heart is slowly starved of oxygen until it can no longer function properly.
Omega-3 has been shown to reduce atherosclerosis buildup as well as provide benefits to an already damaged heart.
This website has a whole section dedicated to Omega-3 in relation to heart health. But it is helpful to look briefly at the research here.
Let’s consider first the relation of fish consumption and myocardial infarction. Then we will consider the effects of dietary supplementation with omega-3 and vitamin E for those who had previously survived a heart attack.
One research project on the topic of fish consumption combined data taken from several studies including…
The goal of this research was to examine the relationship between fish consumption and the 30-year risk of death from coronary disease.
The participants of the study included 1,822 men between the ages of forty and fifty-five who were free of cardiovascular disease. For the first ten years annual examinations were given and mailed questionnaires and/or telephone interviews were used for the next fifteen years. Death certificates were used to classify cause of death for each patient.
During the 30-years follow up there were a total of 430 deaths from cardiovascular disease with 293 due to myocardial infarctions. Of the latter 196 were sudden, 94 were non-sudden and the remaining three could not be classified as either.
Almost all of the sudden deaths were caused by myocardial infarction.
Detailed dietary history was kept on each participant with daily fish consumption as the primary focus. Each participant was categorized into one of four groups.
Predictably the results demonstrated an inverse relationship between fish consumption and the occurrence of myocardial infarction.
In particular the participants who ate at least 35 grams of fish per day had a 42% lower death rate from heart attack compared to those who ate no fish at all.
The findings of these combined studies were consistent with other data concluding that...
Diets high in fish demonstrate a reduced occurrence of death from coronary heart disease.
This is especially true in relation to deaths that are of a non-sudden nature. That is not to conclude, however, that fish consumption does not inversely affect the risk of sudden cardiac death. Other studies have verified that such a relationship exists.
But why does fish consumption rank among congestive heart failure treatments? It could just be the fact that people who eat fish eat less of other harmful foods. To focus a little more closely on the beneficial causes of fish consumption it is important to consider at least one study that isolated omega-3 intake via dietary supplements regardless of diet.
The interesting thing about this study is that it was concerned with the effects of omega-3 and vitamin E supplementation on patients who had already experienced a heart attack.
The GISSI-Prevenzione trial , as it is known, hoped to establish any relationship that might exist between omega-3 and vitamin E as combined congestive heart failure treatments.
It was a randomized trial involving 11,234 patients who had survived a heart attack within the previous three months at the time the study began.
The participants were divided into four groups.
Each participant underwent clinical examinations with blood samples taken and were asked to fill out diet questionnaires at the outset of the experiment and at six, twelve, eighteen, thirty and forty-two months.
The data were analyzed using two methods. A two-way analysis was made comparing omega-3 supplementing and no omega-3, as well as vitamin E intake compared to no vitamin E.
A four-way analysis was also conducted comparing the combination of omega-3 and vitamin E with omega-3 alone and vitamin E alone. The effects of the combined supplements were also compared with the group that took no supplements.
The results of the test demonstrated a 14% decrease in death from any cause for the two-way analysis and a 20% drop in death rate for the four-way analysis.
Concerning only death due to cardiovascular disease, the two-way analysis showed a 17% reduction of risk while the four-way analysis revealed a 30% decrease.
Though vitamin E is known to be a powerful antioxidant, the group that supplemented with the combination of omega-3 and vitamin E showed no life-expectancy advantage over the group that supplemented with only the omega-3.
The overall conclusion of the GISSI-Prevenzione trial was that…
Supplementing with omega-3 provided long term benefits in lowering risk of death for patients who had experienced a myocardial infarction.
In other words, fish oil supplementing is one of the most effective among the congestive heart failure treatments and is beneficial even after the damage of a heart attack has occurred.
As mentioned, this website has a whole section dedicated to Omega-3 and heart health. If you are not eating several servings of cold-water fatty fish every week you really should be supplementing with high quality Omega-3 supplements.
Of all the natural congestive heart failure treatments Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) has got to be the most effective. Like Omega-3, this website has a whole section dedicated to CoQ10. It is that essential to heart health…especially for treating CHF.
As its name implies CoQ10 is a coenzyme that is necessary for the proper functioning of other substances, one of the most important of which is ATP (adenosine triphosphate).
ATP is necessary for the production of cellular energy.
Without ATP our bodies cannot function properly. Without CoQ10, ATP cannot function.
This connection has made CoQ10 a very important object of study in relation to chronic disease. In many cases the presence of chronic disease is associated with inadequate levels of CoQ10. But no area of study has received more attention than the relation between CoQ10 and heart disease.
That is because CoQ10 is believed to be of fundamental importance in cells with high metabolic demands such as cardiac cells. A further reason the connection of heart disease and CoQ10 has gained so much attention is because…
Heart conditions of many kinds are associated with chronically low CoQ10 levels.
Clinical trials have attempted to study the relationship between CoQ10 and many chronic diseases including, but not limited to…
But heart disease has gained the most attention; congestive heart failure being one of the primary subjects.
Because heart muscle cells require so much energy to function and CoQ10 is at the core of the cellular energy process it makes sense to suspect that congestive heart failure might be linked to CoQ10 deficiency. With that theory in mind many studies like the ones that follow have been conducted. These trials are presented in thumbnail format.
One early Japanese trial (1972) involved 197 patients with varying levels of severity of cardiac failure. The study reported significant improvement of cardiac function supplementing with 30 mg per day of CoQ10.
Another Japanese study demonstrated similar results with 38 patients also supplementing with 30 mg. In 1985 a U.S. clinical study prescribed daily supplementation with 100 mg of the coenzyme for treatment periods of three months for patients with low ejection fraction measurements.
The ejection fraction is the measure of the heart’s ability to pump blood.
A low ejection fraction is a classic symptom of congestive heart failure.
Again, significant improvements in heart function were reported. Other clinical trials followed prescribing the same level of supplementation with similar results.
Studies in the early 1990s showed improvement for patients suffering from ischemic cardiomyopathy (a low oxygen state usually due to obstruction) with supplemental levels of 200 mg per day. Supplementing with 100 mg per day demonstrated improvement for patients suffering from idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy (an enlarged heart syndrome of unknown cause).
One of the largest trials of the 1990s involves 641 patients randomly divided into two groups. The first group received a placebo. The other group received CoQ10 supplements.
During the one-year follow-up period 118 patients in the placebo group were hospitalized for heart failure compared to 73 in the group that received the supplements.
All of the preceding trials were relatively short-term studies. The level of improvement among patients varied depending on how long they had been suffering from some aspect of congestive heart failure.
Through the years it has become increasing clear that the greatest improvements were shown in patients that had suffered from their condition the least amount of time. In other words, the longer a person had been suffering from the disease before he or she received CoQ10 treatments the less improvement was demonstrated.
People who had received treatments early in the development of the disease showed the most dramatic improvement often returning to normal heart function. Long-term sufferers received less relief and were less likely to return to full heart function.
Whatever the reasons for this disparity in health improvement…
It demonstrates the importance of congestive heart failure treatments as early as possible.
Do they show the same marked improvement with similar congestive heart failure treatments? In the short-term trials it was apparent that even high level supplementing with CoQ10 seemed to produce no ill effects. In order to determine if this is only true for short durations a number of long-term studies were conducted.
In 1990 observations were published concerning 126 patients with dilated cardiomyopathy. Unlike previously noted studies this one followed the patients’ progress for six years.
Long-term benefits from CoQ10 supplementing were noticed with no harmful side effects. Similar observations were made in a trial involving 2,664 patients treated with CoQ10 at levels up to 150 mg per day.
A 1994 study involving 424 patients with a variety of myocardial (refers to the heart's muscle mass) diseases. Among these conditions were the following…
Patients were treated with an average of 240 mg of CoQ10 daily during their treatment period. They were then followed-up for up to eight years with an average follow-up period of 18 months.
Overall results demonstrated measurable cardiac improvements in one month with maximum improvements at about six months.
With continued CoQ10 treatment the improvement in most patients was sustained. However, discontinuing the treatment usually resulted in a decline of cardiac function with eventual return to pre-treatment conditions.
Of the conditions mentioned above diastolic dysfunction has gained a high degree of attention.
Diastolic dysfunction is one of the earliest signs of myocardial failure.
Diastole is the phase of the cardiac cycle when the heart is filled with returning blood. Because this phase requires more cellular energy than the systolic phase (when the blood is pushed out of the heart) it is more dependent on CoQ10.
Diastolic dysfunction is a stiffening of the heart muscle which naturally restricts the heart’s ability to pump. This condition is associated with many cardiac disorders. Hypertension is among these disorders. As the heart muscles become stiff there is often a corresponding rise in blood pressure.
When the diastolic dysfunction is reversed, blood pressure tends to lower as well. In one study involving 109 patients with hypertension, CoQ10 supplementation was added to normal hypertension treatments.
In an average of 4.4 months 51% of the patients were able stop using at least one blood pressure lowering medication. Some were able to stop using up to three medications.
Another study produced similar results. In that study…
43% of 424 patients were able to stop using between one and three cardiovascular drugs because of CoQ10 supplementation.
As always in the medical community many more studies will need to be conducted to determine the future of CoQ10 treatment. However, the research to date seems to support CoQ10 as very promising among the viable congestive heart failure treatments. In addition, CoQ10 promises to be a very useful treatment for many diseases that are caused or exacerbated by inadequate production of cellular energy.
You can further research CoQ10 and heart disease by clicking here.
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A Challenge For You!
People are making great improvements in their heart health.
How... are they doing it? By challenging themselves to change the way they eat. Really!
I have a challenge for you. It is my double dog dare.