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Can You Reverse Congestive Heart Failure

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What Are The Signs Of Congestive Heart Failure

Reversing heart disease: Mayo Clinic Radio

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 6.2 million Americans have heart failure, and heart failure was mentioned on more than 13% of death certificates in 2018. Knowing the signs of CHF and promptly seeking medical care can save lives. Be sure to speak with a medical professional if youre experiencing:

  • Sudden weight gain
  • Shortness of breath during routine activities
  • A frequent urge to urinate, especially at night
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Chronic cough or wheezing

Can Congestive Heart Failure Be Reversed If Caught Early

The answer is, it depends. CHF is a chronic condition that gradually worsens over time for many patients, although some cases may be reversed with timely treatment and healthy lifestyle choices. In general, heart disease is more likely to be reversed when it is identified early and promptly addressed.

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Can You Recover From Heart Disease

Once youve been diagnosed with heart disease, you cant be cured. But you can treat the things that contributed to the development of coronary artery disease. In turn, this can reduce how the condition impacts your body.

There is some evidence that normalizing high blood pressure and lowering cholesterol to very low levels will partially reverse plaques in the coronary arteries, says Dr. Nissen. They wont go away completely, but they shrink enough to make a difference.

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What Is Heart Failure Causes Symptoms Risk Factors And Treatments

Heart failure happens when the heart cannot pump enough blood and oxygen to support other organs in your body. Heart failure is a serious condition, but it does not mean that the heart has stopped beating. Although it can be a severe disease, heart failure is not a death sentence, and treatment is now better than ever.

When this happens, blood and fluid may back up into the lungs , and some parts of the body dont get enough oxygen-rich blood to work normally. These problems lead to the symptoms of heart failure.

Heart failure develops because the heart muscle becomes weak or loses the ability to pump normally. The Ejection Fraction is a percent that lets us know how the heart is squeezing . If the heart isnt “squeezing” well to get enough blood to your body, you have heart failure with a reduced ejection fraction . If the heart can’t “relax” to fill with enough blood between contractions, you have heart failure with preserved ejection fraction . Heart muscle weakening and damage is often called cardiomyopathy, which literally means “heart muscle disease.”

Its Not Too Late 7 Ways To Reverse Heart Disease

Better Treatments To Reverse Congestive Heart Failure

If you have coronary artery disease, take heart. Although heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, with the right lifestyle changes, you can reverse heart disease and improve the condition of your heart.

The most common type of heart disease is coronary artery disease, which involves decreased blood flow to the heart. Fatty plaque buildup causes narrowed blood vessels. This decreased flow can cause a heart attack.

According to the CDC, the key risk factors for heart disease are:

  • High blood pressure
  • Excessive alcohol use

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Q: What Tests Should I Get To Monitor My Heart Disease What Numbers Should I Keep Track Of

Dr. Tam: Understanding the severity of your heart disease starts with knowing your numbers, which are key indicators of your heart health. These numbers include:

  • Body mass index

You should make a point to review these numbers every year with your doctor, or more often if they are abnormal. A healthy range for these numbers will vary depending on your age and overall health. If needed, you and your doctor can develop a strategy to get any abnormal numbers to a healthy range.

Your doctor may also consider doing a coronary calcium scan to see how much calcified or hardened plaque is in your hearts arteries. This test can show whether you are at a higher risk for a heart attack or stroke and help your doctor determine whether you need a more aggressive plan to manage your risk factors.

Can Congestive Heart Failure Be Corrected

Unfortunately, it is not possible to completely reverse congestive heart failure. Surgery is generally not a viable option, and your dogs vet will likely recommend ways to treat the symptoms only, which will give your dog some relief. Some of these treatments may also slow the progression of congestive heart failure, possibly extending your dogs life.

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What Is The Prognosis And Life Expectancy For Congestive Heart Failure

  • The degree to which other organ systems are involved and the severity of other accompanying conditions
  • The persons symptoms and degree of impairment
  • Other factors that remain poorly understood

With the availability of newer drugs to potentially favorably affect the progression of the disease, the prognosis in congestive heart failure is generally more favorable than that observed just 10 years ago. In some cases, especially when the heart muscle dysfunction has recently developed, a significant spontaneous improvement is not uncommonly observed, even to the point where heart function becomes normal.

Heart failure is often graded on a scale of I to IV based on the patients ability to function.

  • Class I includes patients with a weakened heart but without limitation or symptoms.
  • Class II describes patients whose only limitation is heavier workloads.
  • Class III includes patients who experience limitations with everyday activity.
  • Class IV describes patients with severe symptoms at rest or with any degree of effort.
  • The prognosis of heart failure patients is very closely associated with the functional class.

    An important issue in congestive heart failure is the risk of heart rhythm disturbances . Of those deaths that occur in individuals with congestive heart failure, approximately 50% are related to progressive heart failure. Importantly, the other half are thought to be related to serious arrhythmias.

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    A congestive heart failure diagnosis doesnt mean your heart has stopped working, it means that your heart is unable to pump enough blood throughout your body.

    Heart failure is a scary term, says , a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. The condition can worsen if the proper steps arent taken to slow or halt the problem, but it does not mean your life is over.

    Congestive heart failure, more simply known as heart failure, occurs when there’s a reduction in blood flow throughout the body because blood flow from the heart slows down. That means blood returning to the heart through the veins backs up, causing congestion in the body’s tissues. That congestion may cause swelling in the ankles, legs, or stomach, as well as fluid in the lungs that causes trouble breathing.

    Life expectancy with congestive heart failure varies depending on the severity of the condition, genetics, age, and other factors. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , around one-half of all people diagnosed with congestive heart failure will survive beyond five years. Only around 10 percent of people diagnosed with the condition survive at least 10 years, according to a study published in August 2013 in the journal Circulation Research.

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    Can You Get Better After A Diagnosis Of Heart Failure

    Heart failure is a chronic, progressive condition, which means it gets worse with time. But even though it doesnt necessarily get better, managing heart failure the right way can help reduce symptoms and slow down the progression of the condition.

    I try to get patients to understand that this is not a death sentence, Mountis says.

    Depending on the stage and severity of condition, some individuals may need more aggressive treatment, Mountis adds. But it is very possible to live a very good life with a diagnosis of heart failure.

    Causes Of Congestive Heart Failure

    Congestive heart failure can often develop in a person when their heart has been weakened or damaged by some other conditions.

    Though, it is not always the case. Sometimes it can occur if the heart of a person becomes too stiff.

    When a persons heart begins to fail, the ventricles of the heart becomes too stiff, which causes them to not fill properly. Or the heart muscles become so weak and damaged that the ventricles dilate and stretch to an extent that the efficiency of blood circulation throughout the body is affected.

    There are certain other conditions that contribute towards congestive heart failure in a person. They are:

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    How Chf Is Diagnosed

    There are several ways a doctor can diagnose heart failure aside from considering your own medical history as well as your family history, as well as administering a physical exam. You might be asked to take a stress test to see how your heart responds to physical demands, for example.

    The doctor can also turn to an electrocardiogram to monitor your hearts electrical activity, as well as a chest X-ray to pinpoint an enlarged heart or damaged lungs. It can also use a B-type natriuretic peptide blood test to determine how severe the heart failure is.

    Diet Is Key To Eliminating Risk Of Heart Disease

    How I Reversed Congestive Heart Failure

    Many people wait until disaster strikes before addressing any significant lifestyle changes including radical shifts in diet. I remember my Uncle Kuni, who when I was a child survived a massive heart attack and immediately afterward took on a strict vegetarian diet.

    When I was growing up he seemed eccentric and a bit extreme, but now I understand his near death experience pushed him to a new way of viewing food and the purpose of eating. He ate to stay alive, not for his personal pleasure or as a distraction or as a way to modify his mood. He ate clean food, exercised daily and lived for 20 years after that initial cardiac event. In fact he outlived almost all of his siblings who didnt get that early memo that food matters and that what we eat is truly a matter of life or death.

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    Can I Actually Shrink Plaque Build

    Yes. Several scientists, including Caldwell B. Esselstyn at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, have found that plaques are stabilized, and actually shrink, when heart patients adopt lifestyle changes similar to the Pritikin Program.

    Summarized Dr. Esselstyn in Preventive Cardiology : Compelling data from nutritional studies, population surveys, and interventional studies support the effectiveness of a plant-based diet and aggressive lipid -lowering to arrest, prevent, and selectively reverse heart disease. In essence, this is an offensive strategy.

    In 2015, a meta-analysis in the American Journal of Cardiology examined the value of comprehensive lifestyle change on more than 2,000 arterial plaques from heart disease patients. The authors concluded that lifestyle measures like diet and exercise led to shrinkage, or regression, of plaque, even in severely atherosclerotic arteries.

    Summed up Richard Klasco, MD, of Harvard Medical School in a recent New York Times article on plaque reduction and heart-healthy living: While changing habits requires motivation, the promise of shrinking plaque and lessening ones risk for heart attack should be quite motivating.

    Can You Drink Coffee If You Have Congestive Heart Failure

    According to recent studies, as noted by the American Heart Association, drinking one or more cups of caffeinated coffee may reduce the risk of heart failure. But other studies noted that drinking several cups throughout the day may not be safe. When in doubt, talk to your cardiologist and nutritionist about the amount of coffee you can drink.

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    What Is The Long

    Yes, heart failure can be fatal when its not treated. Healthline explains that about 50-percent of patients with CHF live beyond 5-years following diagnosis, and points to a study that estimates around 20-years for those diagnosed under age 50 with lower risk factors.

    The source also notes age and gender can affect these outcomes. Women with CHF tend to live a bit longer than men with this condition but may experience more symptoms.

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    Heart Disease Risk Factors You Can Control

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    Here are risk factors contributing to the development of coronary artery disease that you can control.


    Adopting a heart-healthy diet is an easy way to get healthier. With a heart-healthy diet, you avoid foods high in trans fats or saturated fats, which raise your cholesterol. In other words, you stay away from eating excess amounts of red meat, fried food, full-fat dairy products and foods cooked in coconut or palm oil.

    Instead, your meals focus on foods that protect your heart, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, lean proteins and fish.


    Smoking is associated with many health problems, including high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Your healthcare provider can give tips about the best ways to quit.


    A sedentary lifestyle increases your risk of developing coronary artery disease. But exercise helps. Experts recommend walking 30 minutes five times per week. Being physically active also helps you shed excess weight, another coronary artery disease risk factor.

    Alcohol intake

    Excessive drinking can lead to high blood pressure, or even damage the heart itself. Try reducing, or limiting, alcohol. Current recommendations say women should have no more than one drink a day, while men should have no more than two drinks daily.


    Stress has a negative impact on heart health. For example, anger and fear can lead to elevated blood pressure, a known risk factor for coronary artery disease.

    Untreated health conditions

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    Lowering Heart Attack Risk

    The really good news is that in just three to four weeks, the chances of suffering a heart attack can go way down. Very quickly, plaque can become far less vulnerable to rupture. By stabilizing plaque, most people can significantly lower their risk of a heart attack.

    Lifestyle changes can yield dramatic benefits. In more than 100 studies published over the last 35 years, the Pritikin Program has been found to lower virtually all modifiable risk factors for a heart attack, including LDL cholesterol, non-HDL cholesterol, triglyceride fats, and inflammatory markers like C-reactive protein, as well as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and excess weight.

    Daily exercise and a diet that focuses on fiber-rich, unrefined carbohydrates like fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains are the hallmarks of the Pritikin Program. The program also substantially cuts down on heart-damaging saturated fats, trans fats, and dietary cholesterol.

    Heart disease is virtually absent in cultures that eat fiber-rich, plant-based diets like Pritikins, such as the Tarahumara Indians of northern Mexico and the people of rural China. Noted Dr. Colin Campbell of Cornell University in his book The China Study, which details his research in the 1990s on the dietary habits of China, hundreds of thousands of rural Chinese lived for years without a single documented heart attack.

    How Can Congestive Heart Failure Be Reversed

    Congestive heart failure is a condition in which there is a buildup of fluid in the blood vessels or lungs. The heart cant pump out enough blood and the body compensates by making its own blood. When the buildup of fluid increases, the heart struggles to pump blood out and the result is congestive heart failure. According to the National Institutes of Health, congestive heart failure is the most common type of heart disease in the U.S., affecting more than five million people. People who have had congestive heart failure are at greater risk of experiencing a second heart attack. One study found that those with heart failure are three times more likely to have a heart attack than those without the condition. The sooner congestive heart failure is treated, the better the chances of recovering from the condition. Todays treatment options include medicines that help manage congestion, assist with exercise and enhance heart function.

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    Nutrition And Dietary Supplements

    Heart failure is a serious medical condition and should be treated by conventional medicine. You should never add supplements or complementary and alternative medicine therapies to your regimen unless specifically instructed to do so by your physician. It is best to work with a health care provider trained in the use of nutritional medicine. Many people with heart conditions take multiple medications, including blood-thinning medications, blood pressure medications, and others. The supplements below can interact with these and many other medications and may not be right for people with certain medical conditions. You should use the supplements listed below only under the supervision of your cardiologist, and a doctor who understands the contraindications and interactions associated with these supplements.

    Amino acids. A few small studies suggest these amino acids might be helpful for heart failure. More research is needed:

    • Arginine . Arginine can lower blood pressure, and may be unsafe to take with blood pressure medications. It may also interact negatively with medications that increase blood flow, such as nitrates, as well as medications used to treat erectile dysfunction.
    • Taurine . Taurine can interact with lithium, and may be unsafe in people with bipolar disorder.

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