What Natural Interventions May Be Beneficial For Heart Failure
- Coenzyme Q10. Coenzyme Q10 is essential for energy production in the mitochondria and is concentrated in heart muscle. CoQ10 deficiency is associated with heart failure. Several clinical studies have shown benefits from CoQ10 supplementation in heart failure, including lower risk of adverse cardiac events or death.
- Hawthorn. Extracts from hawthorn contain many beneficial phytochemicals, including oligomeric procyanidins. Hawthorn has been shown to improve left ventricle ejection fraction, cardiac efficiency, and blood pressure in patients with heart failure.
- Pyrroloquinoline quinone . PQQ, like CoQ10, is involved in generating energy in the mitochondria. Preclinical studies suggest PQQ may benefit the heart muscle.
- Fish oil. Omega-3 fatty acids are well known for their positive impact on heart health. Clinical studies indicate supplementation with fish oil may improve certain parameters in patients with heart failure.
- Carnitine. Carnitine is important for cardiac energy metabolism. Clinical trials have shown that carnitine supplementation improved cardiac efficiency, left ventricle ejection fraction, and 3-year survival rates in heart failure patients.
- Many other ingredients may be beneficial for patients with heart failure, including creatine, taurine, D-ribose, and more.
Classification And Staging Of Heart Failure
Classifying heart failure on the basis of severity and clinical manifestations helps clarify what kinds of interventions may be necessary and what the prognosis may be. The New York Heart Association Functional Classification classifies patients with cardiac disease into one of four classes, based on symptoms and their degree of comfort at different levels of physical activity.
American College Of Cardiology Foundation/american Heart Association Staging
At Risk for Heart Failure
- Stage A. These patients are at a high risk for heart failure, but do not have structural disease or symptoms of heart failure. This includes those with coronary artery disease or diabetes.
- Stage B. This stage includes those who have structural heart disease, such as left ventricular hypertrophy/dysfunction or chamber enlargement, but who do not have signs or symptoms of heart failure.
- Stage C. These patients have structural heart disease with prior or current symptoms of clinical heart failure.
- Stage D. These patients have treatment-resistant heart failure requiring specialized intervention, such as transplantation, biventricular pacemakers, or left ventricle assist devices.28
Note that in the ACCF/AHA classification system, a patient cannot move backwards to a prior stage. That is, once a patient is classified as Stage C, they cannot be in Stage B again. In the NYHA system, which is based solely on symptoms, patients can move between classes.65
You May Like: Dying Of Heart Failure What To Expect
Treatment Recommendations For Patients At Risk For Heart Failure
Patients with stage A heart failure have no symptoms of heart failure and no structural problems in their heart but are at high risk due to high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and/or metabolic syndrome. This category also includes those with a family history or genetic marker indicating high risk of cardiomyopathy, as well as those who have been exposed to cardiac toxins .331
The treatment approach to stage A heart failure begins with adopting a healthy diet and lifestyle, including exercising regularly, maintaining healthy body weight, and not smoking. Because of the close relationship between hypertension and heart failure, treatment of high blood pressure is paramount in patients with stage A heart failure.331
What Are The Best Vitamins To Take For Your Heart
What are the Best Vitamins to Take for Your Heart?Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Nearly half of all Americans have at least one of the three risk factors for heart disease. High cholesterol, high blood pressure, and smoking are the leading risk factors. These risk factors can lead to heart failure, heart attack, stroke, or even death.
2) Folic AcidFolic acid is a B vitamin. Folic acid has been proven to lower homocysteine levels, which can harden arteries. You can get plenty of folic acids through foods like spinach, asparagus, and whole grains.3) Omega 3 Fatty AcidFound in oils from certain types of fish, vegetables, and other plants, omega-3 fatty acids have many health benefits including lowering blood pressure. Research shows that omega-3 led to a 28% reduced risk of heart attacks, and a 50% reduced risk of death. These fatty acids are not produced in the body, so they must be consumed through your diet or supplements. You can use fish oil supplements to get omega-3.
It is important to see a doctor regularly to have your blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked, especially if you have a family history of heart disease. If you are at risk for heart disease or have any questions about your heart, please schedule an appointment with CVG. Our experienced team of doctors will walk you through every step of learning about heart care and treating heart problems and conditions!
Recommended Reading: Apple Watch Heart Rate Variability
Reduce The Salt In Your Diet
Enjoying what you eat is important. Even if you crave salt you can learn to like foods that are lower in salt. Your taste buds will change soon, and you will not miss the salt. Removing salt can bring out flavors that may have been hidden by the salt.
Reduce the salt content in your diet by trying the following suggestions:
- Choose plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. They contain only small amounts of salt.
- Choose foods that are low in salt, such as fresh meats, poultry, fish, dry and fresh legumes, eggs, milk and yogurt. Plain rice, pasta and oatmeal are good low-sodium choices. However, the sodium content can increase if salt or other high-sodium ingredients are added during their preparation.
- Season with herbs, spices, herbed vinegar and fruit juices. Avoid herb or spice mixtures that contain salt or sodium. Use lemon juice or fresh ground pepper to accent natural flavors. Try orange or pineapple juice as a base for meat marinades. See “Salt-Free Herb Blends,” below, for other ideas.
- Read food labels before you buy packaged foods. Check the nutrition facts on the label for sodium content per serving. Find out the number of servings in the package. How does the sodium in each serving compare to the total sodium you can eat each day? Try to pick packaged foods with a sodium content less than 350 milligrams for each serving. It is also useful to check the list of ingredients. If salt or sodium is listed in the first five ingredients, it is too high in sodium.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Heart Failure
Some of the most prominent symptoms of heart failure are listed below.61 Some symptoms may not be apparent in mild heart failure, but will emerge as heart failure advances to moderate or severe stages.
- Fatigue and difficulty breathing , which can lead to decreased capacity for physical activity . In cases of mild heart failure, it may be difficult to breathe during physical activity, while in advanced heart failure it may be difficult for patients to breathe even at rest.
- Fluid retention, which may result in peripheral or pulmonary edema.28 However, not all people with heart failure will exhibit both exercise intolerance and edema.
- Frequent nighttime urination .
- Lack of appetite or nausea.
- In advanced heart failure, wheezing, cough that produces pink-tinged frothy sputum, abdominal discomfort or swelling, anorexia, and weight loss may occur.
Some signs that may suggest heart failure include changes in heart size and/or rhythm, impaired lung function, evidence of low blood oxygen, and abdominal swelling. These signs are typically progressive with the severity of heart failure.2
Don’t Miss: Have Statins Reduced Heart Attacks
Beetroot And Inorganic Nitrates
In general, BRJ supplementation seems to be tolerable and safe after short-term administration. However, most available clinical trials are short term . Long-term data are lacking.
Taking into account relatively limited data, mainly short term, on the possible administration of beetroot and NO3 in HF patients it is difficult to draw any recommendations of its usefulness. Therefore, large-scale randomised, multicentre clinical trials are still needed.
Dietary Supplements And Heart Health
From co-enzyme Q10 to plant sterols, can dietary supplements benefit your heart health? We explore the evidence.
Dietary supplements are taken along with food to boost intake of a particular substance, like a vitamin or mineral. They can be a pill, tablet, powder or liquid.
Some dietary supplements are advertised in a way that seems like they’re good for your heart. But they’re expensive to buy and there is not much evidence of how effective they really are.
If you’re thinking about taking a dietary supplement to manage your cholesterol, blood pressure or risk of a heart attack or stroke, talk to your doctor first. It’s important to ask them about:
- how safe the supplement is
- any effects it could have on medication you take
- any side effects.
Read Also: How To Measure Heart Rate Variability
How Is Congestive Heart Failure Diagnosed
With CHF, doctors look for signs such as rapid or strained breathing, an irregular or rapid heartbeat, abnormal heart sounds, swollen legs, distended neck veins, abnormal sounds from fluid buildup in the lungs heard via a stethoscope, and swelling of the liver.
Tests commonly obtained to determine the presence of congestive heart failure include an electrocardiogram, a chest x-ray and an echocardiogram, which uses sound waves to create a detailed moving picture of the heart. Other diagnostic tests for CHF may include a cardiac stress test, heart catheterization, which involves passing a thin, flexible tube into the right or left side of the heart, usually from the groin or the arm an MRI of the heart and nuclear heart scans, non-invasive tests in which radioactive tracers are used to illuminate changes in the heart. Blood tests can help determine whether damage to heart muscle has occurred, detect how well the kidneys are functioning, determine whether a person is anemic, and assess sodium and potassium levels as well as brain natriuretic peptide , a substance secreted by the lower chambers of the heart in response to the development or worsening of heart failure.
Tips For Limiting Fluid Intake
In addition to limiting sodium, a doctor may also recommend limiting fluids. This helps to keep the heart from being overloaded with fluids throughout the day.
While the amount of fluid restriction varies from person to person, doctors often recommend people with CHF aim for 2,000 milliliters of fluid a day. This is the equivalent of 2 quarts of fluid.
When it comes to restricting fluid, make sure to account for anything thats a fluid at room temperature. This includes things like soups, gelatin, and ice cream.
Read Also: Fluid In The Lungs After Heart Surgery
Health Conditions Associated With Heart Failure
Heart disease. Atrial fibrillation, valve disease , ischemic heart disease due to coronary arteryatherosclerosis, and prior heart attack are associated with an increased risk of heart failure.30,38Heart arrhythmias cardiomyopathy caused by drug use, disease, infection, or alcohol abuse and myocarditis from an infection may also cause heart disease. In addition, congenital heart defects may lead to heart failure.1
Hypertension. Hypertension increases heart failure risk two- to three-fold.39,40Half of patients with acute heart failure have systolic blood pressure over 140 mmHg, and 70% have a history of high blood pressure.41 For more information, refer to the High Blood Pressure protocol.
Diabetes. Diabetics have a high rate of heart failure, and their heart failure prognosis is usually worse than in non-diabetics.42 Diabetics often have elevated lipid levels and hypertension, both risk factors for heart failure.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease . Long-standing obstructive pulmonary disease, often caused by tobacco abuse, is associated with heart failure, and when the two occur simultaneously, prognosis is worse than either alone.43 Advanced COPD typically contributes to right-sided heart failure .
Other conditions. Other conditions less well-recognized to be linked with increased heart failure risk include iron overload, rheumatologic and connective tissue disorders, infection , endocrine disorders , and amyloidosis and sarcoidosis.47
What About Restaurants
Though cooking at home is a good way to control the amount of sodium in your food, youâll still want to have a meal out from time to time. There are some good ways to stick to your low-salt goals when you go out:
- Ask if the restaurant has a separate low-sodium menu.
- Ask for your food to be prepared without added salt or MSG.
- Instead of fried foods, go for items that are steamed, grilled, broiled, baked, roasted, or poached.
- Request olive oil and vinegar instead of salad dressing.
- Skip the breadbasket or ask for whole-grain breads, rolls, or breadsticks.
- Choose appetizers with lots of fruits and veggies. Avoid those with heavy sauces or butter.
- Enjoy sorbet, sherbet, meringues, or plain cake with fruit puree for dessert.
- Order a fruit salad, tossed greens, or spinach salad without added cheese or meat.
Don’t Miss: Sternum Pain Years After Open Heart Surgery
Coenzyme Q10 For Sams
SAMS is a condition that occurs in people who are using statins to lower their cholesterol.
People who have SAMS may have symptoms such as muscle aches, cramps, muscle weakness, and, rarely, rhabdomyolysis .
Clinical trials dealing with the use of coenzyme Q10 for SAMS have given conflicting results.
However, the largest and most recent study dealing with this topic does suggest its effective in preventing and treating SAMS.
Numerous anecdotal reports from patients also supports its use.
Theres no established dose for coenzyme Q10, although, on average, 200 mg taken twice daily with meals will give a therapeutic blood level of > 2.5 mcg/mL.
In most heart-related clinical trials, doses between 100 and 400 mg have been used.
Lower Fat And Cholesterol
Studies have shown that the rate of heart failure is lower in people who follow a DASH diet , which centers on consuming polyunsaturated fats, complex carbohydrates like brown rice, low amounts of saturated fats, and fruits and vegetables.
Saturated fat and cholesterol can lead to other cardiovascular issues like atherosclerosis, which is the buildup of plaque on the walls of the arteries. To reduce that risk, eliminate butter, shortening, and margarine, and consume limited amounts of olive, peanut, and canola oils.
To lower your fat intake, avoid fatty cuts of meat, remove the skin from poultry, and consume more fish. Replace high-fat dairy with low-fat or nonfat options, eat whole grains for their high fiber content, and limit condiments and salad dressings that are high in fat and sodium. When preparing your food, avoid frying, and choose to bake, broil, poach, boil, or steam instead.
Recommended Reading: What Heart Rate Burns Fat
What Is The Conventional Treatment For Congestive Heart Failure
Need to decide if we want to mention pulmonary edema, where CHF has gotten so bad that fluid has built up to a dangerous point in the lungs requiring urgent / emergent intervention.
The most important thing that can be done for congestive heart failure is prevent it in the first place by following healthy diet and lifestyle measures throughout your life. Treatment of established congestive heart failure focuses on keeping the disease from worsening. This means controlling blood pressure via lifestyle measures such as diet and exercise, or with medication if diet and exercise dont help. Drugs may be prescribed to slow the progression of the disease by improving the hearts ability to pump blood, decreasing stress on the heart and preventing fluid retention . These medications may include ACE-inhibitors, beta blockers, digoxin, diuretics and, if needed, anticoagulants to thin the blood. Individuals with heart failure should avoid taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, most antiarrhythmic agents unless absolutely necessary , most calcium antagonists, decongestants and antacids containing sodium, which can cause fluid retention.
Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
Diabetes and insulin resistance are major risk factors for heart failure. Diabetes not only increases risk of heart failure, but also worsens the outcome of patients with existing heart failure.3 The diabetic heart is more susceptible to ischemic injury, myocardial infarction, and oxidative damage.206 Strategies for maintaining blood sugar control are reviewed in Life Extensions Diabetes and Glucose Control protocol.
For those with diabetes and heart failure, the choice of diabetes medication may be complex. Metformin is often the first-line drug of choice for managing blood sugar in diabetics without overt heart disease. It was historically contraindicated in patients with heart failure due to concerns over increased risk of lactic acidosis. However, accumulating evidence suggests the risk of lactic acidosis may not be as pronounced as once thought. In fact, studies suggest metformin may reduce heart failure risk in diabetic patients and improve two-year survival rates in those with heart failure.207,208 Metformin is now commonly prescribed to diabetics with heart failure.209
Emerging evidence increasingly favors another class of diabetes medication, SGLT-2 inhibitors, in the management of diabetes in people with heart failure.209,210 .
Recommended Reading: Is 100 Heart Rate High
What Are The Best Heart Health Supplements
While there are many great supplements that can benefit heart health, none of them are a magic pill against heart disease, says Gina Sirchio-Lotus, doctor of chiropractic, certified clinical nutritionist, functional medicine physician, and owner of the LG Institute of Health in Chicago, Ill. Supplements are best used as part of an overall heart health plan that includes a healthy diet, regular exercise and good sleep habits.
There are seven nutrients that can be a good addition to a heart-healthy lifestyle:
Are There Foods That Reverse Heart Disease
Allium in garlic reduces blood cholesterol and decreases blood pressure,
Ginger is an anti-inflammatory herb that thins the blood.
Turmeric contains curcumin, which lowers cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood sugar levels.
Hormone and antibiotic free, pastured meats.
Those will give you a higher ratio of Omega 3/Omega 6 fatty acids.
Anti-inflammatory black, green, and oolong teas block dietary cholesterol from being absorbed into the bloodstream, and regulate levels of blood sugar.
Coffee, free of petroleum-based whiteners and artificial sweeteners, may lower blood pressure. Naturally, if you get the jitters, cut back on coffee, or just skip it.
Also Check: Can 30 Year Olds Have Heart Attacks