Reversing Congestive Heart Failure

Reversing congestive heart failure is a difficult road to follow, but provides renewed hope and health to previous sufferers of cardiac disorders. While some medical professionals do not believe in the actual reversal of a person's chances of having repeated problems, others confidently prescribe medication and lifestyle changes that are proven to improve an individuals overall life. Such suggestions include increased diet change, strict exercise programs, medication, and even surgery. It is important to determine the type and intensity of problem that is being treated. If a scar has already been made on the tissue or a person has already had a cardiac attack, then the success in reversing coronary heart disease is next to impossible; however, people who have encountered blockage of the arteries can remain hopeful. Birth defects and the onset or improper management of infection can also lead to cardiac problems. Reversing coronary heart disease may need to be treated with a much higher rate of management including healing for hypertension, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

Cardiac problems are often the result of another condition; therefore if that condition is not treated then success in reversing congestive heart failure is not possible. When a person is diagnosed with congestive heart failure (CHF) the diagnosis should include information about the underlying causes. Some of these causes may include a faulty valve or a weakened cardiac chamber. Though these causes are not the fault of a person's lifestyle, they can be improved on by changes in current lifestyle. These changes include diet change, supplementation of vitamins, taking medication, and surgery. Other causes that are controllable include smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol, family history, and hypertension. Causes of hypertension include stress and genetics for the most part. Controlling hypertension can eliminate the occurrence of many other health problems and possibly attribute to reversing congestive heart failure symptoms. In addition to hypertension, diabetes can have an effect on a person's risk for developing cardiac problems. Reversing coronary heart disease can be attributed to the careful management or avoidance of diabetes.

Again, lifestyle changes can aid in controlling or preventing diabetes. Introducing omega-3 fatty acids to a person's diet can aid in the prevention and natural management of many diseases, including efforts toward reversing congestive heart disease. Minimal intake of trans fat, vegetable oil, and refined sugar can dramatically help in efforts toward a healthier body. Concentration of foods high in fiber or fiber supplements can also help. The supplementation of CoQ10 has shown to have beneficial effects on the management and efforts in reversing congestive heart failure. Consequently these steps toward better health also affect diabetes and hypertension prevention. The avoidance of smoking and alcohol consumption is key to successfully reversing congestive heart disease among other diseases. Smoking can increase cardiac rate, blood pressure, and oxygen demand as well as reduce the amount of energy a person has to exercise making it a double negative in the aspect of reversing coronary heart failure. Likewise, alcohol consumption affects the entire cardiac system to the point of total shutdown if too much is consumed. If someone has been diagnosed with an extreme case of congestive cardiac failure, total bed rest may be prescribed, but in general moderate, regular exercise is crucial to overall health and wellness including efforts in reversing congestive heart failure. In addition to congestive cardiac disease causing other diseases, poor nutrition can actually cause cardiac problems. Due to the body's inadequacy to function properly, poor appetite can occur which leads to malnutrition. In addition, stress and some medications may cause the same problems.

While poor appetite is a concern, obesity is equally (if not more) dangerous and can cause a multitude of other problems. Surgery is an option, but usually only tried when all other efforts have failed. Some symptoms of chronic cardiac problems include fatigue, swelling of any part of the body, loss of appetite, nausea, persistent cough, and trouble sleeping. Though these symptoms seem unrelated to cardiac function they can be signs that help save a life. It is important to seek professional help and testing if these symptoms occur. Keep in mind that these symptoms could also indicate a number of other problems not related to cardiac problems. Likewise, other problems could lead to congestive cardiac failure as mentioned above and are equally as important in preventing and treating. "Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God." (Psalm 42:11)

Treatment centers designed to help people overcome the debilitating effects of cardiac problems are available all over the country. These programs offer help in regaining normal everyday function after the event of cardiac arrest or even mild cardiac problems. These programs help people learn to do basic tasks at their job and independent living including relearning how to dress oneself and even cook meals. Learning how to cook meals accomplishes two goals: regaining skills and learning to live a healthier life to ensure continued health. In addition, these programs which help people in reversing coronary heart disease develop a realistic and successful exercise program which will aid in the strengthening if all body functions as well as provide a pastime that may replace other bad habits or pastimes such as smoking, drinking, and immobility. All of these items lead to continued cardiac problems and the risk of developing heart problems as well as a number of other diseases including diabetes, stroke risk, and hypertension.

Congestive Heart Disease

Marked by fatigue and breathlessness, congestive heart disease is a potentially life-threatening condition which occurs when the heart loses its ability to pump blood effectively. Individuals who suffer from chronic fatigue or shortness of breath upon exertion should be examined for cardiac problems. Cardiologists can listen to the organ with a stethoscope for certain tell tale signs that the patient is on the verge of cardiac stress, arrest, or failure. The heart is the most important organ in the human body. It is a powerful muscle which pumps blood away to the lungs and out to brain and the extremities, then receives blood back from the body again. Cardiac disease may be caused by a disruption of a regulated flow of blood. An overflow can result in too much blood entering the lungs, causing pulmonary edema; while too little blood can rob organs of vital nutrients and oxygen necessary to prolong and sustain life. "Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord" (Psalm 27:14).

Some conditions, such as congestive heart disease, develop as a result of attacks or stress on cardiac muscles, vessels or ventricles. If the left side of the organ is under stress, blood may back up into the lungs, effectively drowning them in fluid. Distress to the lungs causes feelings of breathlessness and wheezing. Failure or malformation of the right ventricle will cause blood to pool in the legs and liver, causing edema, or swelling. Congestive heart disease can also obstruct blood flow to the kidneys and cause water and salt retention. Patients who suffer from cardiac disease will experience trouble breathing upon exertion, such as climbing stairs or walking even short distances, as the organ struggles to function. For these individuals, even getting out of bed can be a chore, as the disease limits their ability to enjoy a full life. Many become reclusive, preferring rather to stay close to home than suffer the shortness of breath, chronic fatigue, and swelling legs associated with cardiac disease.

Individuals who suffer cardiovascular distress should contact a doctor immediately, as persistent distress can ultimately lead to organ failure and death. Upon examination, an electrocardiogram, or ECG, will test heart rhythms, and chest x-rays can reveal whether the organ is enlarged or lungs have become congested. Lungs that are filled with blood or fluid will cause patients to wheeze or cough deeply. Cardiologists may order an echocardiogram to determine weaknesses in the heart's muscles or valves. Individuals who suffer from congestive heart disease may have episodes which require hospitalization and observation. Congestion may produce feelings of suffocation and breathlessness may increase when patients lie down or at bedtime. Elevating the head above the legs may help alleviate discomfort and cause fluids not to pool around the chest and lungs.

If left untreated, congestive heart disease can cause not only cause cardiac arrest, as blood flow is restricted; but also a weakened muscle will cease to pump sufficient amounts of blood at sufficient pressure to reach the brain, lungs and extremities. Doctors recommend emergency medical treatment for individuals who experience shortness of breath, chronic fatigue, increased pressure in the chest wall, wheezing, coughing or other discomfort. Emergency medical treatment will include draining the lungs of excess fluid and administering angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE), hydralazines, or nitrates. Nitroglycerine tablets taken under the tongue are usually prescribed to provide prompt relief for cardiac attacks or distress; and CHF patients may be required to carry a small bottle for emergency use.

After undergoing treatment and following a prescribed medication plan, individuals who suffer from congestive heart disease should follow a diet and exercise program to help alleviate stress on the muscle and rebuild tissue. The body is a resilient organ able to sustain acute health conditions and recover as patients faithfully observe lifestyle changes. Congestive heart disease can be contained by avoiding high-fat, high-salt, and high-cholesterol foods. Patients should refrain from artery-clogging proteins, such as red meat, fried foods, refined flour and sugar, starches, and processed foods. Alcoholic and high-calorie beverages should also be avoided. Green and herbal teas may also help thin the blood and de-stress individuals who are at risk of heart failure. A diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, preferably raw, will enable cells to be rebuilt and individuals to lose excess weight. Foods high in fiber pass more quickly through the digestive system and aid in delivering vitamins to vital organs, rather than turning into fat. Physicians and nutritionists can tailor a diet plan for patients that will help them lose weight and regain physical fitness.

Moderate walking or chair exercise increase circulation and cause heart muscle to gain strength. Cardiovascular exercises not only include moderate walking, at least fifteen minutes a day; but also climbing stairs and water aerobics. Congestive heart disease patients won't be expected to run a marathon, but with gradual lifestyle changes from sedentary to active, improvement is possible. Cycling on a stationery bicycle also improves circulation, while restoring the organ's ability to pump blood more effectively. The result is that fluid cannot easily build up in the lungs, because of greater cardiovascular function. Moderate exercise should be supervised by a trained therapist to avoid over-exertion; and individuals are encouraged to slow their pace if the heart should race or beat abnormally, signs of stress. Cardiologists also recommend mind/body therapies such as gentle stretching, journaling, prayer, painting, sewing, or other hobbies which reduce stress and enable individuals to focus on reconstructing a life built on hope for a healthier future.

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