Congestive Heart Failure | BlackDoctor


    ( — CHF is a serious condition that
    requires support from health professionals. According to research or other
    evidence, the following self-care steps may help your heart keep pumping the
    blood your body needs:

    What You Need To Know:

    • Get help from hawthorn
      Take 300 mg of an herbal extract
      three times a day to reduce symptoms and improve exercise capacity
    • Try taurine
      Improve heart muscle contraction by taking
      2 grams of this amino acid three times a day
    • Add a carnitine to your routine
      Take 1,500 to 2,000 mg
      of an L-carnitine or propionyl-L-carnitine supplement every day to improve heart
      function and exercise capacity
    • Check out coenzyme Q10
      To determine how much of this
      powerful antioxidant supplement you need daily, calculate 0.9 mg for every pound
      of body weight
    • Mix in some magnesium
      Take 300 mg a day of this
      essential mineral to prevent a deficiency that can lead to heart arrhythmias
    • See a specialist
      Find a health expert you can trust to
      help you manage this medical condition

    These recommendations are not comprehensive and are not intended to replace
    the advice of your doctor or pharmacist. Continue reading the full congestive
    heart failure article for more in-depth, fully-referenced information on
    medicines, vitamins, herbs, and dietary and lifestyle changes that may be

    Lifestyle changes that may be

    Even with severe disease, appropriate exercise can
    benefit those with CHF.1 2 In a controlled trial, long-term (one year) exercise
    training led to improvements in quality of life and functional capacity in
    people with CHF.3 Nonetheless, too much exercise can be life-threatening for
    those with CHF. How much is “too much” varies from person to person; therefore,
    any exercise program undertaken by someone with CHF requires professional

    Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) appear to significantly
    increase the risk of CHF. The use of NSAIDs in one preliminary study was found
    to double the likelihood of hospital admission with CHF the following week. This
    likelihood increased by more than 10 times for patients with a history of heart
    disease.4 This study did not include people taking low-dose aspirin.

    Vitamins that may be

    People with CHF have insufficient oxygenation of the
    heart, which can damage the heart muscle. Such damage may be reduced by taking
    L-carnitine supplements.5 L-carnitine is a natural substance made from the amino
    acids, lysine and methionine. Levels of L-carnitine are low in people with CHF;6
    therefore, many doctors recommend that those with CHF take 500 mg of L-carnitine
    two to three times per day.

    Most L-carnitine/CHF research has used a modified form of the supplement
    called propionyl-L-carnitine (PC). In one double-blind trial, people using 500
    mg of PC per day had a 26% increase in exercise capacity after six months.7 In
    double-blind research, other indices of heart function have also improved after
    taking 1 gram of PC twice per day.8 It remains unclear whether
    propionyl-L-carnitine has unique advantages over L-carnitine, as limited
    research in animals and humans has also shown very promising effects of the more
    common L-carnitine.9

    Magnesium deficiency frequently occurs in people with CHF,
    and such a deficiency may lead to heart arrhythmias. Magnesium supplements have
    reduced the risk of these arrhythmias.10 People with CHF are often given drugs
    that deplete both magnesium and potassium; a deficiency of either of these
    minerals may lead to an arrhythmia.11 Many doctors suggest magnesium supplements
    of 300 mg per day.

    Whole fruit and fruit and vegetable juice, which are high in potassium, are
    also recommended by some doctors. One study showed that elderly men who consumed
    food prepared with potassium-enriched salt (containing about half potassium
    chloride and half sodium chloride) had a 70% reduction in deaths due to heart
    failure and a significant reduction in medical costs for cardiovascular disease,
    when compared with men who continued to use regular salt.12 While increasing
    potassium intake can be beneficial for heart patients, this dietary change
    should be discussed with a healthcare provider, because several drugs given to
    people with CHF may actually cause retention of potassium, making dietary
    potassium, even from fruit, dangerous.

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