I was diagnosed with CHF in 2000 @ 43 yrs. of age. It was caused by a chemo drug I took in 1983. At the time of diagnosis my EF was 18-20. With medicine (Coreg & Spironolactone consistently and a couple others such as HCT, Losartin), the EF rose to 45-50. After a very recent Echo my numbers went down to 35-40. I had a Cardiolite Stress test but have not gotten the full results yet, only that there are no blockages. My BP and Cholesterol are excellent. I have had 2 other stress tests (2000 & 2008) that showed no blockages. Other than fatigue my health has been extremely good. Recently the fatigue has become much worse (I am exhausted by simple house hold chores), breathing difficulty at times and pain between my shoulder blades. I have never had a heart attack and have not had any surgeries in relation to the CHF. My question is, 'Does anyone have any advice as to how I can improve my heart?' Also what questions should I be asking my Cardiologist? My doctor is great, I am very comfortable with him, feel secure in his ability. But I have become too comfortable and haven't asked many questions. I am a 55 yr old woman, weigh 145 lbs and do not have any other medical conditions. Thank you.
There are a few things that I guess you are already doing to improve your heart:
1) Stop salt intake
2) Exercise what you can, 5 times per week
3) Try to get the medication to levels if you are not there.
4) Eat 5 very small meals per day.
As per the breathing difficulties, check with your cardiologist, probably he will change the HTC by Furosemide.
Fatigue it is an issue with most of the cardiac patients. My view is to check first for the obvious causes: Change in medication, Low BP, Anemia, Hypothyroidism..
If everything is OK then go for what no doctors check, the possible lack of key nutrients.I started taking Vitamins B1,B6,B12, D and minerals also Coenzyme Q10. With that I feel a bit better but my tiredness disappeared when I added Taurine and D-Ribose.
Of course, before taking that route check with your cardiologist, we are all different and this is only my personal experience.
If this were me I would call the Cardiologists office and speak with the nurse. Let her know what you just described above... Worsening fatigue with house hold chores, along with pain between your shoulder blades and difficulty breathing. Ask her opinion as to whether you should set up an appointment to come in for a visit. My guess is that the nurse will want you to be seen by a doc since these are new and worsening symptoms for you and you have a significant cardiac history. Dont even think twice about calling to ask a few questions. Thats what the nurses and doctors are there for, to help us out when we need it. Evenif its only for simple reassurance that everything is ok. Also, make a short list of questions before you go in to see your doc next time. Im guilty of forgetting things I wanted to ask and not asking enough questions as well. Then I just get home and worry, no fun.
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