I am looking for ANY advise on helping my heart recover from congestive heart failure. It was brought on by a severe infection (believed to be a pneumonia infection). I was put into an induced coma for 9 days while the infection ran it's course and I'm thankful to God for bringing me back to life (my wife was told more than once to prepare for my leaving this world). My recovery has been miraculous - I broke every time line laid before me. I am now mainly concerned with bringing my heart back. There seems to be so many conflicting opinions about restoring heart muscle- e.g. I was told not to lift weights, but then read that resistance training does strengthen certain portions of the heart. Any advise is much appreciated. Please keep in mind that, although my recovery has been miraculous (I am in shape and am doing light aerobics daily), I only came out of the coma about a month ago. Thanks.
1) Get a cardiologist with experience in HF
2) Reduce or better stop salt intake.
3) Exercise only as instructed by your doctor.
4) Take all your medicaments
5) Follow the style of live indicated by your dr.
6) Sleep at least 7 hours/day
7) Check ALL medicaments or complements before taking them. Usual medicaments for pain, could or flu can be counter indicated in your situation.
8) Check your weight daily and look for increase in 3-4 days in a row that can indicate fluid accumulation.
My husband had a similar experience (young, in his 30s, caused by a virus) and about 8 months later, despite grim and conflicting information like I am sure you are receiving, his heart function recovered to the normal range!!! Here is what he did (very similar to the list provided by jrbon):
1) Had an excellent team of doctors specializing in HF
2) Took a medication regimen that included beta blockers and ACE inhibitors, as well as a diuretic
3) Severely reduced his sodium intake (major life change)
4) Did as much aerobic exercise as he could tolerate (he did not do any resistance training, aside for some push ups and situps...but mainly he focused on aerobic exercise)
5) Monitored his weight daily and contacted his doctor/adjusted his medication if there were any significant gains
6) Monitored his HR and BP closely (daily)
7) Kept a close eye on his aerobic capacity, noted any times he felt more short of breath than normal, and followed up with his doctor frequently.
If your HF was diagnosed quickly and you were put on medication quickly, you CAN recover. Good luck!
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