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Weak Heart
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Weak Heart

Hello Sir/Madam,

My mother(52 years) has a weak heart, her E.F. being around 30%. I am very concerned & am trying to get her to do things like morning walks, eating low-sodium diet(as the cause of her weak heart is Hypertension),meditate. She now has breathing problems when she walks for long & gets fatigued very easily. I want to know if the weakness of heart is related to the time a person lives, are there stages of this disease. Can we take the E.F. to (say) 35% or more with sustained efforts.

A concerned son!

Thanks,
Kapil
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First of all, I've been at 15% for about 3 years, even though I exercise every single day of my life, watch my diet, and take my medication on time everyday.

Coreg is supposed to be the miracle drug that helps the heart beat a bit stronger, but I think it gets more credit than it deserves, as it hasn't done me a lick of good, except IF I miss just one dose (like before a stress test, etc.) I end up in ER with a heart attack, which it seems to control pretty well.

Can she expect to bring her EF up to 35% with everything she's doing?  It depends on the person and why the heart is weakening in the first place.  Is her hypertension well controlled?

You say she is having breathing problems, and gets fatigued very easily.  Does she show signs of swelling?  With CHF the swelling is usually profoundly noticeable.  It also seems to start from about liver level and extends to the feet and ankles, possibly causing discoloration of the lower legs.  Also, if she is suffering from CHF, excersicing will be extremely difficult for her, and only her doctor should be telling her how much she should be doing.

In my belief, the most dangerous part of CHF is when the swelling from the lower body travels up into the lungs and chest, making it almost impossible to breathe.  I've known of several people who have died from the fluid entering the lungs.  I have been hospitalized twice with the fluid in the lungs, and it's a terrible place to be.

So, if everything your mother is doing is causing her to have problems with breathing, and fatigue, then she should be reevaluated by a specialist.  The doctor is the only one who can tell her what is going on with her system.  If she is showing signs of congestive heart failure, then she needs to be seen anyway, as her situation is worsening, and something needs to change.

You don't mention whether she is taking medication, or not.

In any event, I take several different kinds of medication, do my exercising, eat a heart healthy diet, and here I sit, 3 years later, and no improvement, yet there are others on this bullentin board who take their medication and see an improvement, so it depends on the person.
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