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Congestive Heart Failure due to alcohol
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Congestive Heart Failure due to alcohol

My brother was diagnosed about 6 months ago with Congestive Heart Failure. The drs said it was due to him drinking excessively. He had a month or two where he abstained from alcohol and then he started drinking again.

Even though he started drinking he still takes his medicine regularly and will occasionally excercise.
He also does not drink when he has to work, the days he is off, he still gets drunk.

When he was diagnosed he had an EF of 25%.

What do you think his prognosis is? He is currently on low doses of Beta blockers, ace inhibitors and water pills

What is the difference between Alcoholic Cardiomyopathy and Congestive Heart Failure? I had heard both terms.

Is it okay for him to drink the way he is?

He said he feels fine and he is able to exercise. He wonders if the doctors made a mistake in even diagnosing him with congestive heart failure.
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I wanted to add that he is 35 years old.
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Is it ok for him to drink the way he is? absolutely not. If alcohol has been the diagnostic cause for his condition, then obviously drinking more of the stuff will have no benefits at all. What is his prognosis? well not good if he carries on with high levels of alcohol. The reason he feels improved and wonders if the diagnosis is correct is because of the medication. If the medication was stopped, he would then start to seriously feel the problems. I remember when I was in a hospital for a couple of weeks and I met a 28 year old guy. He had a bypass machine strapped to his body, operated by a huge battery pack. They had turned off his heart a year before and were waiting to see if his heart recovered sufficiently and his prognosis was very poor in the prior years. After a year of waiting, and being given a 50-50 chance of improvement, he was very lucky indeed. His heart had recovered sufficiently to have the bypass machine removed and allow his heart to be restarted. I left hospital before his procedure and have no idea how it went or if he survived. He explained how the alcohol had attacked his heart muscle to the extent that it became very thin. The muscle was so thin and weak that it could hardly pump at all. A year without alcohol and his heart working seems to have paid off for him.
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Ed34 Thank you soo much for your comment.

Im so concerned....I know that it is not okay for him to drink, but he swears that since he feels so much better and that since the medicine is keeping him in "regulated and in check" and he is on low doses that he is just fine.

How bad is a 25% EF?

He is supposed to be going back to the dr again so they can look at how it is functioning.
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976897_tn?1379171202
Well 25% is not good, anything below 30% is technically classed as heart failure. Normal for a man is around 55-70%. I think he is in denial and the Doctor needs to wake him up. If he carries on drinking, then the medications will have less effect and the dosages will need increasing. This will of course only work up to a certain point.
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I didn't even know that alcohol even damaged the heart and the story of the guy recovering is awesome. They shut his heart off?
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976897_tn?1379171202
yes completely off and they were all shocked at how his heart began to recover. If wasn't easy for him though, he had to battle alcohol addiction plus carry a huge battery pack around with him. I think he said they last a few hours before being re-charged. Apparently this isn't so unique because a young girl had a heart which seemed to weaken for no apparent reason. This wasn't in the hospital I was admitted to, it was a case I read about. Her EF became so low that they had to put her onto the transplant list. She was given a transplant, but Cardiologists decided to keep her own heart in her chest. They started the transplanted heart, and stopped hers. After about six weeks, they did a scan and noticed how her own heart had returned to normal so they decided to try restarting it and turn off the donor heart. Again, six weeks later it became very weak, so they had to turn one off and the other back on. The Doctors were really scratching their heads over this. Six weeks later her own heart seemed to be fine again. They switched her own heart back on and it remained normal for a year so they removed the donor heart and could then stop the antirejection drugs. She has been fine since. Their only conclusion was that some things with the heart require total rest for recovery.
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