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HEART?????

can a man function with okay with only 20 percent of his heart?
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Avatar universal
20% EF are you talking about?
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I have a friend that is 58 yrs old, he was recently told that his heart is only functioning at 20 percent.....so I want to know can he have a "normal" life with only this percentage???????
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976897 tn?1379167602
I don't think anyone can really answer this because obviously there is no 'normal' life. Normal to one person could be sitting on a stool all day playing guitar, while to someone else it could mean to do daily gardening or even playing golf. Normal for one person could be driving a truck while to another it could be riding a bicycle. I suppose normal could mean exist, but to exist you could just be laying in bed every day. So normal to each individual has different expectations. Healthy hearts have a normal function of 50-70%, so even this has quite a range for the term normal. For most activities 20% is too low, it's really heart failure. The heart in such a low efficiency mode is at high risk for sudden arrhythmia, which can of course be fatal. An ICD unit is usually installed and wired to the heart to help with this.
What has caused this low efficiency? is your friend on medication to improve it?
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Avatar universal
I do not know what has caused this, but yes he is on several medications to help. He did tell me that his doctor told him "it was time for him to think of himself, to take care of himself now, not everyone else."
The doctor has also discussed him losing some more weight and then having a defibrilator put in. But, my question is;"wouldn't it also be beneficial to have a pacemaker also??"
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976897 tn?1379167602
If the heart is in rhythm, then a pacemaker is not going to be beneficial. The problem with his heart is the muscle. There are some good medications which can help the muscle be more efficient with the energy processes. One thing they may consider if things don't improve is the addition of a LVAD. This is a tiny pump which assists the heart, allowing it to rest, using far less effort. In a number of cases this seems to allow the heart to increase in performance. In the UK it has been a surprise how many patients have been removed off the transplant list due the the theraputic outcomes of this device.
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Avatar universal
With 20% EF he is in a very bad position right now ,but it can improve a lot. Here is what he can do.
Taking the medications!!
Lose weight. Walk as much as he capable of . Start with 10-20 minutes slowly and build it up to 1-2 hours daily.
Eat less sodium. No more than 2000 mg per day. Better 1600mg. He has to count sodium in all food he eats. Reading labels, do not eat in restaurant, if do watch what he eats, ask only for salt less food, go far from fast-food places.
Have enough sleep at night, nap also daytime.
Keep far from stressful situations.
Watch over for grapefruit warning by reading one by one about his medication online. Many doctors won’t mention that.
Very important read about the condition not only one but more website.
Don’t let the doctor to feel that he gave enough by saying things like “it was time for him to think of himself, to take care of himself now, not everyone else.”….it sounds nice, but from a doctor one can accept much more. Take a note book next time and ask lots of questions. Also ask for all medical reports.
When I had mine I was looking up every single word again and again. Need a good cooperation with our good doctor, but we as well need our own work online detect all what is going on with us. After all it is our body and for the doctor only another case.
His interest to put (sell) more device pacemaker etc…………..well let me tell you, those who have will say to you go for it. I say DO NOT, or at least don’t jump into it having one. Wait and see.
He cannot live with 20 % EF a long life But if he changes his life style for healthier, he has good chance to improve.
I had 20% at age 53 ..8 years ago….soon on medication improved. Less than a year went normal over 50%
If I had peacemaker built in, I hate to think I would stick with it for the rest of my life and I did not need it.
Oh yes if his doctor tells him but he has all sort of heart rhythm problem, and a device is recommended…sill it is his decision …….. I had also heart rhythm problems. I can’t feel them anymore.

Good luck to him! Search a lot and chose wisely.

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Avatar universal
Thank you for replying to my question, I do appreciate your response. You have given me hope that my friend can improve with adjustments like this and medications and that I will have him around for a while longer.
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