congestive heart failure

treatment and prevention of heart disease

Nutrition for Heart Disease Patients

Recommended Supplements for Heart Disease

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If you have heart failure, your doctor will monitor you closely. This means having follow up appointments at least every 3 to 6 months, figuring out any underlying cause and treating it, and periodic testing of your heart function. For example, an ultrasound of your heart, called an echocardiogram, will be done once in awhile to give an estimate of how well your heart is pumping blood with each stroke or beat.

It is also your responsibility to carefully monitor yourself and help manage your condition. There are a couple of suggestions that we have for you using natural and alternative remedies that may enhance the effectiveness of any therapies your doctor may recommend.

Nutrition and Diet for heart disease patients

Proper nutrition is very essential for the treatment and prevention of heart disease or congestive heart failure.

Limit salt and sodium intake. Sodium, a component of salt, causes fluid retention. And fluid retention raises blood pressure. High blood pressure aggravated congestive heart failure. By reducing the intake of salt and sodium fluid retention (edema) of your feet, ankle, legs, abdomen may be reduced.

The recommended limit of sodium intake for congestive heart failure sufferers is at 1,800 milligrams per day. An average American consumes almost double of that amount. Most of the sources of salt and sodium are processed foods, fast foods, canned soups and sauces, lunchmeats, frozen dinners and snack foods.

Increase your magnesium intake. A low level of magnesium in blood is common to congestive heart failure sufferers. The disease itself depletes the mineral, as do diuretic medications, the kind that help control blood pressure and relieve the swelling. Low magnesium in blood can aggravate the congestive heart failure. It is suggested that you eat a lot of food that contains magnesium such as soybeans, oatmeal, nuts, seeds, low-fat dairy items, and seafoods.

Increase your potassium intake. Potassium is also depleted by congestive heart failure and diuretic medications. Thus it is best that you increase your potassium intake like magnesium by eating foods that are rich in potassium such as vegetables, beans and whole grains.

Low levels of thiamin, a B vitamin, contribute to sodium retention and heart failure. Older people are at greatest risk for thiamin deficiency. They also have the highest rate of congestive heart failures. Increase your intake of thiamin, by eating thiamin rich foods such as beans, peas, eggs, fish and poultry.

Optimize your fluid consumption. Fluid retention is a symptomatic characteristic of congestive heart failure. Reducing your fluid intake may help reduce swelling of your feet, legs and ankle. This though is a bit tricky, because too much deprivement of fluid intake may cause dehydration, which may cause other problems especially to older people. So be careful. It is suggested that 2 quarts of water would be sufficient for people suffering from congestive heart failure. If you feel thirsty and need a drink try not to drink too much and sip slowly. It is also suggested that you may suck on ice drops or ice chips. Chewing gums and sucking hard candies may also stimulate salivation.

Supplements for heart disease - chf

As mentioned above, congestive heart failure sufferers have low magnesium, potassium and thiamin levels in their blood. If you feel like your diet cannot sufficiently supply your magnesium, potassium and thiamin requirements you may take the appropriate vitamin and mineral supplements. Check and compare the labels of different vitamin and mineral supplements that you may find in your local drugstore. Please do follow the suggested dosage in the labels. If you are not sure, consult your doctor.

Try using carnitine. Chemically, carnitine – also known as L-carnitine – is an amino acid. But it functions like a B-vitamin in your body. Fatty acids help in powering our heart, and L-carnitine helps move fatty acids into the muscle tissues, including your heart. There are studies that suggest that the deficiency of carnitine in the blood increases the risk of congestive heart failure. While the increase of intake of carnitine may actually help prevent arrhythmias.

Carnitine may be purchased over-the counter, however this must be taken with the supervision of a doctor since its safe use has not yet been properly established.

Also try coenzyme Q10. Coenzyme Q10 is a very good treatment for congestive heart failure as based from a research conducted on this chemical. Research has shown that an intake of coenzym Q10 by congestive heart failure sufferers have indicated good results.

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