Not surprisingly, many people today are managing Congestive Heart Failure using a holistic approach to treatment.
Even though a confirmed diagnosis of Congestive Heart Failure rules out prevention, nutritional intervention can continue to assist the function of a damaged heart.
Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) is the end product of a number of cardiovascular diseases which affect the strength of the heart muscle by decreasing its ability to pump oxygenated blood around the body efficiently.
- Nutritional intervention may supplement and possibly replace the use of pharmaceuticals.
As an example, CHF patients are advised to restrict their intake of potassium and sodium, and many are prescribed diuretics (“water pills”) to help the body flush out excess amounts.
The following are among the supplements most commonly recommended by Alternative Medicine practitioners for CHF patients.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
- This enzyme is found in all tissues of the body and is necessary for life-sustaining changes to the chemicals in our cells.
As part of CHF treatment, It is used for its antioxidant effects and its ability to stabilize other enzymes which are activated by sodium and potassium.
Several prominent studies have shown an improvement in several wellness measurements for CHF patients.
Some foods containing high amounts of flavonoids include:
- Parsley (both fresh and dried)
- Black tea
Some vitamin supplements have also proven beneficial:
- Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that reduces the damage from “free radicals.”
➡ Free radicals are unstable molecules that damage cells and contribute to aging and disease.
- Thiamine (Vitamine B1) deficiency may actually be the cause of heart failure in some patients. Supplementation has the potential to help CHF patients.
In addition, ongoing studies are testing the benefits of the following for treating and managing CHF.
- Fish oils
- Folic acid
Naturally, no recommendations for using Alternative Medicine for Congestive Heart Failure-Using a holistic approach would be complete without including exercise and weight loss. And we can’t get past this part.
Exercise, healthy food choices and weight loss are the keys to cardiovascular health. There are no alternatives and no “easy out.”
- Decades of research supports the theory that just 30 minutes of exercise twice a week, under the care of a cardiologist, can cut the risk of hospitalization or death.
In support of that, a study published in Circulation, Journal of the American Heart Association, found that patients who participated in more exercise received greater benefits. Imagine that.
- Weight reduction lowers unnecessary strain on the heart, decreasing the risk of damage.
➡ Do not combine the use of herbal diuretics with other medications without first consulting your Cardiologist.
There’s a potential for unsafe drug interactions between herbals and some prescribed medications.
- Always consult with your physician before starting any exercise program. The stage or progression of your condition may require the patient to adjust or eliminate certain activities.