heart failure

  1. Natural remedies for heart failure relief

    Powerhouse supplements offer heart failure relief

    Q: My father is 84 and is suffering from heart failure. His meds don't give him much relief from shortness of breath and fatigue. Is there anything else we can try?

    G.R.: Heart failure is a condition where your heart doesn't pump blood sufficiently to meet the demands of your body.

    When trying to improve symptoms for heart failure patients, a good place to start is by looking at the drugs they're already taking. Believe it or not, prescription drugs used to treat everything from cancer to arthritis can lead to or worsen heart failure.

    You can click here to check out a study with a list of potentially harmful drugs. (It's a little dense, but don't worry -- just skip ahead to where they start listing the meds).

    What you want is something that can help the heart pump more efficiently. In terms of natural supplements, many heart patients have gotten outstanding results from CoQ10, which can be purchased just about anywhere.

    In a 10-year analysis published in the European Journal of Heart Failure, researchers found that heart failure patients who supplemented with CoQ10 were far less likely to die. And that makes sense, because CoQ10 helps support your heart cells' natural energy-making process.

    Another recent study found that about 4,000 IUs of vitamin D a day improved heart function for heart failure patients. Finally, a major research analysis published about 8 years ago found that Hawthorn extract can help the heart operate more efficiently.

    All of these natural treatments come with little to no side effects. But for anyone on prescription drugs, it's always a good idea to let your doctor know which supplements you're taking.

    Want me to answer your question next? Drop me a line at askdrrothfeld@nutritionandhealing.com

  2. Antidepressants don’t help heart failure patients

    Depressed about heart failure? Treat the heart, not the depression.

    One minute, it feels as though your heart might beat out of your chest. And the next, it feels so weak that you wonder if it's still beating at all.

    And when your heart isn't pumping enough blood out to the rest of your body, you can feel as though you've run a marathon -- even if you've barely been able to get up off the couch. You never get used to that chest tightening and pain that can strike at any moment.

    It's no wonder that roughly 10 to 40 percent of all heart failure patients are also depressed!

    But there's a difference between having brain chemicals that make you feel depressed... and having a painful and life-threatening ailment that's downright depressing.

    That's why a new study out of Germany has found that you should think twice before taking a prescribed anti-depressant if you're feeling down-and-out with a case of heart failure -- because drugs like Lexapro will do absolutely nothing to improve your depression.

    They won't save your life -- and previous research shows that SSRIs like Lexapro, Zoloft, and Celexa are known to actually CAUSE heart issues.

    In 2011, the FDA warned against these drugs for heart patients because they were linked to abnormal changes in the electrical activity in your heart, which can mess with your cardiac rhythm and even cause a heart attack.

    And depending on the dose taken, these SSRIs have also been shown to cause arrhythmias.

    That doesn't mean hope is lost, because the German researchers also discovered something else: When the symptoms of heart failure worsened, so did the depression.

    And likewise, if they could ease the heart failure symptoms, the depression eased as well.

    Natural supplements like vitamin D, carnitine, CoQ10, and hawthorne berry can give failing hearts a much-needed boost... and even lift your spirits.

    You can also:

    • Take Fido for a walk, since having a dog and staying active have been shown to reduce heart failure (and increase your chances of survival if you've already got it). A little time outside will also get you more of that sunshine vitamin, vitamin D.
    • Salt your food,since too little salt has been linked to heart problems and death.
    • Avoid high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners, which have been linked to heart failure.
    • Check your meds, because there are over 100 of them that can cause heart failure, according to the American Heart Association.

    A study I shared with you earlier this year found that you can reduce your risk of heart failure by a third -- just by consuming three to five alcoholic drinks per week.

    And if you're feeling blue about heart failure or any other health problem, find somebody to talk to. You don't need a shrink and you don't need drugs, but having someone lend an ear can do a world of good.

  3. Prevent heart failure and stroke by finding your new best friend

    Study shows that dog owners have a lower risk for heart failure and stroke.
  4. New heart failure drug linked to Alzheimer's

    Entresto, a heart failure medicine just approved by the FDA, may allow Alzheimer's plaques to accumulate on your brain.
  5. Heart failure and depression are a deadly combination

    Heart failure is deadly enough on its own. But new research finds that when combined with depression, your death risk jumps by 500 percent.
  6. How sugar damages the heart

    Sugar can create the conditions in the heart that lead to failure, new research confirms.
  7. Depression and anxiety increase heart risk

    Depression and anxiety can increase your risk of serious heart problems and even death, especially if you're already a heart patient.
  8. The hormone that'll save your heart

    The moment I write the word "testosterone," I can sense all my female readers skipping ahead to the next story. Do so at your own risk because the so-called manly hormone isn't just for male sexual health and sports cheats. EVERYONE needs it -- and a new study proves what I've been saying all along: It's positively critical for heart health.
  9. Why you need MORE salt

    There's no other way to put it: Any doc who's still pushing the government-backed low-sodium diet is a complete ignoramus, plain and simple -- because the problem facing most Americans these days isn't too much salt... it's TOO LITTLE!
  10. Can vitamin D really hurt you?

    The clock is running out on 2011, but it looks like there's still time to squeeze in one last phony vitamin panic. In this one, researchers claim high levels of vitamin D will boost your risk of serious heart problems -- despite what their own study REALLY found: that LOW levels of the sunshine vitamin will up your odds of heart failure, high blood pressure, kidney failure, and diabetes.

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