Last Modified on Dec 18, 2013
What Is Congestive Heart Failure?
The most important muscle in the body, the heart is responsible for pumping blood around the body to all of the organs, muscles, and other parts of the body. As such, the heart is constantly active maintaining the proper functioning of the body. Several factors work against the heart, causing added stress to this major muscle. When those factors become too great complications may arise. Congestive heart failure occurs when the heart does not pump blood throughout the body as effectively as it should.
Heart failure may be chronic, long-term, or acute, a sudden attack. Either way, the basic symptoms of heart failure are the same. Symptoms include shortness of breath, fatigue, swelling in the extremities, irregular heartbeat, reduced ability to exercise, persistent cough, white or pink tinged phlegm when coughing, increased urination, and swelling of the abdomen. Additionally, sudden weight gain from fluid retention, lack of appetite, nausea, difficulty concentrating, elevated pressure, and chest pain are all signs of heart failure.
Heart failure typically occurs after other conditions have damaged or weakened the heart. Factors that contribute to heart failure include coronary artery disease and heart attack, high blood pressure, faulty heart valves, damage to the heart muscle, congenital heart defects, abnormal heart rhythms, and other diseases.
Natural Congestive Heart Failure Treatment
While treatment of any heart condition requires extensive doctor supervision, many homeopathic treatments support heart health and treat the condition and symptoms associated with heart failure. Effective congestive heart failure treatment supplements include co-enzyme Q-10, iodine, thiamin, selenium, magnesium, and potassium. Lifestyle changes including eating a more balanced diet, exercising, and drinking more water are also helpful treatment supports. Losing weight also reduces the strain placed on the heart and may be advisable in some cases.
06/23/2010: Elsaeasterly from Elsewhere, Ca, Usa: "This link explains that CoQ10 can enhance the action of blood pressure medications, allowing the patient to reduce their dose.
[YEA] 09/05/2009: Kathy from Dubois, Pa: "My heart used to labor like crazy at the least exertion, until I started taking Iodine. After I started taking Iodine, the problem went away, never to return, but it took me almost 1 year of taking 50mg of Iodine per day (divided dose) before I could tell I was replete and my deficiency was over."
Lifestyle and Supplements
09/04/2009: Connie from Manitowoc, Wisconsin, Usa: "One website had this to say about CHF:
Some congestive heart failure is actually caused by thiamin (vitamin B-1) deficiency. 25 to 50 mg with each meal might be worth a therapeutic trial. I think a thiamin-containing 50 mg "balanced B-complex" tablet each meal would be even better.
Selenium deficiency can cause a congestive heart disease called Keshan disease. 100 to 300 micrograms (mcg) of selenium daily would insure against this. In addition, selenium works to help your body recharge and efficiently reuse its vitamin E.
The role of magnesium in normal heart function is tremendous. Profound magnesium deficiency causes muscles to underfunction, malfunction or not function at all. Several hundred of your body's most important biochemical reactions depend on this mineral....
Potassium deficiency is associated with congestive heart failure, and is connected with magnesium deficiency, mentioned above. Low potassium can cause erratic heartbeat (heart arrhythmia)...
Co-Enzyme Q10. This is very important.
One of the best things about Co-Enzyme Q 10 is that it is harmless, having no negative side effects or contraindications of any kind." Jullian Whitaker, M.D. (Health & Healing, December 1997. http://www.drwhitaker.com )
As a rule, I am in favor of getting amino acids from protein foods in ones diet. With really sick people, a case can be made for amino acid supplementation. In Werbach's Textbook of Nutritional Medicine, the case is indeed well made."
Also, I was just sitting here feeling like I had so much pressure in my chest and head, and mild chest discomfort. Unusual for me, until these past few months. Probably from drinking so much coffee/tea and not balancing it with calcium and decent leafy greens. I drank a glass of milk and some Epsom salt in water and it went away almost instantly. One lady I know who does not drink milk has CHF and severe swelling in her legs. The other lady has some swelling and a cough. The daughter of the first lady also does not drink milk and has CHF as well. I never noticed symptoms of it until I quit drinking milk because of the congestion it causes. If you're in a pinch, try a glass of milk. Probably whole milk."
01/09/2009: Dana from Kansas City, USA: "looking for any help with congestive heart failure.
He doesn't have high blood pressure, no blockages in his heart. He's not overweight, if anything under weight. Doesn't drink, smoke, been watching salt intake. Looking to get him off all the medicines his doctor has him on and on vitamins or something."Replies
01/21/2009: George from Washington, DC replies: "CONGESTIVE HEART FAILURE: You may wish to read to section on High Blood Pressure cure with apple cider vinegar remedies. One begets the other."
09/04/2009: Connie from Manitowoc, Wisconsin, USA replies: "Dana, Try this:
* Quit caffeine/coffee/soda.
* Balance his PH.
* Put him on a high *fresh* fruit and vegetables diet. (Buy a juicer and make carrot/apple/celery juice, yum!)
* Minimize his processed/refined sugar and processed fat intake. If it needs additional sugar or salt you probably don't want to eat it anyway, it's dead. Try making a smoothie with organic bananas, raw unrefined organic coconut milk and organic non-irradiated cinnamon.
* Try vitamin C (sodium ascorbate or ascorbic acid) maybe up to 10,000mg/day, 1 every hour or so for a while. If you buy the powder at a health food store it won't have mystery ingredients, but you may miss out on bioflavinoids that help assimilate it.), B vitamins, vitamin E...
* Try scrambling a couple organic raw egg yolks in a glass, add a little pure/non-tap drinking water, and drink that each morning on an empty stomach for a while. Egg yolk is rich in essential oils and B vitamins.
* Have him take a 20 minute walk or swim every day or so.
How did he acquire the heart failure? Is it genetic?"
12/28/2009: Pauline from Cardiff, Wales, Uk replies: "Greetings, Dana, from Wales, UK.
My husband, Rob, who is 74yrs of age has congestive heart failure with an ejection fraction of just 15%. From initially barely being able to tie his own shoe laces he has increased his physical energy output to the point where some 15 months after his original diagnosis he is able to readily walk some three miles or so a day. Early on he eschewed the use of most of the prescribed drugs other than a very small dose of a beta-blocker (1.25mg)and 40 mg of the diuretic, Furosemide. His particular bete noire is statin therapy, although he happily admits that by so doing he might be ploughing a furrow to an early demise. He supplements daily with 200mg of CQ10 in it's more bio-available Ubiquinol form, 4 x 500mg of an Ayurvedic heart remedy, Arjuna (Terminalia Arjuna), 1 Taurine, 500mg, capsule, and 1 Magnesium Citrate 400mg tablet. In spite of a very lean frame he has always had an impressive appetite, eating at least three hearty meals each day with lots of fresh vegetables, meat and fish. Occasionally he will add to his vegetables some fermented soya beans, manufactured in Japan and called Natto. He doesn't subscribe to a low fat diet although he consumes no dairy products and avoids all oils other than Extra Virgin olive oil. He certainly wouldn't countenance the merest sliver of margarine even in it's supposedly heart-healthy form!
I relate the above, not as a recommendation or a path that others should follow, but merely to inform of the reaction of just one, possibly misguided, person amongst the countless tens of thousands of others when confronted with the consequences of CHF.
Best wishes to you and yours,
06/23/2010: Bill from Calgary, Alberta/canada replies: "My mom has congestive heart failure. (lifetime of smoking) I bought some Co Q 10 for her. Then I bought some for myself. (I have never smoked) I read the bottle when I bought for myself, and it says on every bottle- Do NOT take if on blood pressure medication!"
09/08/2009: Kathy from Dubois, Pa: "Another thing you might want to check out is the amino acid Taurine. I remember reading somewhere that CHF can be caused by a Taurine deficiency (sorry I cannot remember where I read it). Try putting "taurine congestive heart failure" into a search engine.
As a point of reference, I have had two very large male cats die of heart failure and I strongly suspect that there wasn't enough taurine in the cat food for cats of their size. As another point of reference, the best food source for Taurine is...heart muscle!"