Congestive heart failure (CHF) is the leading reason for hospitalisation of people over 65. Once a diagnosis of CHF is made, one out of every five CHF patients has only a year more to live; 50 percent of newly diagnosed CHF patients have only five more years. But the main contributing causes for heart failure are reversible.
In addition to one’s genetic predisposition, there are several reversible health conditions that can also cause CHF:
- Emotional distress
According to a new research, anger triggers abnormal heart rhythms that can lead to sudden heart attack. The startling finding in that study was that hostility posed more cardiovascular risk than did hypertension, high cholesterol, and smoking. Another study found that those who measured high on hostility scales tended to have higher levels of “bad cholesterol” and health-threatening lifestyle behaviours later in life. A complementary study found that subjects who measured high on emotional responsiveness scales in youth were three times more likely to die of cardiac arrest later on than were even-tempered subjects.
The statically documented single most predictive factor of death by heart malfunction is: hopelessness. And it has been shown that stroke risk in women is also significantly linked to hopelessness.
It’s clear that emotional balance protects the heart and prolongs life.
- Long-term high blood pressure:pressure against the heart and arteries wears it out.
- Previous heart attack:the dead portion of the heart muscle never recovers.
- Metabolic syndrome:a combination of high insulin in your blood (triggers lipid oxidation and blood clotting ); abdominal obesity; glucose intolerance (pre-diabetes); and hypertension.
- Arrhythmia:electrical abnormalities weaken the heart muscle or can cause heart attack.
- Heart valve disorders:the backflow of blood wears out the heart muscle.
- Cardiomyopathy:diseased heart muscle cannot pump blood.
- Chronic lung disease:back-pressure increases stress on the right heart chamber.
- Anaemia:heart must pump faster due to fewer red blood cells to carry oxygen.
- Eating refined sugar:increases systolic blood pressure , contributes to diabetes and metabolic syndrome , contributes directly to atherosclerosis, and correlates strongly with peripheral vascular disease.
- Eating hydrogenated oils and trans-fats:promotes atherosclerosis even more than saturated animal fats do . Trans-fats consumption is closely associated with heart attack rates.
- Diabetes:blood vessel disease develops due to long-standing high-blood-sugar levels.
- Obesity:CHF is significantly more prevalent in obese patients.
- Obstructive sleep apnoea:increases blood pressure in the heart.
- Autoimmune inflammation:rheumatoid arthritis doubles risk for CHF, but the mechanism is unclear.
- Hyperthyroidism:increases heart rate and energy demand on the heart.
- Chemotherapy drugs:increases CHF risk, but mechanism is unclear.
- Alcohol abuse:leads to thiamine (Vitamin B1) deficiency.
- Amphetamines or cocaine use:creates a huge metabolic demand on the heart.
- Low testosterone levels:a serious risk factor for men (fourfold increased heart attack rate if low testosterone).
- Oxidative stress:makes LDL cholesterol “sticky”; from heavy metal exposure (i.e. mercury), cigarette smoke and radiation. This also includes electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs) from cell phones, televisions, microwave ovens, laptop computers, hair dryers, etc.
- Pesticides and herbicides: in meat, vegetables and fruit.
- Hormones and antibiotics:We get these from eating supermarket meat and xenoestrogens (hormone mimickers) found in plastics, spermicides, detergents and personal care products.
- Prescription medications:The medicines for heart disease, high cholesterol or high blood pressure can weaken the heart
- Excessive consumption of omega 6 fatty acids as found in many grains, the build-up of circulating immune complexes as the result of the consumption of high allergen foods such as wheat, corn, and dairy that causes the body’s own immune system to attack the arterial walls.
- A high acid forming diet: causes a decrease in pH in the muscle tissue surrounding the arteries, which then leads to damage to the arterial walls themselves.
- Lifestyle contributors such as smoking, lack of exercise, excessive salt intake: weakens a heart predisposed to CHF.
What can be done?
Although lifestyle elements like exercise, a healthy diet, weight control and having a purpose in life are all part of being heart healthy, it now appears that the primary, most important factor is keeping hopes alive and not giving up on our dreams. Without them, we lose our purpose and the joy for living.
A nutrient-dense, mostly raw, whole food diet reduces inflammation.
- Freshly juiced fruits and vegetables; fresh (and cooked) produce; meats from pastured, free-range and mercury-free sources; and raw dairy products are far more nutritious than processed foods.
- More than 50% of all you eat should be raw food. Consume 40 grams of whey protein per day.
- Stop eating refined sugar, trans-fats and processed foods. Whole grains are great (unless you are gluten-intolerant), but our modern wheat has some real problems.
- Exercise training has shown to reverse CHF. Tai chi plus endurance training and yoga reduce oedema and depressed mood and improve quality of life in patients with CHF.
- Stress reduction is key. Daily moderate exercise in which you can relieve stressful thoughts includes: walking; deep, slow breathing for 10 minutes while focusing just on what you enjoy; listening to healing music to lift your mood; and inviting feelings of confidence and peace. Stress reduction lowers the need for cortisol and adrenaline, and thereby reduces heart rate, blood pressure and inflammation.
- CoEnzymeQ10: 300 mg twice daily .
- Fish oil (omega-3s)
- L-carnitine – 3 grams twice daily; L-taurine – 3 grams twice daily.
- R (alpha) lipoic acid: 250mg twice daily.
- Hawthorn (Crataegus): 300 mg to 900 mg daily.
- Berberine: 300 mg to 500 mg four times per day.
- Cardi-Care, an excellent effective herbal mixture from Nacare (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Mineral supplements are strongly recommended to strengthen your heart: magnesium, selenium and zinc.
Hormone deficiency needs to be corrected. Testosterone, cortisol and thyroid hormones are the important ones here.