Dr Lily Tomas and Greg de Jong © 2015| Privacy Policy


Congestive Heart Failure


Cogestive Heart Failure refers to a gradual decline in heart function resulting in fatigue and decreased work tolerance. It may occur as a result of related heart disease including a lack of blood flow (myocardial ischemia) and cardiac muscle death after a previous infarct. Hypertension also places considerable strain on the heart, whilst cardiomyopathy (ineffective cardiac muscle function) may also be implicated. 


Commit to Lifestyle Modification


The same rules apply as for Cardiovascular Disease when it comes to Diet and Exercise. You will need to address any associated Medical Conditions as well.


One important difference is that if you have Congestive Heart Failure, exercise and activity may be much more difficult to manage due to fatigue and shortness of breath. Preferably you should be monitored by an Exercise Physiologist or join a rehabilitation programme, at least to begin with.


If you fatigue easily, you may also need to watch your energy intake. Consuming more vegetables and legumes so that you may still feel full, whilst eating less grain and dairy foods may prevent weight gain during periods of disease progression and fatigue (Diabetes Healthy Eating Plan). However, if you improve your stamina through Lifestyle Modification, in turn you may have to adapt your energy levels to your dynamic needs.


What other Nutrients may a Practitioner recommend?


There are several additional nutrients/herbs (to those used for Cardiac Disease) that may be recommended independently or in combination with a pharmaceutical approach. Always ensure, by discussing with your practitioner, whether there are any drug-nutrient-herb reactions you need to be aware of.


CoQ10 (200mg) is particularly beneficial for its effect on myocardial muscle function during Chronic Heart Failure. This is in addition to its protective role for those using the Statin Drugs.


For a similar reason, L-Carnitine may be recommended to improve heart function


Fish Oils and Magnesium have additional benefits for Chronic Heart beyond that attained by addressing Coronary Artery Disease. 


Are there any Herbs to be recommended?


Hawthorn (Cratageus) in particular is the herb of choice for Chronic Heart Failure. The use of Hawthorn has been found to provide significant improvements in functional indicators such as workload, fatigue and heart palpitations. Unfortunately Hawthorn may interact with prescription drugs for Heart Conditions therefore it is best to use only under guidance of the treating Doctor in circumstances where you are using medication. 


Smoking? The answer's Obvious


This is probably the most significant change you can make in your life if you are a smoker. If you cannot quit without assistance, this being the majority of smokers, it may be sensible to join a multidisciplinary programme. Peer support is often essential to the success of any quit smoking plan.


Remember, although pharmaceutical approaches that replace nicotine via chewing gum, patch or otherwise are often helpful, eventually they must be weaned otherwise you may simply be trading the risk of lung cancer for other diseases. 


Stress, Life Balance, Emotional Intelligence, Spirituality


As Depression is now indicated as a potential risk factor for Cardiac Disease, anything that deals with your mental health may be an advantage, as will specific treatments focused on Depression.


As for Coronary Artery Disease, these are important factors to build into your lifestyle. Such interventions may include:


Relaxation and Meditation independent or as part of a Yoga programme

Other Effects Based Stress Managements techniques

Cause Based Stress Management Techniques

Achieving Work Life Balance

Learning to effectively manage Emotions

Prioritising Family and other Relationships (including healing old wounds)

Becoming connected with your community, environment and, if you are spiritual, the concept of God/Universe that matters to you.