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clnal90, July 29,  2019  6:23pm EST

Diet changes

My brother is now in end stage heart failure. He is on a strict diet and this is causing a lot of stress. He is on a low carb, diabetic, 2000 g salt and 64 fl oz a day diet. He is use to fried fatty surgary drinks and foods. this diet has to change ASAP in order for him to be considered for the LVAD or heart transplant.I dont even know how to suggest him to start, they expect him to make these changes at once. He's become angry and argumentative over this diet. He does have many other conditions; Sarcoidosis, stage 3 liver diesease, diabetes, high blood pressure those are just a few. Does anyone have any suggestions for me. I completely am out of my league. HELP!

5 Replies
  • JamesPL
    JamesPL, July 29,  2019  7:27pm EST

    If there is any way he would consider counseling, I would strongly suggest it. Perhaps he truly doesn't fully understand the potential risks he is taking. If he is depressed, he could be feeling like he wants to just give up. Counseling could help significantly with this. Depression is not uncommon for heart patients as I was warned after I was diagnosed. I was encouraged to seek counseling. Even though I hadn't experienced depression, counseling was very supportive and helpful toward my road to recovery.

    Please update us on his progress. I wish you and your brother well!


  • DolphinWrite
    DolphinWrite, July 29,  2019  9:55pm EST

    Unfortunately, food is a major coping tool for so many people.  Years of stress and denial are dealt with by food, smoking, drinking, and even exercise.  Life is not easy.  Hope all the best.  Perhaps a therapist, counselor, pastor.  😊

  • clnal90
    clnal90, July 30,  2019  4:56pm EST

    Thank you both for the suggestions. Our Pastor has tried to talk to him but I don’t think he fully understands. He’s trying but it’s hard. This is his last chance if Hershey Hospital doesn’t feel he really understands and is willing to make the changes they will say no and he goes to hospice. There are no other options. 

  • Mer2019
    Mer2019, August 2,  2019  6:31am EST

    Good morning,

    I think I can help a little. First and foremost he can change his diet in a less dramatic way. My mother has the same likes of food as your brother. It is one thing to say eat healthy and it is completely another to actually do it. So my recommendation is make the change gradually so he doesnt totally notice the difference. It is helpful if you can monitor what they are eating. Does he have someone that is living with him? I would tread lightly on the montioring and don't make any judgments about their eating tendencies. Start introducing flavorful salads that he cant resist with maybe a side of fried chicken. If that goes over well, then put grilled chicken on the next salad. The key is to keep the food delicious. If he has liver issues as well the 2,000 mg sodium limit is imperative. Focus on realistic goals at this point and don't be discouraged. Remove the arguments as that is not productive. Get creative and kind. Many people have had it a lot worse and still have lived to see the other side of healthy living.

    Best Wishes.

  • 1jnelson
    1jnelson, August 16,  2019  4:41am EST

    I am sure he takes diuretics like my husband. I know olive oil daily helps. It makes him not feel so dried out. Mrs Dash, garlic, tumeric, sweet peppers, bell peppers and other products of that nature help flavor foods a lot. Oatmeal is my husband's go to quick snack and meal because of benefits and low sodium. Just know salt is in almost everything especially bread. Even a small yogurt has 100+ mg of sodium if I remember right off the top of my head. The only low sodium bread that I've found in store is Ezekiel bread but I found it to be a lil dry. So we tend to use spinach n herb wraps a lot ( just be aware of nutrition fact chart due to a number of brands) also corn tortillas 10 mg sodium per one. For dessert my husband will use rice cake put a lil peanut butter or honey maybe a lil dark chocolate which has health benefits. Oatmeal again can help my husband's sugar need. There's a lot of things I have learned over the years... These are just a few good ones I can think of at the moment being that it's 1:30 AM. I, myself, was reading as I do often trying to educate myself better on the use of diuretics and the best methods of use. I'll try to give some more helpful tios, it's hard to see your loved one struggling to perform the most basic of functions such as breathing. 

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