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S2021, April 13,  2021  7:57am EST

What did you do to increase your low ejection fraction?

I was diagnosed with low effort in October. Currently taking my meds as prescribed and limiting sodium intake. What else can I do? 

4 Replies
  • mghd20
    mghd20, April 13,  2021  8:33am EST

    Morning S2021,

    My EF was pretty low as well. About 23 or so in December 2019.

    In a nutshell, water, diet and probably consistent exercise. Have you been to or been set up for Cardio Rehab yet? It's a nice way to get the ball rolling with physical activity but like me, it goes by in the blink of an eye. I had to push myself to get out for regular walks. ONE THING I NEED / NEEDED TO REMEMBER: The farther away from my incident, the more complecent I got with all the positive steps needed to get bettter.

    Thanks for touching base with us and looking forward to more updates.


  • jerzeycate
    jerzeycate, April 13,  2021  12:02pm EST
    When I developed a sudden onset electrical disorder back in January of 2013, my EF was 11%. The Cardio who came to see me in ICU said that without a heart transplant I had 3 months to live. He told my then husband to "Take her home. Make her comfortable. Get her affairs in order." I was not eligible for transplant.
    After about 6 months in the hospital an experimental complex cardiac device was implanted to "buy us more time."  Two days later I walked out of Tampa General Hospital under my own power. Within 6 months my EF was up to 30%. Within 18 months my EF was at 55% (where it remains. My BNP went from 5000+ (on the 100 Scale) down to under 50 (where it has remained. The COPD (which came along with the CHF) resolved with no residual damage or issues. The Kidney failure (which came about as a result of adverse reactions to several diuretics) resolved with no residual damage or issues.
    Let me say that the 18 months was not issue free. I was resuscitated 5 times, sufferred kidney failure, and multiple other issues resulting from my body having been deprived of well oxygenated blood for so many months. But, as I said above the issues resolved.
    I guess my point is Never lose Hope. Our mental attitude plays a role in how well our body comes back from serious illness. It certinly is not the end all, but it does make a big difference. I have found that he stress of living with a serious illness is enough to kill you. So be kind to your body. You are engaged in a Marathon, not a Sprint. It takes time as well as addressing the issues from various perspectives. I found dietary changes to be a major player. For me, putting down the salt shaker was not enough. I also eliminated as much preserved foods as possible as they are chock full of sodium and sugar. I went to clean eating. Most of my food is fresh. It took some getting used to and stocking my pantry with the proper seasonings and things I would need to eat clean. Now, it's rare that I use preserved foods. While I still use bread that is commercially prepared, the rest of my baking is from scratch. Not only is it better for me, it tastes much better.  Start, if you don't already do it,  by reading food labels closely. I didn't and boy was I in for a shock. Aside from the level of sodium and sugar, the amount of chemicals I was putting in my body was frightening. One Step at a time. One foot in front of the other.
    I am putting a link to the AHA Section which addresses this topic thoroughly.
    As you will learn part of the issue is determining, if possible, what lead to the low EF in the first place. How long a process was it? Is it something that can be addressed. Sometimes, as in cases like mine where a viral infection (CoxSackie B aka Hand, Foot & Mouth) damaged to my cardiac electrical system ushering in a multitude of issues, an experimental Quadripolar S CRT-D (complex cardiac device) restroed electrical function to my heart enabling the medications, other treatment protocols, dietary and lifestyle changes to work. At this point not only are my numbers stable, but all of the swelling from the DCM caused by the infection is gone.  I recently had a new complex cardiac device mplanted as my battery was running out. Wow. What a difference 7.5 years makes. This new device is already resulting in even further improvement in my fuctioning. But, like it or not, I am a Cardiac Patient.
    As mghd20 said these are lifelong changes and adjustments we have to make.
    As soon as we think we've beaten it, it rears it's **** head once more. 
    Complacency is our worst enemy.
    Every day I make decisions that will not only impact the length but also the quality of the life I will have.
    You have joined a very Exclusive Club.
    Many people die of their heart disease and/or disorder before they even know it exists....
    Before there are any warning signs.
    Before there is any treatment.
    So my friend...Give it time.
    Give yourself time.
    You are strong.
    You are powerful. 
    There are no limits to what you can overcome. 
    What you can live through. 
    What you can suffer through. 
    What you can win over. 
    You are forceful.
    You are Fierce.
    You are tough.
    You are stronger than you think
    You are indestructible. 
    You are a champion in this life. 
    You play on a very strong team. 
    We are your teammates. 
    Together we are unbeatable. 
    Together We are Brave Enough...

    It's a Great Day To Be Alive!

      Cathy (aka JerzeyCate)

  • REC84
    REC84, April 13,  2021  7:39pm EST

    Hi S2021

    My husband (45) had an EF of 23% last July. It has increased to 52%. We cleaned up his diet, more whole foods, and not as much processed, refined carbs.

    He also takes Entresto and Coreg which has helped a lot. I think all of that (along with prayers) has made all the difference. He's also active and monitors his heart rate so he can still particpate in actvivities he loves without over doing it.

    You've got this!

  • Becky4242
    Becky4242, April 20,  2021  12:28pm EST

    I've learned what one should do due to my husbands refusal to do any of the things he should do after his diagnoses in 2015. .... attend all Dr. appointments, take ALL prescribed meds, limit fluid intake, work diligently to remove as much sodium from your diet as possible READ ALL LABELS, weigh yourself without fail every morning( anything over 3 to 5 lbs in a weeks time , call your ***) and move around, walking in small intervals while resting along the way as needed. Doing ALL of these things will guarantee success! As time goes by you may find yourself slipping away from your "healthy changes" it is so very important that you stay focused and diligent. There has never been and never will be another YOU so please do everything within your power to become a champion of YOU! Sending tons of smiles, hugs and positive energy your way. 

    Ps. Do it for all of us who can't do it for you.

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