Heart is weak?

Hello all,  It's been a while since I posted here, but this one can't wait for my own peace of mind. 

I am told that my heart muscles are weak and that is the reason my EF is not improving, I walk and jogg a little daily about 2.5 to 3.5 miles, I do get tired and somethimes I have to stop and take breaks, but I get it done almost every day. So when I questioned my cardiologist about the lack of improvement he told me that the heart is weak and has to work more to provide all my muscles and organs with blood to keep them working, this is why I get tired. When I asked if there is anything I can do to help the heart, like excercise more and push myself harder, he said there is nothing I can do to get the heart muscles back and be strong, and he doesn't advise to push myself harder than what I am doing.

Anyone has had this kind of issues? Is it true that I can't get my heart muscles to get stronger a bit and make it easier for it work and endure more? Any advise from those who has been through this? I would greatly appreciate it.

Roger

 


3 Comments

Heart Failure can be a cruel condition to manage

by Gemita - 2022-08-03 05:24:26

Dear Roger,

I know we have had a similar discussion before but heart failure is a condition that will unfortunately progress although with treatment it can be held in check for some years.   It sounds as though you are doing everything you can to stay well and I am so impressed with your daily efforts. 

Clearly your heart is having difficulty keeping up with your present level of activity which is why your doctor has recommended that you do not push it harder and worsen your symptoms.  I wonder if working with a cardiac physiotherapist would help now to find a safe level of activity for you, to find a better way to help support and strengthen your heart?  I would ask for a referral since clearly a suitable exercise programme will be so beneficial.  But in the end, you need to listen to your body and try to "pace" yourself better Roger, to prevent worsening heart failure symptoms like fatigue and breathlessness.   

Do you know what your Ejection Fraction (EF) is at the moment?  Has it actually fallen?  I expect your cardiologist is keeping a close eye on this and treating any fluid build up with diuretics and other meds to help your heart function as effectively as possible.  CRT doesn't always improve EF quickly and can take a long time to work.  Sadly for some it may not help at all.

For most people heart failure is a long term condition that cannot be cured.  You need to work with a doctor you can trust.  With treatment and the right level of therapy, symptoms may improve and the heart may become stronger, but if this doesn't happen you may need to modify your activity to help your heart and to ease your symptoms.

Doctors can sometimes correct heart failure by treating an underlying cause, for example by repairing a heart valve or controlling a fast heart rhythm but for most of us, treatment of heart failure requires a fine balance of medication, lifestyle changes and the use of devices to help the heart beat and contract properly.  I am sure your cardiologist has done everything he can to support your heart.  Going forward, I would want to work with a cardiac physiotherapist who can advise you how to support your heart muscle with a safe exercise programme tailored to suit you.  My husband who has heart failure was referred for an exercise programme for both his pulmonary and heart failure symptoms and he found it immensely helpful and safe.  He is 84, so there is much that can still be done.

Stay well, get plenty of rest and do learn to pace yourself better Roger.  I wish you all the very best.
 

 

Weak is heart

by Roger A - 2022-08-03 17:18:44

Thank you Gemita, I do really appreciate the information you gave me. My EF is 20-25%, that is what I am told, I was referred to heart transplant department couple of months ago and that cardiologist told me that I am doing well with the medication and based on the excercise I am doing daily he said I do not qualify for a heart transplant at this time. However, I will ask my cardiologist to refer me to physiotherapist and see if that helps. Most of the tijme I am doing good but I do get dizzy due to my medications and dehydration. 

Again, thank you so much

Roger

 

heart failure

by islandgirl - 2022-08-03 22:43:18

I am scheduled to have a barostim procedure in mid September.  My HF/transplant cardiologist is excited (she said she was giddy and says I am a great candidate for this treatment) with the positive results.  I too push through, but it is difficult.  I have a preserved EF of about 40-45%, diastolic dysfunction, non-ischemic dialated cardiomyopathy, arrhythmias and PM dependent.  She is also planning on putting in a MEMS device soon after.  

Good luck!

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