Nutritional supplements and pharmaceutical drugs
Congestive heart disease (CHF) is a serious heart condition that effects the strength of your heart muscles and their ability to pump oxygenated blood throughout your body. Over the past several decades, the number of individuals who encounter CHF has grown considerably and today nearly 5 million people now suffer from this disease.
The diagnosis of CHF normally indicates that nutritional intervention methods are too late. However, nutritional intervention might assist the function of a damaged heart and support traditional medicine medications as well. In fact, many researchers now believe that nutritional intervention might help or even eliminate the need for pharmaceutical drug therapy.
CoQ10 found to be advantageous in CHF
One of the most popular nutritional supplements for the treatment of CHF is coenzyme Q10. CoQ10 is present in every tissue within the human body and is deemed to be necessary for metabolic reactions (chemical reactions necessary to maintain life). It is useful in heart disease as an antioxidant. Several medical research studies have shown CoQ10 to be advantageous to people who suffer from CHF.
Hawthorn (used for heart disease such as CHF). Hawthorn contains flavonoids that help resist the constriction and assist the dilation of blood vessels. It is very supplement among people who suffer from CHF as well as other heart conditions. The caveat with hawthorn is that it can react with drugs like digitoxin and for this reason it is advised that people on medication check first with their physician before taking it.
Some of the other nutritional supplements that have proven to be beneficial in treating CHF include: fish oil, arginine, carnitine, folic acid, psyllium, ribose, and astragalus. Vitamin supplements such as vitamin E are beneficial in providing antioxidants that reduce free radical damage. Also, the absence of substances such as thiamine and vitamin B1, can sometimes be the cause of CHF.
Exercise can reduce the possiblity of hospitalization
Exercise and weight loss (if you are overweight) are other alternative methods of therapy for CHF that are growing in popularity. Medical researchers have learned that just 30 minutes of exercise 2 times a week (or as prescribed by your physician) might help reduce the possibility of hospitalization or even death. A study that was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, indicated that exercise for people who suffer from CHF is not only beneficial for their condition, but those that got the most exercise also showed better benefits. Their only caveat was that patients should determine with their physician any possible limitations.
People with CHF need to be aware of their intake of sodium and potassium. If they take diuretics (water pills) for example, they need to understand that diuretics reduce the presence of sodium and potassium in their body. Potassium is a critical mineral for the proper function of any muscle, including the heart muscle. Therefore, before they include or exclude any mineral supplementation in their diet they should speak with their doctor regarding current medications and any precautions they need to follow.
In 1993 it was determined by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine that over 14 billion dollars per year are spent on nutritional supplements. The study also indicated that nearly a third of Americans use nutritional supplements and that group has continued to grow over the last decade.
Just remember, if you are not already using nutritional supplements, never combine the use of nutritional supplements with medications without the knowledge of your doctor. If you are already taking medications you should consult with your doctor before adding any nutritional supplements to your current diet in order to avoid any kind of adverse interaction.