Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Top 5 Things to Do in Fighting Cardiomyopathy

Improving length of life is a victory, and one can be successful in fighting cardiomyopathy. Read on to know more about the disease, how one can slow the rate of decline, tips on lifestyle change that can provide improvement of the symptoms and the alternative treatments available now for the said disease.

1.     Watch your weight
·         Diet is necessary. You have to lose weight or maintain the weight that you already have depending you what your doctor recommends.
·         You need to keep close record of what you are losing and nothing too much too soon.
·         It is a known fact that diabetes can speed up the decline and can cause complications for a patient diagnosed with cardiomyopathy. Hence, prevention is better than cure for diabetes.
·         Vegetables or its alternatives should be your new best friend.

2.     Take a walk
·       Your heart will be going through rehabilitation. Start by walking a good distance and take it slow.
·         This exercise is see how much walking is good for your heart, just enough to get the blood pumping and getting you a steady heart rate.
·         It has to be taken in stride, walking should be a relaxation and not a task you have to do every day.
·    Focus on the benefits and psyche yourself that doing it regularly will make you better and improve your condition, even if partial and gradual.
·   Slowly you will notice improvement in your heart rhythm and the increase of distance covered.

3.     Invest in a good juicer, fasting is necessary
·        It is recommended to do vegetable juice fasting for one week on and one week rest.
·      Consult your physician how much weight you need to maintain or lose. You wouldn’t want to lose too much.

4.     Take Linolenic acid
·      This will supply special nutrients that the heart would need in specific fatty acids and linolenic acids.
·     Linolenic acid is found in leafy green veggies, fish and flaxseed oil or other oils in general.
·        Good news is that Lecithin has both.
·     Try to work up to a gradual amount of intake like trying 3- 5 teaspoons of lecithin granules per day. Mix some juice or yogurt and down it quickly and follow with something to eat. Expect an unusual taste.

5.     Take vitamins and your prescribed drugs regularly
·  Below are the following recommended vitamins for people diagnosed with cardiomyopathy.
·        Some are non-prescription nutritional supplements which proved to be effective in improving or eliminating certain symptoms of the disease.

Vitamin E (natural d-alpha tocopherol or mixed natural tocopherols)
·         “E” helps the heart do more work on less fuel and oxygen.
·    “E” helps increase the amount of blood pumped per beat or your heart’s stroke volume. It is essential to have regular hearbeats, the stronger the better.
Vitamin C
·      Being Vitamin C deficient can result to muscle and connective tissue damage. Vitamin C is necessary for healthy connective tissue.

Magnesium and Calcium
·         Oratates, citrates or aparates help for better absorption
·         In a study done be the late Dr. Hans Neiper, one of Europe’s best cardiologists,it is stated to double to the recommended RDA to increase the availability if minerals in the body called “mineral transporters”.

Take Coenzyme Q-10
·    Studies show that the heart muscle benefits from coQ10 supplementation, established improvements in cases of congestive heart disease and even cardiomyopathy.
·    CoQ10 is vital to muscle cells, involved with cellular energy production, growth control and other life functions.
·     The recommended 100 and 400 milligrams a day and a person with cardiomyopathy may have bigger requirements like taking 300- 600 mg. It would be best to consult your cardiologist to create an action plan for your condition.

Take your prescribed drugs
·         Taking your prescription regularly and on time is a must.
·         Avoid cutting the recommended dosage or prolonging the medication.
·    Taking some medicine doesn't equate to the effect of taking all your prescribed medicine.
·         There is a reason why it was given all in one prescription.
·         Mostly some of it will not work without the others.

This article was researched for the purpose of giving the alternative now available in the market and has no intention of recommending any brand nor should it be used to take the place of prescription given be a certified cardiologist. It is better to always consult your doctor. Knowledge is power and trust that the world has put a lot of brain into providing better alternative medicine and treatments for the common good of all mankind.

Medication for Cardiomyopathy: What is does for your Heart?

Healing is two-step process. Your mind can achieve great things and healing is one of them. First step is getting peace of mind. Peace of mind comes with the knowledge that you went out to do something for yourself. This starts by seeing a specialist and getting the prescription necessary to improving your condition. Buying the medication and following through with the schedule in taking what your doctor prescribed. Understanding what you are taking is absolutely necessary to attain this. It comes in knowing that you are doing something to help yourself reach your goal of self-preservation.

Second step is to improve your physical state. This goes to show that the person is dedicated in getting better. Thus follows the conscious effort in avoiding the things which may worsen the condition like unhealthy food, vices, stress and overall unhealthy lifestyle. Taking your prescription regularly and on time is a must. Avoid cutting the recommended dosage or prolonging the medication. Taking some medicine doesn't equate to the effect of taking all your prescribed medicine. There is a reason why it was given all in one prescription. Mostly some of it will not work without the others.

Reading the material below, understanding the benefits of your prescription and its effects will help you understand what your cardiologist wants to achieve.

Here are some of the most common medications used for cardiomyopathy

1.     Beta-adrenergic (beta) blockers 
·         Beta blockers decrease the heart's demand for oxygen which decreases the workload on the heart.
·         In slowing the heart rate it lessens the symptoms of heart failure.
·         This is prescribed to lower blood pressure, slow the heart rate and by reducing the effect of adrenaline on the heart.
·         Studies show the increase survival by about 30-35 percent in patients with dilated cardiomyopathy.
·         Beta blockers can prevent further heart enlargement and scarring.
·         By preventing the enlargement of the heart, Beta blockers decrease risk of for people diagnosed with cardiomyopathy.
2.     Diuretics
·         It is more commonly called water pills.
·         It helps to promote urine production in the kidneys through relieving excess fluid in the body.
·         This decreases symptoms of shortness of breath, bloating and swelling.

3.     Positive inotropic medications 
·         Positive inotropic medication is used to strengthen the contractions of the heart.
·         Thisis prescribed to people with severe dilated cardiomyopathy. 
Examples of these drugs include the following:
§  digoxin
Ø  Digoxin has been used for a very long time to improve heart contractions and seems to work best in people who have severe heart failure complicated by atrial fibrillation because digoxin can slow a rapid heart rate.
·         Studies show that these drugs may accelerate the degeneration of the heart by forcing an already weakened organ to work harder.
·         Hence it is usually only used for a short period of time, or when there are no other treatment options. Take these only up to the time your doctor recommends and bring up if there are any adverse effects felt in your body.
§  milrinone
§  dopamine
§  dobutamine 
·         Positive inotropic medications are not recommended for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy patients because they can worsen the condition.
So far, so good in learning about prescription drugs given by doctors for people diagnosed with cardiomyopathy. Read on to learn more about the other drugs possibly given to you to reduce or eliminate certain symptoms.

4.     Vasodilators 
Ø  These commonly used to reduce symptoms of heart failure.
Ø  It can prolong the life of people with dilated cardiomyopathy.
Ø  Examples of vasodilators which cause blood vessels throughout the body to relax are the following:
·         (ACE) Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors
·         (ARBs) Angiotensin receptor blockers
Ø  Benefits include the following:
Ø  Decreases the resistance to blood flow measured as blood pressure,
Ø  Blood pressure change which in turn reduces the workload on the heart.
Ø  Vasodilators can also reverse the enlargement and scarring of the heart.
Ø  Taking these prescribed drugs can improve symptoms decrease the risk of hospitalization and death.
Ø  These are vasodilators which also reduce the workload of the heart and have been shown to improve symptoms and survival in dilated cardiomyopathy.
·         hydralazine
·         nitrates

5.     Aldosterone blockers 
Ø  Used to help balance electrolytes in the body
Ø  Prevents heart and blood vessel scarring, stiffening, and enlargement
Ø  Studies have shown that aldosterone blockers can improve survival in patients with severe dilated cardiomyopathy
Ø  Clinical studies also show improvement for those who have had a heart attack complicated by cardiomyopathy.

6.     Antiarrhythmic 
Ø  Antiarrhythmics increase the efficiency of the heart by regulating the heart rhythm.
Ø  These are drugs alter the way in which electrical currents are transmitted through the heart muscle.
Ø  The heart pumps most efficiently when it beats in a regular rhythm.
Ø  These drugs are used only in selected patients because they can have significant side effects. Do not take these drugs without a prescription.

Having learned a lot about your prescription drugs, now you are armed with the necessary knowledge to understand why your cardiologist gave this to you. Congratulations for you have just started the process of healing, both inside and out. Always keep the positive outlook in life, for this will provide good results slowly but surely.

Do you have Cardiomyopathy? Common Symptoms to Watch Out For.

It was a sunny Monday afternoon, one of the busiest days at any major hospital in the city. Anthony went to visit the doctor with his wife, Elaine. She was able to convince him to finally see the doctor. They waited patiently for their number to be called. She tried to make him smile by cracking jokes despite the knot of worry that was persistently nagging her own mind. He tried to act nonchalant about the appointment, convinced it was a waste of time. He was OK  or was he? He just focused on holding her warm comforting hand. He loved her and his kids, he had to make sure he did all that he could to be better and to live longer.

People tend to disregard the life threatening symptoms of any disease or ailment thinking that knowing about it would speed up their decline. Most hoped that the symptoms would naturally go away and they could move on with their lives.

The doctor’s assistant called out the numbers until it was their time to go. The couple stood up and bravely entered the office. They were about to learn more about his condition and the life threatening symptoms that if ignored could cost Anthony his life.

Cardiomyopathy and Congestive Heart Failure

Cardiomyopathy is a life threatening condition in which the heart is damaged and can no longer function properly, often not curable but has many treatment alternatives that can effectively control the disease. Most patients with cardiomyopathy have congestive heart failure. Congestive heart failure occurs when the heart is unable to pump blood throughout the body. Congestive heart failure is not a diagnosis in itself. It is the result of the heart damage due to underlying conditions like cardiomyopathy.

Top 5 Symptoms of Cardiomyopathy

1.      Fluid accumulation
·     Bloating of the abdomen due to fluid build up
· Fluid buildup in the lungs may cause combined complications to heart & lungs

2.      Persistent coughing

3.     Shortness of breath or dyspnea with exertion or even at rest
·   Dizziness, light-headedness and fainting

4.  Irregular heartbeats that feel rapid, pounding or fluttering or arrhythmia

5.      Patient may develop orthopnea or cardiac asthma
·         Patients need several pillows to sleep on to prevent shortness of breath
·         Consistent need to go stand up by a window to breathe better
·         Person awakens in the middle of the night
·         Shortness of breath is positional, caused by positional changes in blood flow

Having knowledge is power, so to say the least. The more you know about the symptoms and how to prevent the catastrophic deterioration in the person's condition, the better. To improve your personal condition once diagnosed with this illness, you would need discipline and commitment in improving your quality of living for a longer better healthier life. Family becomes a motivation and a support system in keeping you aligned with your goals of getting better.
Heart failure generally develops slowly, and the patient is often unaware of the condition until symptoms appear. So watch out for these symptoms and consult your doctor regularly.

After the checkup, Anthony’s wife hugged him. Elaine was confident that with the right diet, maintenance, blood pressure monitoring, weight control and regular walking exercise, Anthony’s condition will improve in the next couple of weeks, months and years. They wanted to spend time raising their children and she was committed in helping him keep up with his new lifestyle as determined in Anthony was in prolonging his life for the future of his loved ones. They were glad they did this together, they we glad to find out what they needed to know to fight this disease and what it would take to get better.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Acupuncture: Effective Therapy and Treatment for Various Ailments Even In the Modern 21st Century

In this age of high-tech gadgets, super computers and profound advancement in modern medicinal remedies and procedures, people still respect and acknowledge the benefits of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

TCM has been around for ages and is proven to effectively treat the following but not limited to conditions associated with the nervous system, endocrine disorders, gastrointestinal problems, movement disorders and the pain control.

These prized oriental principles could be traced thousands of years back and outlined in the Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine or the Huangdi Neijing. TCM has been proven to be an effective form of overall wellness maintenance and alternative medicine.

One of the most popular and widely accepted preventive medicines is acupuncture. Acupuncture [L. acus, a needle, and punctura, a pricking] is defined as a collection of procedures involving penetration of the skin with hair-thin needles of varying lengths to stimulate certain points on the body or acupoints. This is performed under clean, sterile, quiet and calming conditions to provide the patient a “soothing physical and mental” sensation. The stimulation of specific acupuncture points are said to correct imbalance in the flow of qi through channels known as meridians. Originated in China, acupuncture is a soothing therapy that is considered to be one of the oldest healing practices of the world.

During an acupuncture procedure, patients can expect that a slight prick will be felt when the needles are inserted to the acupoints which will result to numbness, mild soreness or heaviness called “Degi” (pronounced duh chee) as an indication that the treatment is working. Others have reported to feel only a tickle but many have indicated to have felt nothing when the needles where inserted.
Some of the recorded benefits of acupuncture are not limited to but include increase of blood circulation, follicle production, regulate hormonal imbalance, improve sleep patterns, relief from both anxiety and depression.

Acupuncture is recommended by the World Health Organization as alternative treatments for various ailments like hypertension, morning sickness, depression (including depressive neurosis and depression following stroke), epigastralgia, acute peptic ulcer, acute- chronic gastritis, gastrospasm, lower back pain and adverse reactions to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy, among others. The recorded side effects of this procedure is substantially lower than many drugs found today or medicinal procedures that are used for the same ailments or conditions.