EJECTION FRACTION - IS THERE WAY TO RAISE IT

Hi everyone,

I am trying to find information on how to raise ejection fraction after the heart attack.

I read about 20 books about heart and heart attacks but none of them had any information about this subject. Some people on this website claim that their EF went up, but most of them had other heart problems but not heart attacks. My cardiologist says that there is no way to
accomplish this ( IT IS WHAT IT IS ) but i am still looking for an answer.

If you know how exactly to do it, please, respond.

Thank you,
Rosa57

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24 replies. Join the discussion

Dear Rosa, I agree with your doctor from what I've heard and read, the EF rate is lowered due to heart failure usually CHF,and the muscle becomes weak due to overwork and can not pump suffiently.If you take a med like digoxin to slow and strengthen the heart muscle the oxygenated blood would still be insuffient to maintain all areas that its needed and your body sends it where its need most (heart and brain) But many people are taking coreg with good results but like I said I have not heard of any way to increase EF rate when it gets to low many people have to consider heart transplants. Hope this helps in some small way GOD BLESS,Angie

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Rosa...just found this but am heading home for weekend....I definitely 'wanna' answer you on Monday cause THIS is my big thing too...and my doc has said same thing...but want to tell you "where I am" anyway...in spite of...and all that...

My MI was 3 yrs ago and I still only have 25% EF..and doc says (tee hee) unless he 'clones' me there's not going to be any higher number... More on Monday...

Tina Bradford
www.tinabradford.com

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Rosa,


I wrote you a comment about my simular experiences , but it was rejected because of too many words. Please send me your e-mail address so I can send you what I wrote, I think you will find it to be encouraging. My e mail is Jusbecus@aol.com and my name is Karen.

God Bless You,

Karen

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Tis Monday and I wanted to get back to you Rosa....(I'd also love to hear "Karen's" reply....which she says was too long for here.)

Basically I've had same concerns...Aug 04..MI, 4 stents, dissecting arteries, Code 99, sev days on artificial heart pump...After Code event my EF was at 10% or so...docs told hubby to call family home as I would not make it thru night. EF miraculously went back up... Three yrs later it's still only 25% though and every 3 months I'd besiege my cardio with questions about getting it back up 'higher'....and also besieged him with 'stories' from other women who'd gotten theirs up...

But I think, as you noted, that maybe in those cases the increased EF's were not in hearts that were severely damaged. My left ventricle is the damaged area and I watched it on echo last Feb....it doesn't really "do" much....just sorta sorta squeezes in the middle of the ventricle a bit...certainly no nice hearty ('scuse pun) vigorous BEATING...looks very wimpy.... I think that's when I really realized that it IS mostly dead tissue and my doc was telling it like it is: (It IS what it IS and I'm not getting more tissue--short of miracle which I DO NOT rule out, BTW...but I also think God is doing more with/thru me as a result of all this so ...I should not whine (tho' I do sometimes!!)).

I think there's exciting new research out there that will help us one day (without having to clone us...hee hee) but in the meantime I have to say this....BASICALLY I am able to do most of what I want to do.... At that Feb appt I took a photo to my doc of me at top of a 'mountain' in West VA...that I had just climbed!!!!...Now this wasn't 'hanging off the side' type climbing you understand.. We just started up a walking path that wound and wound and wound and came out 'at the top'... I was shocked when I realized I had actually made it the 1 1/2 mile or so UP...I had no idea I could , nor did I plan to 'go to the top' --(after all "I COULDN'T with only 25% EF)....it was a gentle upward 'climb' and I had on Crocs for pete's sake..

but STILL I felt heady....I had "climbed a mountain" with only 25% EF.... When I told my cardio this he all but said "See!!!! I told you".... He's said to quit obsessing over THE NUMBER if I can do whatever I want to....

Now...caveats here.... I really cannot do ALL I want to...obviously.... Just last weekend I had some kind of 'crash'...we still haven't figured out what.... bp?..too tired?...too much fluid loss (I have CHF) in one 8 hr period?...whatever--- but it ended in two ambulance rides and the weekend in the hospital...my first such ambulance trip...(I had my MI while IN the hospital in 04)

And I have just spent the entire week trying to recover while lying on a futon looking at 'art sites' on the internet...That was NOT doing "all I wanted to" but I am HERE, grateful to be here...grateful for my 25% function that lets me live even the slowed-down version of my life... (Our support grp facilitator says not to use word 'slowed down'...use PACE instead...doesn't sound so discouraging.... )

There's lots and lots of mental "thangs" that go along with this heart disease and really that's what WomenHeart is all about.... supporting each other THROUGH these 'thangs'.... Karen if you read this, send me your thoughts too off line if you wish... tina@bradfordaglab.com

Tina

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My EJ actually has come up since the Nov 1,2006 heart attack which damaged 30% of my heart. Just after MI EJ was 30%. Two months later after a stress test it was 50% and the latest figure was 58%, all in just 7 months. I do not know what brought it up though, sorry Rosa.

I've been on Coreg and Inspra maybe they are the culprits? I also wonder if it came back up due to the fact I had exercised regularly for over 20 years, therefore my heart was naturally stronger than it would have been had I not exercised? At any rate I'm one who had a heart attack and the EJ got better with time.

Does anyone know what number is considered normal heart function for EJ? I would love to be included in your private emails about this subject.
olson42@comcast.net.
Thanks,
Shanna

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I was in middle of saying that EXERCISE is benefit to everything ..as Shanna says....i had put "Shannon" instead of Shanna and in trying to correct that I hit send...Sorry bout that Shanna...

All this bears more research... I got 867,000 hits when I just googled "Normal Ejection Fraction"...just cause it's on the I'net tho doesn't mean it's reliable...

Sites that are reliable are CDC, AHA, NIH's NHLBI site...Mayo Clinic... I Village (http://heart.health.ivillage.com/) are some....

tina

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Here's a good easy to understand reasonable sounding article ....on a cong heart failure site..

explains EF in the best way I've read it...

tina

http://www.chfpatients.com/faq/ef.htm

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Hi, Tina,


Wrote a huge message to you just couple of minutes ago, but i was not logged in and it dissapeared after i logged in.


My short story is such:

1. Heart attack on 09/29/06, felt like a gall bladder problem, 5 days in the hospital,

angioplasty, medicated stent (90% blockage in LAD).


2. Cardiac rehab(13 weeks), medications regimen and in the middle of January went back to work (full time).


3. I thank God every single day for letting me live.


4. I work, have family ( my husband, who in march had carotid artery surgery, my 22 year old son living with us( he is a college student) and my 90 year old mother. So i have to do all the things every women has to do - cook,clean e.t.c.


5. Because my heart attack started approximately 20 hours before i got into cat lab i lost
some heart muscle and my EF suffrered with it. Since my heart attack, it got much better (between 33 and 40 by my cardiologist based on ECHO and thallium stress test)


6.I exersize, eat well, get Reiki treatment every week - relaxes me, attending Mindfulness meditation class every Tuesday now............but sometimes like everyone who lost some heart muscle i feel it and in the desport effort to help myself i ask questions that i kind of know answers to, but still hope for an answer .........that is different from mine.


7. I also have anxiety attacks but refuse to take prescription medication for it because my girlfriend got very attached to it. So i take valerian root - it helps.


This website helped me a lot, i found it by accident in January and have been reading ever since. Thank you very much for your response. i am very happy for you big ACHIEVEMENT climbing the mountain is not that simple for us anymore!!! I also completely agree with your cardiologist about obsessing over THE NUMBER - but WE will be looking for an answer without obsession and sooner or later someone will tell THE ANSWER to our question. I have to believe this.


I hope that you feel much better by now. I can't find small support group in my area but i will keep looking...


I sent an e-mail to Karen. As soon as she will respond i will e-mail it to you.


Thank you again,

Rosa57

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Shanna,

You don't have to be sorry at all. i am very happy for you and everyone's good news.

The normal Ejection Fraction (EF) is 55%. But anything higher than 40 is good.

The article that Tina recomended is excellent, it' explains everything about EF and even mentions exersise and medication as ways to raise it.
I promise that as soon as i get an e-mail from Tina or Karen i will send it to you. This is the link to Tina's article:

http://www.chfpatients.com/faq/ef.htm

I live in Beachwood, Ohio which is the suburb of Cleveland .

Thank you,
Rosa

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Hi To All,


I sent the letter I wrote to Rosa and Tina , I don't understand why the site wouldn't post it? I don't mind sending anyone a copy. If Rosa and Tina can find a way to post I don't mind. I am new to this site and still trying to figure it out.

God Bless You All,

Karen

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Dear Rosa, I am truly sorry to hear about your current condition. I am a 47 yr. old woman who under went 4x by pass in Oct. 2006. On Feb. 11 the of 2007 I suffered a heart attack, then in April 2007 I had another heart attack. At that time the doctors indicated to me that my EF number was 35. Naturally after having a 4 way by pass I thought I had 5 to 10 years of free flowing arteries. After having 2 heart attacks within 6 months of my by pass surgery I thought I was doomed, and my doctors were scratching their heads trying to come to some conclusion as to why this was happening to me. After running numerous tests that still had no answer as to why 3 out of the 4 grafts were eluded.



After exhausting all medical resources I turned to God. I attended a 3 day healing conference in NC giving by Dr. Kingsley Fletcher. I was taught how to accept God's healing. After 6 weeks going through the spiritual healing I had a nuclear stress test. I was able to complete the test without any chest pain. I was 5 % over what a normal woman my age should be, my doctored was very surprised I went as far as I did. Three days later after reviewing the image of my heart and blood flow he informed me that my EF was 60, and my blood was at 99.9%.



In summery Rosa, through the healing power of God I have not suffered any chest pain since my last heart attack. Thank You Jesus!!! I truly believe if it wasn't for my faith in the Lord I wouldn't be feeling as well as I do today. My prayers were answered and I truly pray your prayers are answered too. God Bless You. Feel free to contact me with any questions via e mail . My E- mail is Jusbecus@aol.com

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I copied pasted Karen's email and then added thoughts of my own and twice i lost it all. i went back and took out all spaces between her Dear Rosa and the first line and it took it then. I need to ask one of the gals who helped set up this site what the deal is. too many notes? like Mozart? or what. will leave off some of my usual dot dot dots and extra characters and see if that helps also. will start new post tho to say (again) what i lost. Tina

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I THINK I said in reply that
1. I don't see how ANYone makes it without God walking thru their life with them and our acknowledging Him and His watchcare
2. Dr Wayne Sotile -cardiac psych who has spoken at our WomenHeart conferences said this last summer in Chicago, "Are you allowing your heart disease to heal your LIFE?" That was a life-changing statement to me. I think I am 'better off' now WITH a low EF, CHF, LVD, CAD etc etc than I was before my heart attacks. Certainly better mentally and better at allowing God to 'chart my course'
3. I wonder if it's not a 'good thing' that my numbers aren't better. When I go do WomenHeart presentations, invariably someone in the audience says "you don't look like...." or "how can you do what you do if you have all this....?" etc etc etc It just gives me a chance to talk about Grace and yes you CAN go on living and you can (as Dr Sotile says) THRIVE with heart disease. You can make it. Hope is a BIIIIIIIIIIG 'thang' here ladies and that's my story and I'm sticking to it...hee hee...
4.gonna try and hit send and hope this goes out....but FIRST (in case it doesn't) always select all your text and hit control + C to copy what you have just written...then if it doesn't 'take', you can open another and just hit control + V to paste in all that effort...
tina

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My EF was in the 20's when I had my MI. It was severe and they didn't give good odds for my survival. I had an ICD, stents, and a lot of medication. It has now been 3 years. I understand I have permanent heart damage. What is remarkable is that my EF is now at 63. It was in the 40's the first months after my event.

EF is the percentage of blood pumped out of the heart with each beat. A reserve of blood always stays in the heart so EF will never be 100%. A normal healthy person will have a reading in the 60's. A super athlete may be in the 80's.

I asked my doctor's assistant about the possible cause of this improvement. She thought it was Coreg and Plavix. I take a wide range of meds and have been for 3 years.

I'm in pretty good shape, exercised strenuously in preceding years, very active. I now, very diligently, manage my weight, food intake, and exercise. Nothing extreme, just daily diligence. Physical activity is less strenuous. I am 65 and vegetarian. Don't know if vegetarian makes a difference. I formerly ate a lot of saturated fats but don't any more. I'm on anti-depressants.My blood pressure has always been low, cholesteral runs high.

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HI Batteryoperated

Super news about your EF....am reading eveyone's stories wondering if someone oughta do research on us...what is pattern here etc? I'm 64 almost.. MI..stents..CHF..LVD.--all 3 yrs ago...

My..EF got to 10 or 20's night I coded... Up to 25 or maybe bit higher right now.. on (prescribed) Coreg, Plavix, Altace (ace inhib) Lasix, K Dur, Crestor, Zetia, Fish Oil, baby aspirin, metolazone as needed--(another diuretic)take vitamins, osteoporosis med, and 6 tylenol arthritis tabs per day for hands... Changed diet totally....we eat gooood... very little meat....hardly ever.... need more fish however... how much fish do you eat? AND I need to be more consistent at my exercise WHICH is the thing I wonder if 'tis not the key.....i did well after cardiac rehab and gradually less so..... hmmmm...seems those whose EF is higher always seem to be the 'exercisers'.....myabe THAT is the key...

Tina

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Hi, Tina,

Just wanted to comment on your post.

Believe me, it is not the excercisers who have the higher ejection fractions. I have been excercising for 17 years. The heart doctors say that is why I am still alive. I was diagnosed last July with profound heart muscle damage with an EF of 13%. The meds have brought my ejection fraction up to 40%, but it will not budge any higher just slightly lower.

The doctors say a heart patient should have a stress free life. Ha, Ha that is easier said then done. My whole life has been nothing but stress. My husband has mental illness (Bipolar) Maniac Depression for our entire marriage. Now he was just diagnosed with moderate Alzheimers disease. He had many electro shock treatments which fried his brain. He has never been there for me with any support. I have gone through cancer twice and now the heart problem. I also cared for my ailing parents for approximately 10 years which ended in April this year when my father passed away. I don't know what living without stress is. Never had the compassion of a warm hearted man to comfort me in my illnesses. I am the strong one who must take charge. Whole trouble is that I am falling apart.

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Ladies, Our friend Tina passed away this summer 2008. Tina was one of the most gracious woman you would ever want to meet. She was a true Southern Belle' Her art work was some of the most gorgeous work ever. I was reading and found this and wanted all of you to know that she is a Angel Artist in Heaven above watching for us! So we will never be alone on our travels! The world and her family have truly lost someone very special, but God received one of his most precious back! In Loving Memory of Tina!! You helped me so much in the short time I had the pleasure of knowing you!! And tonight you have reached out and helped me again to understand the EF!!!

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This is so sad.

Kay

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Tina,
That's an AWESOME website! Thanks for the info!

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Hi Tina (again LOL) in reference to your post where you talk about...
"Are you allowing your heart disease to heal your LIFE?"

I think I mentioned something along these lines in another post, I too think I have a richer life post HF than I did before. Before I didn't take life for granted (my brother passed away of brain cancer in 2001, so I was very aware of my own mortality) but I would let life stress me out easily before. Like I said in my other post, once you stare death in the face and live to tell about it, colors seem brighter, smells are sweeter, you love harder and you don't try to sweat the small stuff, at least that how I've changed.
Martha

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