improvement of ejection fraction

Recently I was diagnosed with CHF. My ejection fraction was 35% at the time. Two months ago (I was no longer taking a diuretic.) my lungs had filled with fluid and I could hardly do anything physical. Walking 10 feet was a challenge. The echo cardiogram, among other things, showed that my EF had gotten really low. Since I've been taking a diuretic I feel much better, have more energy and stamina, but breathing is still challenging some days. Even though I've become an expert at diaphramatic breathing and I can slow my breath down and get relaxed, I sometimes feel so sad that I don't feel like I used to. I took advantage of feeling good and just breathing easily. I'd love to read stories about women whose EF has improved and who are feeling better, and to what they attribute their improvement. I have blazing determination to get better. I'm learning patience and courage.

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Hi Tulip:

Hang in there. Last June I was diagnosed with cardimyopathy after suffering for about a year with a misdiagnosis of asthma. My ejection fraction was 23%. It improved with the right meds to about 35%. They were talking about a pacemaker with a defib. I started going to cardiac rehab three days a week and the last echo showed my ejection fraction has improved to 42%.

Last summer I couldn't walk from the bedroom to the den without having problems breathing., I couldn't sleep in my bed. After two hours I couldn't breath. I would sit up all night in the living room trying to breath and sleep sitting up. I was all swollen with water retention and a real mess emotionally and physically. I was literally dying. My husband was so distraught he had me go to the emergency medical care where I was correctly diagnosed.

Now, I feel great, normal breathing most of the time, still go to rehab two days a week. I also work out at home on a treadmill three or four other days a week.

I have gained weight as a result of the meds. But that is my only complaint.

It seems as if you need to give yourself more time to heal and recover. Heart disease doesn't develop overnight and won't ever go away. But it CAN be made better and you can have a better quality of life. I am 59 and didn't think I would live to see this last birthday. But I did. I live each day for the present and enjoy my life now.

Hope this helps.

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Hi Tulip,

I was diagnosed in 2005 with dilated cardiomyopathy. My ejection fraction was at 30%. I was put on coreg, lisinopril, and spironolactone. Within 8 months my ejection fraction was at 50%. It is now at 55%. Along with the medications, low sodium diet, healthy eating, and no alcohol, has helped me alot. Heart disease is a very emotional disease. I feel as though I have been given a second chance at life but have lost my innocence. I recently joined a heart disease support group, called Mended Hearts. I am also going to counseling for the stress in my life. This website helps me alot also. I wish you well!

Cinderella

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HI,

About a year and a half ago, I was hospitalized near death with an ejection fraction of 5%. The Doctors were dubious as to my chances of survival for very long. I was having the same problems you describe as far as not being albe to walk more than about 10 steps without becoming very short of breath. I could not walk up a set of stair without pausing four or five times to get my breath. The fluids had backed up so badly in my system that withing 24 hours of being admitted they extracted 20 lbs of water from my body. My doctor sent me home with a glum outlook. His words were "you need to prepare your family and get your affairs in order, you are at very high risk of sudden death at any moment due to heart failure".


That was 19 months ago.

Today, my ejection fraction is hovering around 25%. This is a great improvement obviously however I am still not out of the danger zone. My doctors hopes are to get me to at least 30%. He explained that with proper follow up, a good medicinal program and moderate exercise, I would be able to live out a normal life span with a good quality of life. While I am not able to be as active as I would like, I am learning to live with my disability quite well. After all I am still here, I have a beautiful granddaughter that I want to watch grow up and a very strong will to survive.

Don't give up hope. My story goes a long way back but I feel like I am on the up swing now. I even had enough energy to dig a drainage ditch in the chicken run the other day. Of course I had to rest for 3 days after, but heck a year ago I couldn't even walk out to the chicken coop.

My suggestion is to keep a positive attitude, Walk a couple of more steps every day, love your family and your life, take the meds your doctor perscribes and don't give up hope.

I'm still hoping for a 30% plus in the next year or so.

Hugs
Michele

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Thanks so much for your replies. It's so wonderful knowing I'm not alone. My husband has been so dear and supportive. He listens when I whimper every now and then and is always there for a hug. I'll continue to stay hopeful and patient. I have a little HOPE stone in my right pocket and PATIENCE is in my left. I loved hearing about your adventures with heart disease and rejoice in your improvement. We carry on!

Nancy

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Greetings and Good Day!

The first thing I want to share with you is this...

Believe in seeing yourself totally healed and well...even if you're not well in the now. Get that image in your mind and keep it there...review it often.

See it grow and change...what are the colors of health for you...sunny yellow, vibrant orange, the greenest of greens, lavender springing up from within you...the coolness of you wading in the water?

Yes, picture yourself in total healing from head to toe, radiating health from the center of your being, your heart...that's the source of health and wellness.

I have CHF Stage 4...I live and thrive with heart disease...my life is completely different, it has taken on new meaning...there have been many uphill battles some I've fought and some I chose not to fight.

One thing is true, I've not lost one battle yet. Our minds are greatly affected by heart disease...the heart knows and feels all things in our bodies. Our hearts are an essential part of our life in every manner that we live.

This is a time of challenge and testing for you my dear...but know that You will truly pass the test. Your journey is beginning...sharing your concerns, strenghts and weaknesses makes you stronger, I believe. It's about getting what's inside out into the open.

When I was diagnosed my Ejection Fraction was 35% and went to 10%! It's been a battle but with compliance, diligence, and a core support group of loved ones, strangers who have been sent to inspire, encourage and uplift...I now have found myself doing the same thing for many.

By doing this, I've taken the focus off of myself. My computer is literally a best friend now...in that I am able to go out to the world even when I'm not physically strong enough to go outside...the funny thing is that after a few times of this...I find myself getting ready to go outside and face another day...sharing my stories to all who listen. They realize that I am more than the diagnosis....and so are you!

Believe on the power within to heal yourself, first in mind, then body and the ultimate, your spirit!

Please when you have an opportunity visit my website, which is my gift from my heart to you and all who will read this posting...

www.encouragingwordministries.net

To your journey!

This is the beginning of your new life! Believe it for it is so!

You are thriving as you read these stories from people who know what you are going through. I believe we are a circle of life that reaches out and touches each other's hearts, for His glory.

Know that your heart matters to Him!

Peaceful blessings and new discoveries and joy unspeakable to you and yours as you continue to gain strength and purpose of your new self!

All the best,
--Nellie!

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Hello again,

Please check with your health care professionals about the Acorn CorCap Support Device. I believe another clinical trial is in progress for patients with CHF. I've benefited from the device.

You may also contact www.acorncv.com

Continued wellness is yours!

Blessings to you!
--Nellie, Your Heart Sister.

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I got inspired by reading all the posts on this discussion. I hope you did too, Tulip.

Hugs,
Kathi

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Beautiful website, Nellie. I've seen it before on my Net travels and I am happy you have joined our group. And you certainly have a gift with words. Eloquent.

Yes, I agree, "seeing" your heart healed is the best visualization there is. When I first started out after my heart attack, I would silently chant to myself over and over again, "My heart functions perfectly, my heart functions perfectly." I was not expected to survive for very long, and when I did my doctors actually asked me what my secret was. I had serious permanent damage to my left ventricle and I have since developed collateral arteries. (I had do to all the other work as well though, too; exercise, diet, attitude adjustment, the Works--and I've had my share of anxiety atttacks) But guess what? My heart--at least at present--functions perfectly! I actually had one doctor tell me that if he had to look at 100 EKG's and decide who had had heart attacks, mine would be the first one he threw out. I told them the above visualization and they said they were going to recommend it to all their cardiac rehab patients. I also left the outcome in God's loving hands. If I lived that would be okay, and if I died that would be okay, too. Once I relaxed into letting go of control and let God take the wheel was when the healing really began.

Do I believe in Miracles? You bet!

Thank you for joining us.

May the Blessings Be!

Sherrie

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Hello!

Thank you for the lovely comment! It is very much appreciated. You're an inspiration as well, it reflects in your essence.

Visualization is essential in overcoming the stigmas and rocky road of heart disease. When we "see" in our mind's eye...ah, then, we see and if we see...then we should believe...and if we believe....ah then for sure...it will be as we say!

Has anyone ever tapped into this source?

Belleruth Naparstek at:
www.healthjourneys.com

After my procedure, I was entered into a program at the hospital to encourage wellness through mind, body, spirit perspectives.

One of the requirements was for me to listen to the Cardiac Rehab tape from Belleruth for two hours per day. Not a problem as I was in the hospital for 2 months! Even when I returned home, I still listened and I truly believe it was instrumental in assisting me in seeing myself healed to optium levels!

Upon the initial listening, you will find yourself releasing all of that pent up agony, frustration, even anger at others and self for getting yourself into this predicament! But, then the healing comes...and wellness starts to set in, if that is what you want and believe...a very good thing!

To your healthier journey everyone!

--Nellie!

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These are all such deeply moving stories. You CHF ladies are truly an inspiration.....You have all found your different ways to heal and cope when you were up against a great deal. Not being able to breathe well is a pretty big thing to handle.

Kudos to all of you and thank you for sharing your paths....we are learning so much.

Jaynie

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HI!! These stories are so inspirational to me too! Thanks so much! When I was diagnosed with LVH a year ago, my EF was 40%. I did not have any symptoms and really didn't know there was an issue except for the fact that I had such a fast heart rate. II think the better term is HOCM since it appears to be a genetic thing. Anyway, my last echo showed an improvement to 45%! I am on Coreg and Hyzaar and I exercise as often as possible. I feel great and it sounds as if many of you are living your lives in a positive and healthy way! Thanks for your stories!

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I am so glad I found this site! Guess I'm still kinda trying to accept being diagnosed with CHF March 2008 without any hint or history of heart disease. Tulip, I'm still trying trying to learn patience! Feel like I ought to have totally accepted all of it and be "ok" by now. I used to think I was a strong person, but discovered I'm not as strong as I thought. The women here are unbelievable and inspire me so much. Nellie, you have really given me a lot to think about and so has everyone else. God has a reason for all this, He just hasn't let me know what He wants me to do yet.
God bless you all!
Deb

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I was diagnosed with Dilated Cardiomyopathy in March of 2008, with a Ejection Fraction of 10%. Doctors thought I was going to need a transplant. Well you know what? Now it's almost 2 years later and no transplant. I have worked my way to an EF of almost 20%. I have an ICD. I am on meds - not high dosages (Atacand 4mg, digoxin .125mcg, metoprolol 25mg , and coumadin 5mg), and take supplements (Milk Thistle, PB8,Vitamin C, Calcium, Zinc, CO-Q10, Acetyl L Carnetine, and a multi-vitamin) I go to the gym 3xs per week (strength training) and walk on my treadmill everyday for at least 40 minutes. I feel pretty darn good. My exercise routine was developed by me and my diet has been very heart healthy, also developed by me. Down side - I had to go on disability, I lost 75-80% of my income, and have to pay medical benefits out of pocket. Upside - no transplant, lost weight, in good shape, and have started a non-profit to benefit thise with weakened health conditions and disabilities. My feelings are: is you play with the cards your dealt; It is what it is; and When one door closes, another opens up!

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Wow, I'm so glad I looked at this post. I'm inspired. My biggest issue is shortness of breath. Tonight, I bent over the tub to give my small dog a bath--she is easy, but even that left me winded and debilitated. I think it's been hard for me to have faith that I'll get better. The number one thing I can be doing is exercising, i know that, but it's soooo uncomfortable. And now that I'm trying to get back into work full time, it's even harder. Still, no excuses. If I want to get better, I need to do my part. And "my heart functions perfectly" is going to be my new mantra... :-)

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The biological body has evolved to cope and respond to illness and setbacks. The pure materiality of it is, in and of itself, quite amazing and capable. We are lucky to wear these highly evolved skins and live in a time when science is there to give us a boost!

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hi, im new to this ejection fraction i just had a heart attack nov and icd in jan 12th but i keep hearing about this ef and mine is between 25-30 what does all this mean? how high can it go and what exactly does it do? i'm lost i feel ok don't have alot of energy but i get around

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What a wonderful inspiration reading all these stories has been. With a post event EF of 21% I have been wanting to do all I can to improve it. Your suggestions, stories and website links are invaluable..Please keep posting them. Thank you everyone . Linda

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Well, in 2005 I had post partum cardiomyopathy. I don't really know what my initial ef was. However, over the past years my ef has improved to 50. My heart has been stable for the past two years and I continue to maintain on coreg cr. I can't attribute my recovery to exercise. I think I can attribute it to good medical management and resting. You will get better. Take it one day at a time.

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I was diagnosed with Dilated Cardiomyopathy and Atrial Fibrillation in late August, 2009 after the traditional tests were performed: EKG, Echocardiogram, and Heart Catheterization (also blood work). My ejection fraction was 20 %.

Since I was diagnosed with the above heart conditions I have been taking Digoxin, Coreg, Furesomide, and Warfarin. THis is in addition to my thyroid medication which was changed from Armour Thyroid to Levothyroxine. Apparently I was not getting enough thyroid replacement medication.

I continued to take my numerous vitamin supplements and after some research tripled my COQ10, increased magnesium, began Acetyl L-Carnitine, and for the last 3 months started taking D-Ribose (suggestions taken from Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum and Dr. Stephen Sinatra on their websites.)

My Ejection Fraction (EF) when I was first diagnosed with Cardiomyopathy was 20%. Two months ago another Echocardiogram showed that my EF is now 50 %. I still have Atrial Fibrillation (cardioversion did not work for me).

Check out the websites mentioned above. D-Ribose is gaining a lot of attention for the benefits it provides for people with heart failure and other heart conditions. It will not interfere with medication.

Good luck to you.

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Tulip,
I was diagnosed in 2005 with cardiomyopathy and heart failure and my EJ% was really low.(they told me to consider a transplant) Through meds and hard work I have gone up to 50% and stayed there for the past couple of years. No longer in heart failure. I am positive most days. But then there are those days when i am out of breath where i get down. Especially because the doctors tell me that i should feel great.

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