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    Congestive Heart Failure symptom changes
    rosalind52 posted:
    My mother-in-law is 89 years old and has had congestive heart failure for about 4 years. I visit her every day and she takes her medications on time every day, weighs herself and takes blood pressure and pulse daily. I have had her walking gently and she built up to a good level of exercise that has been very suitable for her.
    Her medicines are Digoxin, Furosemide, Warfarin and Metropolo and her health has actually been improving. She sometimes has trouble eating and is taking 4 prevacid daily (doctors orders). The last few days she has not been doing so well and I noticed today that she was not feeling well at all and her blood pressure and pulse were elevated from their normal levels - are these symptoms indicative of the heart disease worsening of are they indicative of a possible virus?
    cardiostarusa1 responded:

    "I noticed today that she was not feeling well at all and her blood pressure and pulse were elevated from their normal levels - are these symptoms indicative of the heart disease worsening of are they indicative of a possible virus?"

    Can't tell for sure via the Internet, which has serious limitations/restrictions. Only by having the appropriate diagnostic tests performed (and interpreted accordingly) can it be determined what is going on.

    About heart failure

    Left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) is the single-most important clinical indicator of how well the heart is pumping out blood from the left ventricle (LV) with each beat. Normal resting range LVEF is 50%/55%-70%/75%. Under 50% enters into the realm of dysfunctional territory that goes from
    mild to moderate to severe.

    LVEF can vary from one type of diagnostic imaging modality to another, such as non-invasive echocardiogram, MUGA/ERNA, gated-SPECT with Cardiolite or Myoview, Cardiac PET, Cardiac MRI, and invasive angiogram (heart catheterization).

    As applicable, some individuals who have a low (moderate) or a really low (severe) left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) feel fine and function well, while others do not.

    As applicable, in some cases, along with a doctor recommended/authorized exercise regimen (unless contraindicated), LVEF can be increased, sometimes substantially, by customizing/tweaking prescription drug-therapy (e.g., Coreg, which showed, back in its clinical trial days, that it could boost LVEF in some individuals) and supplemental (complimentary or integrative medicine) therapy, as deemed applicable.

    Just one example of complimentary medicine is the use of the supplement Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10 or ubiquinone, a vitamin-like substance) for heart failure (though currently not scientifically proven, some doctors may advise the patient to give it a try) which may/can (i.e., along with doctor directed prescription drug-therapy, and with the doctor knowing about any supplements being taken) help to improve LVEF in some, with other supplements sometimes added to the mix such as L-carnitine (an amino acid-like compound that helps the body produce energy).

    Best of luck to your mother-in-law down the road of life.

    Take care,


    WebMD member (since 8/99)



    Be well-informed

    Cleveland Clinic

    Understanding Your Ejection Fraction

    WebMD/Cleveland Clinic

    Heart Failure: Living with Heart Failure

    American Heart Association - Learn and Live

    Forum: Heart Failure

    Heart failure, congestive heart failure patients information

    Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA)

    Heart Failure Stages

    (Class I-IV)

    Heart Failure Center

    Stages of Heart Failure

    Classifications of Heart Failure


    WebMD/WebMD Health Exchanges does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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