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Can we expect improvements
Ernest posted:
My husband has diabetes (Type 2), kidney disease, gout, and heaven knows what else. In Nov. he had a sever heart attack. They told us he only has the main artery still open (he had a 4 bypass earlier). He straightlined. He was put in a coma and healed enough to come home. But now almost a year later he is so weak it makes me want to weep. Am I missing something? Is there anything I can do or feed him of help him in any way get some stamina back? I don't want him chasing sweet young things but I would love for him to be able to walk to the bathroom without falling. Is there anything that might make a improvement?
cardiostarusa1 responded:

Can we expect improvements

One can't truly say on the Internet, especially since everyone is unique, with each and every situation/case being different.

"In Nov. he had a severe heart attack"

During a heart attack (myocardial infarction, MI, actual death or necrosis of heart muscle cells/tissue), the heart's electrical conduction goes through a series of changes/abnormalities (as seen with an ECG).

Elevation of the ST segment is the hallmark abnormality of an acute MI. It occurs when the heart muscle (myocardium) is being injured by a lack of blood flow and oxygen and is also called "current of injury".

STEMI is an ST-elevation MI, also referred to as a Q wave MI and NSTEMI is a non-ST-elevation MI, also referred to as a non-Q wave MI.

STEMI or Q wave MI usually corresponds to a transmural MI, affecting the entire/full thickness of the heart muscle, the worst type (has a substantially higher mortality rate.

A NSTEMI usually corresponds to non-transmural or a subendocardial MI, less damaging than a Q wave/STEMI, as the heart muscle just under the sensitive inner lining of the heart is affected (lower mortality rate, though this type of incomplete MI poses a high risk for reinfarction, or completing the infarction).

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER A HEART ATTACK (and down the road) mainly depends on what specific area(s) of the heart muscle (myocardium) were damaged (infarcted), size and depth of the damage, and if there has been any previous damage or other serious/severe heart condition(s) exist.

Cell/tissue death does not occur immediately (once the artery is 100% blocked, with no, or insufficient coronary artery collateral circulation). It takes several minutes to start the injury process, which then continues on (evolves, in phases) for several hours, unless the artery is opened up. restoring blood flow.

Prompt treatment
can limit the damage, but the damage that has been already done is seen as being permanent/irreversible (though some ongoing clinical trials are showing promise for making heart damage reversible).

After a completed heart attack, the body heals the heart damage caused by it by forming scar tissue. This healing process is usually complete in 4-8 weeks.

"He is so weak..."

"Am I missing something?"

After a heart attack has occurred, it is important to know/to continue keeping track of the left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), the single-most important clinical indicator of heart function, how well the heart is pumping.

Normal resting range is 50%-75%. Under 50% enters into the realm of dysfuncyionl territory that goes from mild to moderate to severe heart failure.

Cleveland Clinic

Understanding Your Ejection Fraction
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.

Best of luck to your husband and you down the road of life.

Take care,


WebMD member (since 8/99)



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