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    10% heart use
    avatar
    An_252409 posted:
    My son is 37 years old. He had a meth habit for about 5 years. Last week he was hospitalized for fluid in his lungs, shortness of breath and swollen ankles. The hospital ran tests, no blockage. They cleared his lungs and ankles and released him yesterday with a "life vest" telling him he has only 10% heart use (weak heart). He has been pretty healthy for about 3 years now working in a fire camp. Does anyone know what the next step for him is? Is it possible for the heart to get stronger? Thank you

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    cardiostarusa1 responded:
    Hi:

    .....'he has only 10% heart use (weak heart)."

    "Is it possible for the heart to get stronger?"

    As applicable to the patient, in some cases, along with a doctor recommended/authorized exercise regimen (unless contraindicated), left ventricular ejection fraction (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.

    Additionally, as reported, as applicable to the patient, if/when the LVEF improves substantially or even recovers, and the heart appears to function near-normal or normally, other problems (unseen, that is, at a cellular or molecular level) often exist, or possible problems may/can occur anytime down the road, putting one at an increased risk.

    Understanding Your Ejection Fraction


    http://my.clevelandclinic.org/heart/disorders/heartfailure/ejectionfraction.aspx

    **To get a decent estimate of LVEF, a MUGA scan is reported as being the most accurate of the non-invasive methods.

    Pertinent excerpt from an article on About.com by Richard N. Fogoros, M.D.

    When is the MUGA scan more useful than other heart tests?

    The advantages of the MUGA scan over other techniques (such as the echocardiogram) for measuring the LVEF are twofold
    . First, the MUGA ejection fraction is highly accurate, probably more accurate than that obtained by any other technique. Second, The MUGA ejection fraction is highly reproducible. That is, if the LVEF measurement is repeated several times, nearly the same answer is always obtained. (With other tests, variations in the measured LVEF are much greater.)
    .
    Best of luck to your son down the road of life.

    Take care,

    CardioStar*

    WebMD member (since 8/99)

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    Be well-informed

    WebMD/Cleveland Clinic

    Living with Heart Failure

    http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/heart-failure/living-with-heart-failure


    Heart Failure Society of America

    Heart Failure Stages

    (Class I-IV)

    http://www.abouthf.org/questions_stages.htm

    Heart Failure Center

    Stages of Heart Failure

    http://www.heartfailurecenter.com/hfcheartfailurestages.shtm

    Classifications of Heart Failure

    http://www.heartfailurecenter.com/hfcheartfailureclassifications.shtm

    LEARN ABOUT the Heart



    WebMD

    The Heart: (Human Anatomy) Pictures, Definition, Location in the Body and Heart Problems

    http://www.webmd.com/heart/picture-of-the-heart



    How the Heart Pumps

    Animated Tutorial

    http://your-doctor.com/healthinfocenter/medical-conditions/cardiovascular/heartpump-tutorial.html


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    Quote!

    "Be a questioning patient. TALK to your DOCTOR and ASK QUESTIONS. Studies show that patients who ask the most questions, and are most assertive, get the best results. Be vigilant and speak up!"


    - Charles Inlander, People's Medical Society

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    WebMD/WebMD forums DOES NOT provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

    WebMD DOES NOT endorse any specific product, service or treatment.
     
    avatar
    wantitgone2013 responded:
    I think this is my post but if not I've been through the same thing with my son - yes, the heart can heal itself but it will never be whole again. All kinds of side effects from the drug.
     
    avatar
    cardiostarusa1 replied to wantitgone2013's response:
    "All kinds of side effects from the drug."

    This is an unfortunate occurrence, though side effects/adverse reactions can not be predicted or pre-determined. If/when side effects occur, this may/can diminish or disappear as the body adjusts itself to the drug, though sometimes, one will simply not be able to tolerate a certain drug (or drugs) at all, at any dose.

    Factors and conditions such as age height, weight, gender, genetics and metabolism may/can come into play in determining who experiences side effects and who does not.

    Pharmacogenomics, the study of the interplay between genes and drugs, helps to explain why prescription drugs have different effects in different individuals. Genetic variation in one or more genes may be the basis for a therapeutic failure or for an adverse drug reaction.

    Without lowering the dosage (unless applicable), sometimes, taking a particular prescription drug at a different time of the day or taking it with food may/can improve the side effect-related situation.

    Sometimes, changing to another same-class drug or taking a lower dose of the drug along with another class of drug (for a combo-action) may/can impove the side effect-related situation.

    CardioStar*



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