(800) 973-1540

Can my father's congestive heart failure improve?

10 answers | Last updated: Mar 31, 2015
Reddie asked...

Is there a way for improving congestive heart failure? My father is 78 years old and has been diagnosed with congestive heart failure and kidney about six years ago. He was recently in the emergency room due to shortness of breath. The attending cardiologist said he is in the final stages of CHF, has an ejection factor of 10%, and that there is nothing more that can be done for him. His prognosis is terminal and he is now on hospice care. However, I see support websites stating that there are women with EFs of 10% who are improving congestive heart failure. How is this possible?


Caring.com User - Jennifer Serafin, N.P.
Caring.com Expert
Send a Hug or Prayer
Jennifer Serafin, N.P. is a registered nurse and geriatric nurse practitioner at the Jewish Homes for the Aged in San Francisco.
68% helpful

I am sorry that your father is not doing well. Heart failure is a tricky problem, especially when people get uncomfortable with shorthess of breath. I understand that the CHF See also:
Does congestive heart failure happen quickly?
website may have told you stories of people doing fine with terrible hearts. Please remember that every patient is different. Part of the problem with your father is probably his kidneys, which you may understand are very important when you have heart failure. Many of the drugs we give for the heart make the kidneys work harder to pee out the excess fluid that gets into the lungs. If the kidneys are not doing well, they will not respond to the medications, and there is no other way to get the fluid out of the lungs if the kidneys are not working.

If the cardiologist at the hospital told you that your father is in the end stages of heart failure, I am sure it is true. What is important now is that he is comfortable and not in pain. Hospice will have other ways to help him make him comfortable since the heart medications are not working well anymore.


More Answers
40% helpful
mustangsally91 answered...

In my opinion, I would seek advice from an Naturopathic doctor who can tell you of some natural remedies that can strengthen your father's heart and possibly kidneys as well. Sure you dad might be 78 but I don't think it's right to just have the medical profession throw up their hands and say, "time to let him go." I had that happen with my mom eight years ago. No doctor would try and find out why she was so anemic. After checking for a GI bled and finding nothing we were told to find her a Nursing Home. She died in just over 2 months. I am so sorry about your father but I wouldn't give up. Check out Dr. Bruce West, he has some wonderful ideas on heart health. Good luck and may God bless your dad and you.


33% helpful
LindaSue answered...

One persons age of 78 may be "over the hill" anothers not! Don't let physicians previously unknown to the elder make any "assumtions" about their "worth" on this planet! My husband is four months away from eighty and going strong. He just singlehandedly installed 26 new led lights on the six horse trailer he pulls. The job entailed being up and down on a ladder, working with a commercial sized electric drill and even crawling up into the gooseneck portion of the trailer to work the wires on the inside! I'm not saying it was easy, but he still functions! He is a husband, a dad and a granddad I sure won't let anyone "write him off" anytime soon! Famlies, stand with your loved ones, don't sit meakly by, don't hesitate to go to appointments with mom or pops! Be heard!


40% helpful
carrie2004 answered...

i just went thru this with my hubby bill. he died last sunday 8-1-2010. you would not like to extend his life. at first daughter said no resitation i looked at her and said no also we did not want him to be a vegetable. he was in i.c.u. total eight days suffering for all of us. 1st time they called me and said they pulled tthe plug i changed my mind and said put it back in.!!! she said they will do it right away and change the form. all eight days we visited him. they pulled the plug again and put it in his nose. he was never in a coma. but we visited him i could not understand his talk i called daughter in she was the only 1 to understand him. home i want to go home with you. she told him all the things that needed to be done yet. 2 1/2 days later first time i ate at home 3 xs visited him, i got a call at 9:30 p.m. saying they coded him all i could say was quietly yes, yes and hung up. waiting for my daughter to pick me up i ran next door to tell the lady tell dave bill next door bill died, then i went across the street to tell ben. he asked if i am alright, i said yes but getting all choked up. he watched me go home to wait for kim. i cried going to i.c.u. my kim said to her son let grandma go in first. i did. 1st thing i noticed all machines gone. bill lying flat on his bed. his stomache still inflated. i started screaming and crying. kim and her son came in she told me to come hold his hand on 1 side. i ddid i said it is cold. they held his other hand on the other side still warm . as i was going out a nurse was coming in, she told me this plunger needle holds morphine so he does not feel hurt or anything in what they had to do yet. i shook my head yes. after we went into the chapel and said the rosary out loud. do not let him go through all that pain. i see it was selfishness on my part now i was not ready to let him go. i lit candles for him here. i was married to him 39 years 2 months, he made his 70th birthday 7-16-2010 which he wanted to very much and he gave me my children TYVMMM.


70% helpful
JoeBob answered...

I have congestive heart failure, I'm 63 and have had it for about 6 years. I use an herb called Arjuna or "Terminalia arjuna". I take 3 each day. Wikipedia it and google it. The brand I use is Himalaya from herbalprovider.com This brand is Organic and very high quality. Arjuna helps strengthen the heart muscle and has been shown to improve ejection fraction and blood flow. Also good for angina, cholesterol, blood pressure After about 2-3 months using it, my breathing is quite good. I am also using Lasix as a diruetic. I also take a strong vitamin regimen and Blue-Green Algae(StemEnhance by Stemtech and Omega Sun by Simplexity Health) I refuse to accept doctors statements about getting or not getting better, they do not know about supplements and herbs, only pharmaceuticals. My 2 cardiologists scratch their heads and say "you must have an energizer battery in there" and "You are a Miracle". That's good validation, in my book.


100% helpful
blackfrost answered...

thank you for this information I just ordered some of the arjuna. I take about 7 different scripts from the doctor and I am always dizzy and sleepy. thanks again


100% helpful
hkrish answered...

My mom, also has CHF for last 12 years and for last 2 years condition had worsened. Now she is recovering back with Arjuna, Curcumin, Total Heart (Ayurvedic preparation from Planet Ayurveda), and in addition to it CoQ 300 mg (3 times a day) with L-carnitine, Omega-3/Krill oil and in addition to it Hawthorn Berry extract (500 mg) serves as natural vasodilator along with L-arginine. Her condition has drastically improved, and no hospitalisation for last 2 yrs, while the previous year, she was hospitalised 6 times in a year.

Im still exploring solutions in Ayurveda and Herbal suppliments.


100% helpful
Brunocenguy answered...

My Dear Reddie: I just read about your Father's CHF and I'm sincerely sorry that he is going through final stages. I am NOT a doctor, but an individual that cares about others and what they go through. I am a CHF paitient and also a survivor of 2 massive heart attacks. The 2nd one that I had on 11/17/10, well I can tell you that I died and was gone for 2 minutes before I was zapped a 2nd time by the Defibrilator that brought me back. I remember EVERYTHING that happened to me before I died. But as you can see I am here today. I take 5 meds everyday. One of the meds is 325mg of asprin. My doctor told me that I no longer needed to take the asprins and if I were to still take them everyday, it would not hurt. On the other hand, I take and eat raw garlic on occasion and I also make a drink that contains raw ginger root cut into peices and I put them in a blender with peeled whole lemons that are cut up. I have 9 lemons, 10 or more garlic cloves that are peeled and chopped. Then ginger root is about 4 to 5 good slices that are cut and then chopped. I add about a 1/4 cup of water and put it into the blender. I blend them together until it mixed real well. I get a pot and put in 6 to 8 cups of water. I pour the contents from the blender into the pot and let cook to a boil. After it comes to a boil, I lower the heat so that it simmers for 20 miuntes. After the 20 minutes are up, I take off the lid and then I strain everything into another pot or pitcher and let the water mixture pour into the other container. As you pour the liquid into the other container, you can smell thew garlic, lemon, and ginger roots and its a very theraputic smell. I then pour a glass of the mixture and drink one when it's hot, because I like it like that. The rest I place into the fridge and have it again the next day. You can drink up to 3 glasses a day and it won't hurt. The purpose of this mixture is to help clean out the arteries of the heart from any cholesterol build up in the walls. You do this for about 3 months, and you will notice a great difference in the way you feel and breath. The Ginger and Garlic are the key to clearing out arteries of the heart. And if your arteries are clear, then your blood flow won't be so restricted. So I hope this helps you and again, very sorry about your Father. God Bless You. This is Guy and I work for the Red Cross in Blood Services in Los Angeles, CA. Now going on almost 22 years in July 2013. Big Hugs and Kisses to you. Chow!!!


armystrong answered...

My father is diagnosed with congestive heart failure and has only one kidney working and that one has a blockage,also diabetes type II. He is 70 and in hospice.He is a VETERAN. I offered cinnamon for diabetes and kale for kidneys. He wants bacon.I want to try EECP therapy and he agreed yet I'm not sure he will make it that long to try it.SOMEONE HELP ME! I'm an only child but I can't believe my Army Strong DAD is facing death in a hospice.He is so drugged up from the pain.I'm fighting for him