Have low ejection fraction, too.

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My ejection fraction is 34% down from 50% a year ago, taken by 2D echo from the same lab.  Any suggestions what I can do to raise it?  Right now I do aerobic exercise via stationary bike 30 minutes a day 5 to 7 days a week.  Eagerly awaiting suggestions.  Thanks.

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  • Posted

    That is a very large drop for someone that seems to be health conscious and actively involved in personal improvement. Is it possible that either your initial or subsequent test results were flawed? A drop of that percentage should leave you feeling the decrease as well. Are you noticing any decrease in your stamina? The solutions are what you would expect for general heart health; don’t smoke, limit salt intake, sleep well (CPAP or BiPAP breathing machines if needed), reduce stress, improve cholesterol levels, improve diet and take vitamin and mineral supplements. Two supplements to consider are PycnoQ10®, a pycnogenol (French maritime pine bark extract) and coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) combination, naturally improves heart function.

    Are you having any fluid retention problems? Can you have a Nuclear Stress test done as they often provide a more accurate EF? Is your heart rate regular? If you are developing problems from the low EF your doctor may mention an implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD) but your EF is still within a range where this should not be needed.

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    • Posted

      Thank you very much for the prompt response and the very much appreciated information you provided.  I had penned a quick response to you on receipt but towards the end I inadvertently touched my IPAD somewhere and swoosh went my reply.  So I am on a desktop to avoid those pesky issues.  Huge drop, indeed, and scared the willies out of me.  I trust the hospital lab, so the report(s) may be accurate.  I suspect my woes started when I began to continually get hypoglycemic episodes from some drug meds I had for maintenance about 1-1/2  month ago, after 30 days of these, I did some researched and found out the drugs possibly causing the episodes, at which I rushed to my GP to have the drugs stopped, he did, leaving one or two that were not suspect.  The episodes stopped, but I was totally drained, I could only take a few steps and I'd get breathless.  That's when I went for my latest 2D.  Your wonderful response pretty much describes where I am at right now, thank you: I never smoke, low salt, sleep like Rip Van Winkle, no stress enjoying my retirement in a country setting, blood chem OK, take nutritious meal replacement drinks in AM, good heart-healthty food, am on vitamin/mineral supplements, and about to start on an improved COQ10 supplement called RevitalizePlus which is Q10 + a blend of several powerful antioxidants, etc. that I get in Baltimore, USA through Dr. Mark Stengler, the integrative physician.  Yes, I do get water retention issues once in a great while, for which I am given diuretics and that does it. My heart rate is regular, have an arrythmia maintenance pill as well.  You have my profile 100%. Ten years ago I was fitted with a pacemaker with two leads, as hospital determined I had a complete heart block.  At that time, my EF was 25%, up to 35% after 1 year, 65% after 4 years, 50% last year, now 34%.  Further research tells me aerobic exercises may be good, nothing strenuous, so I do stationary bike routines of 10 min 3 x a day, 5 to 7 days a week.  Your reply banished all of my anxiety over this, thank you.  Two weeks on the stationary bike and I can feel it is good for me, as the energy is flowing back in.  My sleeping pattern is helping a lot, I'm sure.  I am 83 years old, male, Asian.  I am most optimistic my next exam (will go for Nuclear Stress Test as you suggested, for accuracy) will be great.  My cardio suggested angiogram, angioplasty, or open heart surgery, but is not mandatory at this point.  All I know is the complete heart block, which has been no issue since my PM is in place to act as my spark plug.  I believe I am well, all considered, especially with what I confess in footnote below.

      (As footnote, my travails may be my own making, too, for I don't know what came over me, but when I was on 2d bed, I was led to strive to get my whole being as relaxed as possible, so I meditated and prayed to achieve that. Who knows, my amateurish meditation may have worked well enough to get my entire system in a state of deep relaxation, resulting in readings at low levels.  What do I know?  I am just another old man, lucky to be still around.)  Thanks again, my dear friend, for sharing.

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  • Posted

    Sunshineray,

    I find it amazing that you are able to exercise that much with an ejection fraction of

    only 34, I use to exercise for 30 min a day every day and at that time my ejection

    fraction was 68, I'm overdue now for my 2D and I'm only able to exercise for 2-3

    minutes, but I'm also 62 years old with a congenital heart defect.  If you don't mind

    my asking, why is your ejection fraction so low?  Do you have coronary artery disease?  I know that even in the U.S, they want you to exercise even if you have

    heart failure, because otherwise the muscle will only get weaker.

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    • Posted

      As you will see in my reply to Sunshineray above, I have a complete heart block, and yet as you will note I have been able to raise it with good living.  Thanks for your post, Scotgal.
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