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Improving Ejection Fraction

  • 1.  Improving Ejection Fraction

    Posted 03-26-2021 13:51
    Has anyone had any success in improving Ejection Fraction?  What methods did you use?

    Kevin Falk
    Raleigh, NC

  • 2.  RE: Improving Ejection Fraction

    Posted 03-26-2021 14:58
    I went to qualified cardiologist. Do not get tied up in the numbers. I have been as low as 10% and no higher than 42% and felt the same. My doctors told me the same thing. If you need surgery they will tell you. I have my heart valves repaired and replaced. Two different surgeries. Listen to cardiologist and take your meds.

    You will be fine.


  • 3.  RE: Improving Ejection Fraction

    Posted 03-26-2021 22:46
    Kevin ~ In answer to your question, there are far too many variables to give a more direct answer since you haven't said what your EF percentage is and the root cause. Let me say up front, that what is most important is how you feel and whether you are enjoying any side effects from a low Ejection Fraction, such as exhaustion, cough, shortness of breath on exertion and so on. There are many people, especially athletes who function quite well with a low EF.

    In my case, my EF was at 10 due to a failing mitral valve, rigidity of the heart muscle ( cardiomyopathy), An irregular rhythm called LBBB (left branch bundle block) which simply means my ventricles were out of sync, blocked arteries, multiple heart attacks myocardial infarctions) and well you get the idea.

    So there are medications that can help some of these issues such as Ace Inhibitors and Beta Blockers. They basically reduce the stress on your heart allowing it to self heal and improve. Theres also surgery to repair or replace a damaged valve, or bypass clogged arteries and fix other damage. And theres the pacemaker. I've been there done that having had quad bypass, mitral valve replacement and a special pacemaker called a CRT-D (Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy Defibrillator) which paces my heart in both ventricles synchronizing the beats 100% of the time causing them to be stronger and more forceful. Then theres the good old fashioned healthy diet and exercise which can help, don't underestimate the simple.

    Finally, theres the magical drug Entresto that is somewhat new but has helped many people suffering CHF ( Congestive Heart Failure) improve their EF back sometimes to normal levels which is 50% to 70% (Nobodys heart ejects 100% of the blood in the ventricles, higher than 70 creates a whole new set of problems).

    Now I'm not one to blow smoke up your skirt and tell you these things will work for you, they certainly didn't for me, but you've nothing to lose by trying them. I did and while my EF has never improved beyond 15 - 20% we believe it has stslled the progression of my disease and the kids getting that massive inheritence they think is waiting.

    You need to sit down with your Cardiologist and have an open discussion about your EF including cause and possible solutions, or even whether it's  problem for you at this point. Work with him as a team and follow the treatment regimen he develops for you, that'll give you the best chance at improving your EF.

    Good luck


  • 4.  RE: Improving Ejection Fraction

    Posted 03-27-2021 07:08
    Don’t overlook sleep disorders. There is a case in our area where due to low EF surgery could not be done. A sleep study identified sleep apnea and going on a CPAP machine improved EF enough to make heart surgery possible.
    Gary Price

    Sent from my iPad

  • 5.  RE: Improving Ejection Fraction

    Posted 03-27-2021 20:53

    Excellent suggestion...

    Michael Hinderlie
    Port Charlotte FL
    (941) 421-0482

  • 6.  RE: Improving Ejection Fraction

    Posted 03-27-2021 09:17
    Funny you should ask, but I had my 6-month check up about 10-days ago. (I am 9 1/2-years post-mitral valve repair.) According to my most recent echo-, not only had my EF improved (to 49; I forget what it had been), but my mitral regurgitation had diminished. "How'd that happen?" I said. "Who known my cardiologist?" said. "Go celebrate."

    Post-visit, three theories have arisen in our house: (1) Since our gym has enclosed, I am actually exercising more strenuously (My theory); (2) since restaurants and salad bars have closed I am eating more healthily (My wife's theory); (3) It's a heretofore unrecognized Covid side-effect.

    I see one of the other responders mentioned Entresto. I've been on it for a couple years, so maybe that played a part.​

    Bob] Levin
    Berkeley CA

  • 7.  RE: Improving Ejection Fraction

    Posted 03-27-2021 10:10
    Hi Kevin

    2012 I Had dbl. bypass, aortic valve replaced and Pacemaker. My EF was 30, today it's about 40-50 range. I had 1 cardiologist who said it won't get better. Since then I have had a BI V pacer upgrade. Along with regular exercise eating better I feel much better. I take a supplement called D Ribose which was recommended by a cardiologist to help the EF. Maybe it has helped I don't know what helped. Just stay healthy and 1 day at a time you will see the progress. Speak to your cardiologist before trying d ribose or anything new that someone recommends to you BEFORE taking.
    Good Luck Bob

    Robert Pasch
    Clifton NJ

  • 8.  RE: Improving Ejection Fraction

    Posted 04-04-2021 01:34
    Hi ! Kevin,
    On June 15, 2016 I was diagnosed with Ideopathic Heart Failure and my Fraction Rate was 4%.
    Yes, that was a "4" not a 14 and not a 40.  I was Life Flighted to the Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute in Cleveland, OH.
    Initially I was told that my Natural Heart was in the Process of Clinically failing.  I was immediately life supported, put on the Heart Transplant list and a Team of World Class Heart Failure Dr.'s & Clinicians began to work on solving my Cardiac Medical Mystery.  A cocktail of medicines were started and a Team was working round the clock to save my life.
    I was 55 and was relatively healthy having only the need for Lisinopril 5mg. since my classically very low blood pressure all of my life (117/53) shot up like a rocket (175/79) when I turned 40.   I had never had a Heart Attack, Stroke nor did I have any Vascular or Arterial deficits that would need medical correction.  I just had a Heart that was wanting to go into Time Out.  Many theories were tossed around, and it was finally decided that a new type of Boston Scientific Multi-Lead Defibrillator might just retrain my heart to Pump correctly and save my own Heart while Gifting a Transplanted Heart onto another whose Heart could not be saved.   They had been waiting for me (or another patient who would need heart muscle re-synchronization that did not have the Veinular/Arterial issues that most Heart failure patients do) and I sorely needed their Gift of Life.  I agreed to be their Guinea Pig and they agreed to save my heart.  I am quite humbly & proudly known as the Cleveland Clinics Super Res-ponder Heart Recovery Patient.  I serve on many Boards and Advocate for Heart Patients and their Families when they too have been given the worst words ever spoken to you in your entire life... "Your Heart is Failing and if we are going to save your Life we are going to have to replace it " . . .  Today just 5 short years later my fraction rate is 76.8% I Paddle Board, Kayak, Bike, Walk, Swim and enjoy spending time with my GrandMunchkins.  Carvedilol 25mg. is the once Heart Failure trial drug that continues to keep my Heart on the Mend and I am Extremely Blessed and Thankful today for those Heart Failure patients who once upon a time ago put their Trust & Failing Hearts in the hands of the Dr.'s of the Clinical Trials so that we today can have the daily benefits of the Life Saving Gift that has been given to all of us. Blessings to All of You in Your Heart Failure Journeys.   

    Robin Gage
    Board Member
    Heart Failure Society of America
    Lakeland FL