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Lowdown on ejection fraction?


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  • Lowdown on ejection fraction?

    [Lowdown on ejection fraction?]

    Author: Stephen H (---.114.93.158.connectohio.net)

    Date: 07-20-02 15:46

    I have cardiomyopathy caused by a viral infection afew years back(not sure when)but my ejection fraction is40%,I heard from a freind who is a m.d. that you can live pretty well with 45% on up.I feel good but get winded easy(If you want my full story look at my first post)I'm newly diagnosed and am very eager for any veterans out there to give me tips, hints or what worked for them.I promise not to do anything without running it by my Cardiologist.right now I take low dose altace once a day and am on ultra light duty at work and maybe run the sweeper or do the laundry at home.My Doc said now is a time for rest.The month of May my Engine Company was first in on 6 working fires and the last one sent me to the e.r. and really became my last fire.


    [Re: Lowdown on ejection fraction?]

    Author: Board Moderator (Sarah Beckley (---.tnt37.chi5.da.uu.net)

    Date: 07-20-02 19:46

    Dear Stephen,

    Here is a distillation of some general things that sound funny, but are definitely some ole pro tips which are all designed to reduce the incidence of palpitations, tachycardia and other cardiac side effects:

    1. NO Grapefruits or grapefruit juice. It interacts with a lot of heart medications.

    Be sure to read labels on "citrus" flavored items like Fresca, etc.

    2. Avoid heavy or large meals, eat smaller portions more often. Big meals stress the heart.

    3. Avoid super cold or frozen drinks. Ditto.

    4. Don't take any supplements without running them by your doctor. They can interfere with medication or have unexpected side effects.

    5. If you have a cold, don't take decongestants --just antihistamines. Regular Benadryl (yes, you may fall asleep, but you won't get tachycardia).

    6. Avoid anything with ephedra, epinephrine, or ephedrine in it (cough syrup, cold medicines, supplements, etc). Tachycardia/palpitations will ensue otherwise.

    7. Dark chocolate has a lot of caffiene in it --cut back or eat milk chocolate.

    8. Avoid caffiene, nicotine, alcohol and recreational drugs (which I'm sure you already avoid).

    9. Do as much exercise as your doctor and you feel safe with. This may be nothing or it may be yoga and walking or eventually more.

    10. Try to eat a healthy, well balanced diet. All things in moderation, but some people here find a low carb diet works very well for them.

    I don't think that there are any hard and fast rules about what you are allowed to do at this EF % or that EF%, and decisions are usually made by you and your doctor based on your medical situation and your abilities --which can change with treatment, medication, etc.

    I don't know what kind of treatment options are available to you, but ideally there are more medications or something that can ease the stress on the heart.

    take care, and you have earned a rest --no shame in taking it easy for a bit.



    [Re: Lowdown on ejection fraction?]

    Author: Lisa Salberg (---.dyn.optonline.net)

    Date: 07-20-02 20:06

    Re EF% and quality of life --- many people with Dilated cardiomyopathy have EF's between 15 and 45%- Your at the higher end and that is good. As far as treatment options you are very very lucky to have been diagnosed today and not 15 years ago! there are many meds that can help the pumping function of your heart such as altace and many others (ACE) ALSO you may be able to benefit from a new type of pacemaker called bi-ventricular pacing it helps your heart beat by keeping the right and left side of the heart in sync ( the study done by one device company was called "IN sync" ( Funny I thought that was a band!)

    Should drugs and pacing fail you transplant is an option. Do NOT panic I do not think you need a transplant now...but it may be something to think of for the long term future.

    take everything one step at a time...remember we are all here to help in whatever way we can.

    Best wishes,



    [Re: Lowdown on ejection fraction?]

    Author: Stephen H (---.114.93.167.connectohio.net)

    Date: 07-20-02 23:58

    I love this site,Thank you so much I will write down some stuff on my notepad for my next visit ...1st since diagnosis with my g.p. then later in month my 2nd since diagnosis with the Car.guy.I do and have for last 6-7 years drink tea by the case 8-12 cups a day ...orange-pekoe,sometimes green,never the fake stuff(yuk)I was a pretty good bachelor irish style beer drinker(not good)but totally quit that 3 years ago when I met my wife,and for years before that had slowed down from my 20's and early thirties.I was always using the station gym.And was extremely strong in my upper body,I have lost 20 lbs since April.but still strong ,very lean(will stay that way)I am 6' 172 now.In 1996 a very drunk guy hit me with his car on the firescene and I suffer bouts of radiating pain down my left arm and numbness but that IS caused by Radiculapathy of the c6 nerve running down to my left arm ....Oh great,scare em every time they ask does your left arm hurt(LOL)but I know that pain very well will watch out for anything different.My coranary arteries were extremelly clear to me(i was shocked how vieny the heart cath showed em)he said NO blockages,they were Good.I am a recent nonsmoker hope to stay that way out of stark terrer alone.I do take Hydrocodone or ultram PRN for arm pain as nsaids did a job on my stomach for the radiculapathy.Hate to give that relief up.Well whadda ya tink?


    [Re: Lowdown on ejection fraction?]

    Author: Sarah B-Board Moderator (---.ipt.aol.com)

    Date: 07-21-02 02:17

    Dear Stephen

    I don't know about your pain pills. I would ask the cardiologist what they think. Green tea has very little caffiene in it. But buckets of tea won't give you cardiomyopathy, no matter how hard you try.

    If your cardiologist is not a specialist in cardiomyopathy, please call the office and LIsa may be able to help you.

    COngrats on clear arteries. and good luck with the smokes.



    [Re: Lowdown on ejection fraction?]

    Author: Dawn (---.cl.ri.cox.net)

    Date: 07-21-02 10:13

    Hi Stashua/Steve (explain the nickname-I'm too curious!)

    My mom was dx w/HCM earlier this year. It still has me freaked at times. Like you've said--very thankful for this web site. My mom's dx and the fact that I might have it some day (my echo is normal) got me changing my life style.

    I've been a non-smoker for 20 days now (at least I'm not counting it in hours any more). I use to drink 1.5-2.5 pots of coffee a night (I work night shift). I'm down to two normal size cups a night. And if I'm real busy, only one. I'm walking or biking as often as possible. And I'm back to a diet heavy in 'good for you stuff.' I'm a chocoalic and have some very rarely, I use to eat 1-2 bars a day.

    Just remember this is a life style change. Not just a diet (for example) that you'll do for a month. This is the rest of your life. You're a smart guy, you know what is good for you and what is bad. Just keep up with the positve changes.

    The urge to have a cigarette will pass if you have one or not. That thought helps at times and keeping busy. I've quit many times and think 'I can have just one tonight.' The next day I'm back to smoking full time. For me, smoking is like alcohol to a recovering alcoholic--one is never an option-now and forever. I took an 8 week class to help quit and Wellbutrin (same as Zyban). So I have lots of tips and lots of support about not smoking. Email or post if you need more help/tips. Exercise is a great alternative to smoking, talk to your doc to find out how much you can do.

    You have a great motivator--your heart and your family.

    Chronic pain--no fun. Have you ever gone to a pain clinic? They may have non-med ways to relieve the pain. Some GP's throw pills at pain and forget to look at other options. Just like you're seeing a heart specialist, you can see a pain specialist.

    I'm a RN and love working the floor with pt care. I know nurses have lots of 'light duty' types of jobs, management,research,teaching-to name a few.. What about firemen? What are some of the things you can do? Cross train? You know, they say we are going into a nursing shortage (I feel like we're already there!) How about back to school?

    By the times of some of your postings--are you a night person or just trouble sleeping? I've gone on long enough....

    Take care,



    [Re: Lowdown on ejection fraction?]

    Author: Stephen H (---.114.93.155.connectohio.net)

    Date: 07-21-02 15:44

    Hi Dawn,My first Captain grew up with my uncle.They were both full blooded polish and his name was Stan.It is my understanding thatStashua is Stan and or Steve in Polish so he called me that and the name stuck.Youngstown is a old steel town so there are alot of ethnic communities (immagrants from all over Europe came to work the mills)Here is my recipe for Chocolate heaven.....Take some homemade brownies that have chocolate chips thrown in and throw one in a bowl....then Microwave it 20 seconds up to 45 seconds depending on size when it gets hot(watch out can get VERY hot) throw some cookies and cream ice cream on top then cover with chocolate syrup.My wife got me hooked on em for a while,you can substitute some danishes....guess its kinda like a quicky Pie a la mode in a way.Our Fire Dept is facing budget cuts and possible layoffs,they have had a few inspectors and arson guys have to go back on the trucks......I wouldnt be happy doing the 8-4 stuff.I'll put my helmet on the mantle in a place of honor and do something else thats productive.I was thinking about a 1 year LPN course then maybe getting a job that didnt involve lifting like maybe an md's office or traveling nurse,but I really have not decided anything.In a way the quicker I make a dignified exit the quicker a young healthy Fireman can take my spot on the truck as I am still on the rolls as "light duty".
    NOTE: This is a post from the previous forum message board.