Enlarged Heart Treatment
How to Treat an Enlarged Heart Naturally
Cardiomegaly, commonly referred to as heart enlargement, is a condition that is caused by damage to the heart muscle as a result of high blood pressure or coronary artery disease. It is important to treat the underlying condition and create a heart-healthy lifestyle for yourself. While living a healthy lifestyle is an important part of caring for yourself if you have an enlarged heart, it is also crucial to get medical care from a doctor. Your enlarged heart will eventually begin to pump blood less efficiently, so most people with enlarged hearts need lifelong medical supervision and care.
Altering Your Diet
Include more vitamin B1 in your diet.Thiamine, which is commonly referred to as vitamin B1, plays an important role in nerve function. Thiamine deficiency leads to cardiovascular and nervous system problems. Wet beriberi, a condition caused by thiamine deficiency, can result in an enlarged heart, edema and heart failure. Because of this, it is important to include vitamin B1 foods in your diet to keep your heart healthy.Foods rich in vitamin B1 include:
- Brussels sprouts
- Lean meat
Eat more potassium-rich foods.Potassium plays a role in keeping your heart healthy. Potassium helps to regulate your heartbeat and helps with the contraction of your heart muscle. If you have high blood pressure or heart failure, conditions that can lead to an enlarged heart, you should increase your potassium intake.Foods rich in potassium include:
- Dried fruits
Lower your sodium intake.Edema, one of the major causes of heart enlargement, may occur because of excess amounts of sodium in your blood. Excess sodium can cause breathing problems and can cause your heart to work harder. Try to eat homemade foods, as it is easier to keep track of the amount of sodium you eat at home than it is at restaurants or when eating pre-packaged foods.Some low-sodium foods include:
- Fresh vegetables and fruits
- Fresh meat
- Oatmeal (not instant)
- Dried fruits
Limit your fat intake.Your blood cholesterol level can go up when you eat a lot of trans fats and saturated fats. Moreover, excess dietary fat is one of the major reasons for obesity, high cholesterol and high blood pressure, all of which play a role in the enlarging of your heart. Limit your saturated fat consumption to no more than 5-6% of your total daily calories, and try to avoid trans fats altogether.Fatty foods to avoid include:
- All fried foods, particularly deep fried foods
- Fast foods
- Packaged foods
- Processed foods
- Sweets, breads, and pasta
Add healthy fats to your diet.While saturated fats and trans fats (like those found in high-fat dairy products, processed meats, and fried foods) are bad for your heart, some types of dietary fat can boost your good cholesterol and improve your heart health. Good sources of heart-healthy fats include:
- Vegetable and nut oils, such as olive oil, canola oil, and sesame oil
- Fatty fish, such as tuna and mackerel
- Nuts and seeds
- Trans fat-free margarines (look for soft or liquid margarines rather than stick margarines)
Include turmeric in your cooking.Turmeric contains curcumin, which can help prevent heart failure. It also decreases your cholesterol and triglyceride levels while increasing your good cholesterol levels. Turmeric has yet another secret weapon to fight heart enlargement: polyphenol. Polyphenol can help to prevent and treat an enlarged heart.
- Take 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) of black pepper and crush it. Add ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) of turmeric powder to the crushed black pepper and mix well. Add this mixture to a meal or snack 3 times a day.
- You can also add a pinch of turmeric to each of your meals.
Eat raw garlic every day.Allicin, which is found in garlic, may help to lower blood pressure.When your blood flow runs more smoothly, you have a higher chance of reducing your heart to its normal size. Allicin also helps to prevent the production of bad cholesterol and aids in producing good cholesterol, which helps to improve heart health.
- Eat 2 raw garlic cloves a day. Include garlic regularly in your food as well.
- If you don’t like raw garlic, you can take garlic supplements.
Drink plenty of green tea.Green tea is rich in antioxidants, which help to increase good cholesterol, prevent oxidation of bad cholesterol and aid in improving the function of arteries. Thus green tea can help to fight heart conditions.
- Add ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) of green leaves to a cup (237 ml) of boiling water. Switch off the stove and allow the tea to sit for 3 minutes before you filter and drink. Drink up to 3 cups (710 ml) of green tea a day.
Increase your asparagus consumption.This natural diuretic contains neither fat nor cholesterol. It also does not contain sodium, which can lead to edema, one of the major causes of heart enlargement. Asparagus is an excellent source of heart-healthy fiber and vitamins and minerals, such as folate, vitamin K, and iron.
- You can eat asparagus or drink asparagus juice. To help the flavor of the juice, you can mix in some honey.
Use more cayenne pepper.Cayenne pepper is a rich source of vitamin C, which is essential for collagen synthesis. Collagen, which is a structural protein, helps to maintain the integrity of internal organs, blood vessels, skin and bones. Cayenne peppers also contain selenium, an antioxidant that can help your heart to operate smoothly.
- Add ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) of cayenne pepper to 1 cup (237 ml) of water and mix well. Drink 2 cups (473 ml) a day.
Making Lifestyle Changes
Quit smoking.Chemicals present in tobacco damage your blood cells and affect the functioning of your heart and blood vessels. Such damages result in atherosclerosis, a condition in which plaque builds up in your arteries. With time, the plaque hardens, narrowing your arteries and limiting blood flow to your organs.
- If you’re not sure how to quit, talk to your doctor. They may be able to offer practical advice or prescribe medications to help you quit, if necessary.
- If you are living in the U.S., you can call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) for advice and access to resources to help you quit smoking.
Reduce your alcohol consumption.Alcohol can increase your blood pressure, which means that drinking alcohol often can increase your risk of developing heart conditions like an enlarged heart.
- If you have a hard time resisting the urge to drink, talk to your doctor about programs you can enroll in.
Talk to your doctor about getting daily exercise.Talk to your doctor before changing up your exercise regimen, given your heart condition. When you get the green light to exercise, try to exercise for a short period of time each day. Getting exercise can help your body to become stronger and more healthy.
- Exercising is particularly important if you are overweight, as being obese can lead to heart enlargement.
Lose excess weight.Being obese can lead to heart enlargement. Excessive weight thickens the heart muscle in your left ventricle. This condition can lead to various heart conditions. To lose weight, you will have to develop a healthy diet and an exercise regimen.
- The healthiest way to lose weight is through a combination of good diet and exercise. Talk to your doctor about the safest way to lose weight with your heart condition.
Reduce your stress levels.When you are stressed, your body can be seriously affected. When you have an enlarged heart, try to minimize your stress levels as much as possible. This includes mental and emotional stress.To lower your stress levels:
Identifying and Treating an Enlarged Heart
Understand the causes of an enlarged heart.Heart enlargement results from damage to the heart, which may be caused by a variety of underlying conditions. Any of the following causes can contribute to heart enlargement:
- High blood pressure. This causes your heart to work harder, leading to thickening and stiffening of the heart muscle.
- Previous history of heart attack, which makes your heart susceptible to weakness.
- Family history of heart enlargement.
- Cardiac conditions, including defective valves. These naturally result in strain being placed on your heart, leading to heart enlargement.
- Anemia. An insufficient flow of red blood cells limits oxygen flow to the heart tissues, causing enlargement.
- Thyroid disorders, which can damage the heart and cause enlargement.
- Some types of viral infections.
- Abuse of alcohol and drugs, especially cocaine.
- Kidney disease requiring dialysis.
- Complications related to pregnancy.
- Certain genetic disorders.
- HIV infection.
Recognize the signs and symptoms of an enlarged heart.Many people experience no symptoms at all with an enlarged heart. Symptoms may appear, however, if the condition progresses to congestive heart failure. These symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath.
- Swelling in the legs and feet.
- Fast weight gain due to fluid retention. You may even gain a few pounds of “water weight” overnight.
- Fatigue and weakness.
- Heart palpitations.
Seek medical attention if you have symptoms of heart enlargement.If you have symptoms such as breathing problems, irregular heartbeat, palpitations and dizziness, it is important to seek professional help right away. A doctor can diagnose and treat the underlying condition, help you manage your condition safely, and prescribe medications, if necessary. Treatments commonly prescribed for an enlarged heart include:
- Diuretics to decrease fluid volume and take pressure off your heart. There are many types of diuretic medications. Your doctor will work with you to determine which one is best for you.
- ACE inhibitors to lower your blood pressure and help your heart pump more efficiently.
- An implantable defibrillator. This is an electrical device similar to a pacemaker, designed to regulate your heartbeat and help the heart restart if it stops beating.
QuestionCan the heart muscle cells regenerate if the heart has been swollen to 3 times its normal size, and suffered a lifetime of illness due to faulty valves originating from rheumatic fever?
Registered NurseRegistered NurseExpert AnswerHumans can not regrow damaged organs. Please see your doctor for guidance and treatment.Thanks!
QuestionHow to treat an enlarged heart in a dog?
Registered NurseRegistered NurseExpert AnswerIf you think your dog has an enlarged heart, please see your veterinarian for information on how to treat it.Thanks!
QuestionMy heart feels heavy as if I am carrying a heavy load on my chest. My back pain feels like it's connected to my heart. What can I do to help myself?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou should start by consulting a physician about this, and getting tested to be sure this is a cardiac issue and not something else. Maybe you're just sitting in the wrong position, or eating unhealthily.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I prevent anemia?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerEither eat lots of meat or take iron tablets, and consult with your doctor for their professional medical opinion if you still have questions.Thanks!
How do I treat my enlarged heart?
How do I cure my enlarged heart?
I was diagnosed with an enlarged heart. Is it true that garlic can repair damage vessels and the heart also?
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How can my father survive an enlarged heart condition? He is 85 years of age.
- Limit meat intake to no more than 6 oz. (170 grams) of cooked lean meat, fish and skinless poultry.
- Eat 5 to 6 servings of fruit and vegetables daily.
- Increase fiber in the diet by eating 6 or more servings of cereals and grains per day.
- Limit egg yolks to 3 to 4 each week, including those in baked or cooked items.
- Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.
- Do not try to treat heart disease on your own. Always seek professional medical advice if you are experiencing heart symptoms.
- Competitive sports and strenuous exertion is dangerous for individuals who have an enlarged heart. Always talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise program.
- Consult with your doctor before making any major changes to your diet or starting a new dietary supplement.
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