Future health?: I was diagnosed with HF... - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation

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Future health?


I was diagnosed with HF with a reduced ejection fraction and I am on various medications to stabilise this condition, including pills to slow my heart rate down to an acceptable level. My question is really if there is any hope of being better. I find it hard to walk far without being breathless and my back and hips kick in with pain just to make things more frustrating.

I see all sorts of posts about people with Hf riding a bike for 5 Miles a day, going running or to the gym and the like but I wonder if it only those with a ‘fixable’ condition requiring a stent or valve replacement that have hope of a near normal life. If anyone has any suggestions, I would be very grateful! I try to do around 4000 steps per day but that is really the best that I can manage. I was signed off from the cardiac clinic and the Hf nurse so I have nobody to ask for help.


4 Replies

I am only recently diagnosed with heart failure and have no idea what my future holds as not seen anyone since an Echo on 28th Feb.

In fact all I got was sent a prescription to start but I hope to get fit again despite my health.

Only a few years back I was running 5K charity events seriously out of breath thinking I was plain unfit only to discover unexpectedly last month there was more to it. My theory is if I did it ill, I can do it better medicated. Currently subdued by the medication to point of nodding off every half hour on sofa but with plans to change that.

I hope you manage to figure out a way to stay healthy and fit too. 😊

skid112Heart Star

Hi Mel, really sorry to hear of your issues. There isn't a cure as I am sure you are aware of, but the medication should be able to help manage it and it sounds as if you are overdue another visit to your GP to try and get the right dose/blend of medication to assist you.

I think your attempts at exercise are admirable considering what you are going through and your back and hip pain, is this something that you suffer with or just a side affect of the walking?

The treatments available for heart failure are becoming better and better, prolonging and promoting a longer and a better standard of living, you should persevere with your GP and give the BHF a a call on their helpline, 0300 330 3311

take care Mark

Hi Mel. How long ago were you diagnosed? It took a long time for me (and my HF nurse, who was brilliant) to find the optimum doses I could tolerate. As crafty girl said, the medication can add to day-to-day tiredness. I am one of those people who walk for miles and go to the gym despite my heart failure, but I don't find it easy to do and only manage it because I work hard to manage my symptoms and prioritise what I want to use my limited energy on. Improving your fitness can only improve things in the long term but it's really difficult (and so frustrating) to do that when you are starting from a position of heart failure. Have you asked whether you would be eligible for cardiac rehabilitation? It seems to vary between areas, but it might be a good way to discover exercise that could make you feel better without using up every last drop of your energy/hurting your joints. I would definitely talk to your GP about getting some support with exercise/activity. Good luck :)

My sister has CHF with an EF of 29%. It used to be lower, but with medication and exercise it is slowly coming up. She also has cardio myopathy and afib. She eats well, watches her salt intake and she seems to be getting stronger all the time. I have read where people can bring the % up, so don’t think you will always stay at this level. It can go upwards!

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