Congestive heart failure is not a condition in which the heart suddenly and completely fails. It is a condition in which the heart fails to operate correctly. Often associated with heart disease, in congestive heart failure the heart no longer pumps blood efficiently. Congestive heart failure sometimes is treated with digitalis or vasodilators; any fluid retention is treated with diuretics.
Congestive heart failure develops over time. The heart begins to have difficulty pumping blood through your system and cells can become oxygen-deprived. Your blood pressure increases in an attempt to deliver needed oxygen and blood throughout your body. Symptoms include difficulty breathing, especially upon exertion, and a cough. Congestive heart failure makes it difficult to function on a day-to-day basis; even simple tasks are exhausting. Fluid accumulates in your lungs and your body also retains fluid in your ankles, feet and legs.
Vitamin E is a natural antioxidant that helps get rid of the free radicals in your body that destroy cell structures. Vitamin E contains d-alpha tocopherol, which helps strengthen your heart muscles. One 50 mg capsule of Vitamin E is the recommended daily dose.
Magnesium helps your heart muscles function properly. The daily dose of magnesium you need to maintain a healthy heart is 280 to 400 mg. Magnesium capsules are fine, but you can get natural doses of magnesium by consuming whole grains, almonds, pinto beans and green vegetables. You can safely take two 500 mg capsules of magnesium a day with a glass of water, before or after a meal.
When your potassium levels are too low, heart conditions like an arrhythmia can occur. Bananas are a great source of potassium. Potassium also is found in legumes, almonds and other nuts and many fruits and vegetables. A daily 99 mg capsule of potassium is sufficient to mantain your natural heart rhythm.
Researchers from the Institute of Nutrition and Food Science at the University of Bonn, and the Drug Commission of the German Medical Association in Germany have studied Vitamin D's effectiveness in improving congestive heart failure symptoms. Stefanie S. Schleithoff, Armin Zittermann, Gero Tenderich, Heiner K. Berthold, Peter Stehle and Reiner Koerfer asserted that Vitamin D helps minimize swelling and inflammation. Vitamin D also helps minimize fluid retention. Natural sources of Vitamin D include milk, fish, eggs and cod liver oil. Sun exposure also is a natural source of Vitamin D. Vitamin D can be taken in capsule form: two 1,200 mg capsules with a meal is the recommended daily dose.