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Creatine: Creatine is naturally synthesized in the human body from amino acids primarily in the kidney and liver, and transported in the blood for use by muscles. Cardiac creatine levels have been reported as depressed in patients with chronic congestive heart failure. Several studies report that creatine supplementation is associated with improved heart muscle strength, body weight, and endurance in patients with heart failure. However, it is not clear what dose may be safe or effective. Supplementation is also reported to increase creatine in skeletal muscle in these patients, helping to increase strength and endurance. Well-designed studies comparing creatine with drugs used to treat heart failure are needed.
Avoid if allergic to creatine or with diuretics (like hydrochlorothiazide, furosemide (Lasix®)). Use caution in asthma, diabetes, gout, kidney, liver, or muscle problems, stroke or a history of these conditions. Avoid dehydration. Avoid if pregnant or breastfeeding.
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Heart failure treatment should be approached by physicians and patients in an evidenced-based way. Medications such as beta blockers, ACE inhibitors, aldosterone antagonists, digitalis glycosides, and diuretics have been found to be clinically useful in patients with heart failure. There are a number of "natural" remedies for heart failure that have been purported over many years. These should be discussed with a physician that is treating the heart failure to assess their likelihood of improving symptoms or the heart dysfunction itself. One example of a good natural treatment for congestive heart failure would be avoidance of excessive salt and water intake. Patients with congestive heart failure may be required to decrease their daily salt intake to 2000 mg (2 g) and perhaps decrease their water intake to less than 64 ounces of water per day. These targets may vary based on clinical condition. There are small trials that suggest co-enzyme Q10 may have some positive impact in heart failure. Larger, definitive trials are in process with NIH/NHLBI. Omega-3 Fatty Acids also have a role in HF as defined by the GISSI-HF trial. There is a small improvement in mortality (chance of death) in this study in those taking 1 gram of fish oil daily.
Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.