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Richard N. Fogoros, M.D.

BNP In Heart Failure

By February 25, 2013

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BNP is a hormone secreted by cardiac cells in response to increased pressure within the heart.  BNP helps to regulate the body's salt and fluid content, and reduces blood pressure.  In patients who have heart failure, BNP levels tend to become greatly elevated during episodes of worsening shortness of breath.

Measuring BNP levels in the blood can help doctors to determine whether a patient's shortness of breath is due to heart failure, or to some other cause.

Read about BNP, and how BNP can be helpful in optimizing the treatment of heart failure.

March 5, 2013 at 9:56 pm
(1) Kathleen says:

My 83 year old husband was diagnosed with Dilated Cardiomyopathy eight years ago, with an Ejection Fraction of 26%.
By supplementing his prescribed medication (Beta Blocker, Ace Inhibitor, and Clopidogrel) with “self-inflicted” complematary, vitamin and herbal products, particularly the mineral selenium, his EJ is now 58%, and his last 2 BNP tests came back as 10.8 and 6.3, unheard of by his Cardiologist! Technically, The doctor said that he no longer has DCM, and that he should just keep on doing what he is doing!
(By the way, we live in Australia.)

March 11, 2013 at 5:22 pm
(2) Gord Richardson says:

Thanks for reporting your hubby’s experience.
Mine was similar though my EF rebound was not as marked: from 15 to 35. I was diagnosed with DCM in 1989 and told I had 6 months to 2 years TOPS to live. Here I am over 23 years later. I was using a few supplements before that but have added many more since then. One supp you don’t mention is Coenzyme Q10 or CoQ10 for short. I started taking it before my cardio suggested it. I started using the cheaper, common form of CoQ10, ubiquinone of which I now take 900 mg a day, divided dose. A far more potent form of CoQ10 is ubiquinol but it’s also much more costly so I take only 200 mg a day of that per day. Another useful one is L-arginine which boosts nitric oxide production, the latter being quite helpful to the lining of the blood vessels. I also take a B100 complex and added Folic acid, B6 and B12, these three reducing blood levels of homocysteine that aggravates atherosclerosis.

A really useful book is “Reverse Heart Disease Now” by S.T. Sinatra and J.C. Roberts, both of whom are practising cardiologists. It’s a John Wiley publication and is available on Amazon.

Best of luck to your hubby!

March 12, 2013 at 3:59 pm
(3) Harry Kuhn says:

Thank you, Kathleen and Gord for sharing your experiences.

It is amazing how important it is to have such information to share with one’s cardiologist, never knowing what a cardiologist knows but doesn’t share with patients or never knowing exactly what a cardiologist actually knows.

In my professional life in mental health social work, I never pretend to know something that I did not actually know; I am also open to learn what I do not know, even if it came from my clients.

Best not to believe that one knows everything that is vital to know, especially if one’s life depends upon it. As people living with some form or another of heart disease, we have a responsibility to ourselves to take some ownership of our treatment. I have taken note of your suggestions; again, thanks for sharing.

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