Congestive Heart Failure-typical for ALS?

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dawn

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My mother has ALS (diagnosed 2 years ago). She has become quite weak, but still gets around, until recently (2 weeks ago) when she got Congestive Heart Failure.
Is this something that is part of the ALS "path"? Can it be controlled reasonably by drugs (Lasix)?
Do you think she will get a little stronger with treatment, or is this yet another downward step that cannot be overcome?

Dawn
 

Jane

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Dawn I am sorry your Mom is having so much trouble. Congestive heart failure relates to a weakened heart that does not pump as well as it use to. It can be treated with some success in most people. Als people have the added burden of lost muscle which makes it harder for them. I hope you will see some improvement in her condition.
Come back again and let us know how things are going for her and you. You will need support too
. Jane
 

katson

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Congestive heart failure can also be caused by a bacterial infection (treatable with rifampin/doxy) It can be a symptom of bartonella/brucella infection....
 

Al

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ALS doesn't usually affect the heart muscle. I know a guy that was supposed to die from congestive heart failure about 15 years ago. He's still here and in better health than me. With proper care your mom should be ok although as Jane says she could be compromized by the ALS. We are all hoping for the best for you both.
 

bsg3746

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Congestive heart failure could also be caused by extreme swelling, which is common when you are unable to move around. My husband has a lot of swelling in his hands, feet, ankles, calves and hands and if the swelling continues without be addressed fluid could back up into his/her lungs and causes the heart blood to back up with causes congestive heart failure. My husband began to cough up a ton of fluid - that is what prompted me to contact our Hopsice doctor. They came out immediately and put him on Lasix and inserted an internal catheter.
 

Sammantha

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The Heart

I have not been diagnosed with ALS but i do have respiratory problems that are due to respiratory muscle weakness and it is affecting my heart. I would wake at night with a rapid heart beat, then one time it did not go back to normal and i ended up in the hospital.. They caught it on EKG at 160 beats a minute, they let me go home when it rested at 92. I am seeing a cardiologist on the sixth of february. The lungs and heart are intertwined literally, so if there is a problem with one there will be a problem with the other, not in every case though. Sam
 

BethU

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Dawn ... your mother's heart condition can be successfully managed. As Al said, It's not connected to ALS.

Often cardiologists will place a limit on the number of ounces of fluids to consume daily, and restrict sodium. They may recommend weighing the patient daily. If there is a 2-pound gain in one day, the doctor may want to be notified, as that may indicate a fluid build up. (Less than 2 pounds can just be normal fluctuations.) Some cardiologists have a telephone program where their nurses contact patients each day to find out their weight. It's a question of monitoring the patient on a regular basis and following a few easy instructions about eating. Good luck to you both.
 

Marjorie R. Wilcox

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Congestive heart failure is readily treated and many people live 15 years plus with it. My mom and father-in-law did. But it meant that at anytime they had an 85% chance of having a heart attack or stroke.

My Mom died eventually of gangrene from a bedsore, not from her heart, and my f-inlaw did have a heart attack, but years later.

Congestive heart failure isn't ALS related, but at anytime the body is undergoing stress from diseases like diabetes, kidney failure, cancer, ALS, ..anything else... the internal organs that work together are taxed and eventually give out. That's why it is important to get a sleep study, other tests, and obey the doctor for even small things like diet.

Mentioned here is the need to reduce fluids in the body with Congestive heart failure. Also is the need to thin the blood. Usually a person is put on Cumidin and given routine blood tests to check on it. No problem. You can go on for many many years like that.

Don't quote me but I think that when the lungs and diaphragm are greatly weakened, the heart is also. But that is in the very last stages of the disease when you are already expecting to go and probably welcome it. Forgive me is you think I am too blunt.
 
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