Cardiac ejection fraction refers to the amount of blood pumped out of the heart with each beat. The heart has two main chambers –the left and right ventricles. The left ventricle pumps oxygenated blood from the heart to the body, and the right ventricle pumps blood from the heart to the lungs. The average cardiac ejection fraction is calculated in percentage which is between 50%-70%. The rate of cardiac ejection fraction usually refers to left ventricle ejection fraction (LVEF).

A low cardiac ejection fraction means the ventricle is not contracting sufficiently to pump enough blood out of the heart. A low cardiac ejection fraction can be 45% or less and can indicate heart failure. With an estimated prevalence of 64 million cases, heart failure is growing rapidly. The medical treatment for patients to improve cardiac ejection fraction includes angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEi), angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB), and beta blockers. However, besides the medical treatments, taking care of your heart is essential to improve your cardiac ejection fraction and overall survival. 

Role of homeopathy to improve cardiac ejection fraction

Homeopathy helps manage and improve cardiac ejection fraction by providing relief in the symptoms. While homeopathy has no cure for improving cardiac ejection fraction, it can help manage the conditions resulting in a poor cardiac ejection fraction. Homeopathic medicine helps manage the mental emotions involved with a poor ejection fraction and the physical symptoms brought on by the condition.

Five effective homeopathic medicines to improve cardiac ejection fraction

Crataegus oxycantha (Crataegus oxy.)

Common name: hawthorn berries

Crataegus is considered as a heart tonic. It is indicated in heart failure, valvular disease and to improve cardiac ejection fraction. Heart weakness and palpitations are indications of this remedy. The person with low cardiac ejection fraction suffers from extreme dyspnea at least exertion with slow pulse. There is giddiness, breathlessness, and reduction in blood pressure. Heart muscles seem flabby and worn out. The person may have cold extremities, pallor, irregular pulse, and breathing, along with being mentally irritable, cross, and melancholic. 

Aurum metallicum (Aurum met.)

Common name: Metallic gold

Aurum metallicum is indicated when the person feels as if the heart stands still and stops for two or three seconds, then immediately gives a sudden hard rebound. There is violent palpitation and anxiety. Pain in the heart region extends down the left arm to the fingers. Pulse is small and feeble but rapid and irregular. There is the visible beating of carotid and temporal arteries. Mentally, the person is very sad, dwelling, and tired of life. The person feels worse by mental exertion.

Digitalis purpurea (Digitalis)

Common name: Foxglove

Digitalis is prescribed when the heartbeat is slow and weak, irregular, and intermitting every third, fifth, and seventh beat. There is great weakness, anxiety, and fearfulness. The slightest movement causes palpitations. Sudden sensation as if the heart would stop beating if the person moved. The person has a weak heart with valvular complications. There is extreme prostration and the individual has a bluish-red cyanosed face. 

Berberis vulgaris (Berberis.)

Common name: Common barberry

Berberis is indicated in antiarrhythmic and antihypertensive effects. It is beneficial in reducing blood pressure and enhancing cardiac contractility. Berberis can also modify significant risk factors such as oxidative stress, hyperlipidemia, and other cardiac disorders. There is squeezing and shooting pain in the region of the heart with palpitation.

Strophanthus hispidus (Strophanthus)  

Common name: Kombe seed

Strophanthus is used to treat the contractile power of the heart muscle and also to improve cardiac ejection fraction. It is indicated that a person with a heart’s action is weak and irregular due to muscle weakness. The medicine usually acts on heart muscle and valves. There is edema and dropsy due to mitral regurgitation. The person suffers from anemia with palpitations and breathlessness. Strophanthus increases the systole and diminishes the rapidity of the heart. 

Causative factors for low cardiac ejection fraction

Long-term or chronic heart failure is usually the cause of low cardiac ejection fraction in individuals. The factors should be considered while treating the person and to improve cardiac ejection fraction are:  

  • If you have had a heart attack in the past, the impaired ventricle may cause dyssynchronous contraction of the infarcted segment.
  • Abnormalities in the heart muscles can cause coronary artery disease. The cause for weakness of the muscles can be genetic or acquired, such as dilated cardiomyopathy, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, or restrictive or right ventricular cardiomyopathy.
  • In valve regurgitation, a persistent overload can cause ventricular enlargement and functional impairment, thereby causing heart failure.
  • Long-term uncontrolled high blood pressure can cause poor ejection fraction. The heart muscle pumps blood against the afterload caused by high blood pressure to maintain a normal cardiac output, and that causes hypertrophy of the left ventricle. If the blood pressure remains uncontrolled for a longer time, it can cause myocardial stiffness and fibrosis and result in a heart attack.
  • Coronary artery disease causes direct damage to the myocardium and leads to scar formation, leading to inadequate relaxation and impaired constriction, which decrease contractility and cardiac output. 
  • Systolic heart failure is caused when the muscles of the left ventricle fail to contract and pump enough blood.
  • A  diet high in saturated fats, sugary foods or drinks, and high salt intake can cause cardiac issues.
  • Smoking causes the blood to thicken and form clots in the arteries, which, over time, increase the risk of heart disease. 
  • Drinking too much alcohol can cause hypertension, which indeed would cause cardiac problems. 
  • Obesity can lead to fat deposition in the arterial wall, thus getting damaged and clogged.

Signs and symptoms of low cardiac ejection fraction

  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Heart palpitations
  • Rapid, forceful, or irregular heartbeat
  • Mental confusion
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Swelling the lower limbs, especially the feet

Treatment and management to improve cardiac ejection fraction

The treatment involved to improve cardiac ejection fraction in patients with chronic heart failure includes drugs and implanted devices, if indicated, which can be beneficial. The medications prescribed, such as beta-blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACEi), angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB), and mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists (MRA), can help improve cardiac ejection fraction in such cases.

Prevention devices such as primary prevention defibrillator implantation and cardiac resynchronization therapy, are used. 

Diet and lifestyle modification to improve cardiac ejection fraction

  • Doing moderate-intensity physical activities for 3 to 5 times a week can help improve cardiac ejection fraction. 
  • Avoid substances that can affect the heart’s health, such as smoking, alcohol, and unsaturated fats.
  • Try to lose at least 5% of your body weight to maintain a healthy life.
  • Limit high intake of salt. 
  • Manage stress with yoga, meditation, and breathing exercises. 

Conclusion

Your cardiac ejection fraction is an indicator of how well your heart’s health is. It measures the amount of oxygen-rich blood pumping out of the heart. A low cardiac ejection fraction indicates you have or are at a risk of heart failure. With treatments and lifestyle modification, it is possible to improve cardiac ejection fraction to a normal range. Notice if any worsening of the symptoms occurs, as this can indicate a lowering of the cardiac ejection fraction. Likewise, if an improved cardiac ejection fraction, the previous symptoms will subsequently fade. Make sure you make frequent appointments with your healthcare provider; it is essential even when you don’t feel sick. Homeopathic medications help to provide relief with their individualistic approach. 

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