Congestive Heart Failure Death is a HUGE problem in those with this lifelong recurring chronic disabling disorder. While many sufferers are elderly and end up with worsening recurrences and hospitalizations over a period of months or years, these are NOT the people that I am talking about.
I'm actually speaking of death from an entirely different cause. In up to 20% of those with congestive heart failure death occurs suddenly and without warning of any kind. And not only do the drugs that are prescribed to prevent this sudden death NOT work to prevent it, but they actually make it WORSE!
In almost all cases, the sudden death occurs from a condition known as 'ventricular tachycardia'. This is generally the heart rhythm that leads to heart attacks and requires 'shocks' from a defibrillator in order to fix it quickly. Ventricular tachycardia is The Main Reason that ambulances and paramedics have become so widespread and why places where large numbers of people congregate often carry 'AED's'. These Automatic External Defibrillators are compact pieces of equipment that have one job and one job only- they give an electrical shock to people in ventricular tachycardia.
But the ventricular tachycardia that causes congestive heart failure death is just a little bit different. Most of the time when we think of ventricular tachycardia, we think of a 'heart attack' and most heart attacks are because people have a blocked artery to the heart that Causes Heart Palpitations, chest pain and loss of blood supply to the heart. It's this loss of blood supply that makes the heart irritable and causes ventricular tachycardia in a heart attack. But this is NOT the case in the sudden death from Congestive Heart Failure.
"Most antiarrhythmic drugs available, however,
have limitations arising from their toxic
and proarrhythmic potential"
Sudden death from congestive heart failure occurs because the heart is irritable from something else- and that something else is electrolyte imbalances from thiamine, potassium and Magnesium Deficiency. This fact is significant for two reasons:
And the only way that doctors have found to predict which patients will be the most prone to congestive heart failure death is by doing an electrocardiogram test for a heart electrical problem called Prolonged QT Interval. And Long QT syndrome is affected by- guess what- deficiencies of thiamine, potassium and magnesium.
Simple. The drugs.
The vast majority of congestive heart failure patients take a class of drugs called 'diuretics' or 'water pills' on a regular basis. These diuretics, mainly in the form of a drug called Lasix or Furosemide, help to get rid of the extra fluid that these patients are prone to by having them urinate more. But by increasing the amount of fluid urinated day in and day out.
It is well-known that Lasix tends to deplete potassium and most of the time, these patients take extra potassium and have their blood potassium levels drawn regularly.
But what doctors don't tell you, probably because they don't know it, is that these drugs also deplete thiamine and magnesium. But because thiamine levels are NEVER tested and serum Magnesium Levels are very poor indicators of magnesium status, doctors who check the blood magnesium levels along with the potassium levels have a FALSE BELIEF that the magnesium level is normal and both thiamine and magnesium are ALMOST NEVER given on a routine basis.
"therapy with potassium salts alone may
fail to restore normal serum levels of potassium or
normal sinus rhythm, whereas magnesium administration
corrects not only the hypomagnesemia and the hypokalemia
but abolishes the accompanying tachyarrhythmias as well"
And magnesium is almost never replaced EVEN THOUGH it is well-researched that replacing MAGNESIUM also improves POTASSIUM without even having to GIVE potassium and that sudden congestive heart failure death almost ALWAYS occurs because of these deficiencies, CHF patients still are given large quantities of potassium without magnesium- when they SHOULD be getting the OPPOSITE.
A regimen of magnesium could ALSO help to prevent the NON LETHAL, but still serious complication of the abnormal heart rhythm called Atrial Fibrillation that Heart Failure patients are ALSO prone to at high levels.
"... magnesium chloride administration
reduces the frequency of ventricular arrhythmia
in patients with symptomatic heart failure."
So, despite that patients really need Thiamine and Magnesium, the 'standard of care' for most patients to prevent sudden congestive heart failure death are drugs called 'antiarrhymatic' drugs that are intended to keep the heart rhythm smooth and prevent these rhythm issues. Only one problem with this:
These drugs make the problem WORSE
"Although conventional antiarrhythmic agents are
widely prescribed as a nonspecific approach to
prevent sudden death in these patients...these
agents frequently serve to exacerbate the heart
failure state and the underlying ventricular tachyarrhythmia."
So, we have very good evidence that Thiamine Deficiency and Magnesium Deficiency cause the Prolonged QT Interval heart rhythm disturbances leading to congestive heart failure death, yet doctors give drugs instead of nutrients- and the drugs make the problem WORSE!
Yes, folks, this is modern medicine at work!
But I'm not done giving you reasons why not replacing magnesium when it's needed is a really bad idea. The type of ventricular tachycardia from magnesium deficiency is 'special'.
Remember, we talked above about defibrillators 'shocking' ventricular tachycardia into a normal rhythm? In most cases, this works pretty well if the person is shocked very soon after their heart stops- except in the case of ventricular tachycardia from magnesium deficiency.
I've written more about Prolonged QT Interval here. Although it's in a different context, it's still the same concept.
But the long and the short of ventricular tachycardia from magnesium deficiency is that you must URGENTLY infuse intravenous magnesium or defibrillators are useless. The problem is that time is short and by the time it is realized that magnesium is what is needed, too much time has passed and death from congestive heart failure is the typical result.
In This Article From the American Heart Association they summarized the current wisdom and teachings from many, many studies on this subject and went into great detail about all that I have discussed above. So, you would think that their conclusion as to how to prevent congestive heart failure death would be to simply give an extremely safe nutrient with almost no Magnesium Side Effects- to everyone with congestive heart failure- particular if they are taking diuretics, right?
Instead, they believe:
"The most successful approaches to the
control of arrhythmias in the future for
patients with congestive heart failure may
be endomyocardial resection... or the use
of an automatic implantable defibrillator."
Do you see a problem here or is it just me!?
Endomyocardial Resection?! That's HEART SURGERY to fix a problem of
MAGNESIUM DEFICIENCY! And they wouldn't even need to give PILLS to help them, magnesium can be given as Transdermal Magnesium Gel that is absorbed right through the skin- no pills even needed!
But doctors are not JUST missing thiamine and magnesium deficiency in Congestive heart failure,they are also missing the Vitamin D, Selenium, antioxidants and the Benefits Omega 3 Fatty Acids can have on the heart failure and the heart rhythm! Keep reading to find out more.
Click below to see already answered questions about heart failure here....
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