Treating congestive heart failure (CHF) is one of the first skills a young doctor learns in medical school. This process essentially involves balancing one group of medicines to clear excessive fluid (the “congestion” building up behind the weakened heart) with another group of drugs to strengthen the heart’s role as a pump. And often within a few hours many patients treated for severe CHF feel better. So despite its scary sounding name (“heart failure”) most primary-care doctors can probably sleepwalk through a treatment of CHF. But don’t you try it; CHF is definitely not in the do-it-yourself category of common ailments. However, if you agree to work with your doctor using the information from this WholeHealth Chicago Healing Center, then certain herbs, supplements, and lifestyle changes can make a positive difference.
Most people have had a brush with bronchitis–an inflammation of the bronchi or the breathing tubes–at some time in their lives. And 7 million people, virtually all of them smokers, experience the symptoms of bronchitis every single day for years. Bronchitis comes in two versions. Acute bronchitis occurs when an infection, usually a virus or bacteria, inflames the bronchial tubes. It produces a raw, hacking, painful cough that can sometimes be relieved with self-care measures but often requires antibiotics.
The steady lup-dup, lub-dup regularity of our heart’s pumping beat is reassuring, and we don’t mind it speeding up for exercise or slowing down for sleep, as long as its rhythm remains steady. Any glitch in that rhythmic throb, whether too slow or too fast, is called an arrhythmia.
An attack of angina, especially the first one, is a terrifying and life-changing experience. You’ve raced up the stairs or you’ve run to catch a train; suddenly an elephant is standing on your chest or a huge hand is squeezing your heart. Then you’re sweaty, lightheaded, and nauseated. You stop in your tracks; you wait; you pray you’re not having a heart attack. At last the elephant lifts his foot or the fist opens, the world slowly brightens, and slowly, carefully, you go home. (You really SHOULD go to an emergency room.)