I'm 90 and have CHF and take diuretics (Furosemide).
A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE: If I drink too much water my BP shoots up and my right lung fills with fluid and I have to have it needle aspirated. If I drink too little my colon dries out and my stool gets so hard I can't pass it and have to take powerful laxatives.
Gastroenterologist says, "50 dollars and take 1 cap Miralax daily." No help.
I pray a lot.
Would appreciate any advice.
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Hello. Can you explain what CHA is? When I search for it, I only find Congenital Hypoplastic Anemia.
Can you expand a little more about what advice in particular you're looking for?
Sorry Andy. I meant CHF. Congested Heart Failure.
I was hoping there was some alternative to taking a diuretic to keeping my BP low. I already take Lisinopril.
I tried taking the Furosemide every other day and my feet and ankles swelled up with water and my BP went to 160 so I started it again.
Thanks for that info. You mentioned you're working with a gastroenterologist, but have you consulted with your cardiologist? He/she might have some ideas on how to help you with your problems.
I recently started playing with ChatGPT. It's an advanced AI bot that's quite impressive with the info it can provide. However, you always want to double-check what it "spits out", especially medical info.
With that said, I put in your age and what you're experiencing and it provided the info below. I'M NOT GIVING MEDICAL ADVICE HERE. I'M SIMPLY PASSING ALONG WHAT THIS AI BOT PROVIDED. Hopefully there's something it spit out that can help give you some relief or at least give you some talking points when you see your cardiologist or gastroenterologist again:
Here's the info I fed ChatGPT:
Consider the following facts when responding:
90 year old male with congestive heart disease.
If he drinks too much water, his blood pressure spikes and his right lung fills with fluid, requiring it to be aspirated.
If he drinks too little, his colon dries out and his stool gets so hard he can't pass it and he has to take powerful laxatives.
His gastroenterologist just tells him to Miralax daily.
What else can he do to address these health issues?
HERE'S THE INFO IT REPLIED WITH:
Given the patient's congestive heart disease and the risks associated with drinking too much or too little water, it's important to find a balance that works for him. Here are some suggestions that may help address his health issues:
Monitor fluid intake: The patient could keep track of his fluid intake throughout the day, and try to stick to a consistent amount that doesn't cause his blood pressure to spike or his lung to fill with fluid. This could involve measuring out a specific amount of water to drink each day and avoiding other beverages that might contain excess fluids.
Adjust medication dosage: The patient's medication dosage may need to be adjusted based on his fluid intake and any other factors that might affect his blood pressure and lung function. His doctor can help determine the appropriate medication dosage based on his individual needs.
Medications: There are several medications that can help manage constipation, including stool softeners, laxatives, and enemas. The patient should discuss these options with his healthcare provider to determine which medication may be the most effective and appropriate for his situation.
Increase fiber intake: To prevent constipation and reduce the need for powerful laxatives, the patient could try increasing his fiber intake through fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. This can help soften stools and make them easier to pass.
Exercise regularly: Regular exercise can help improve circulation, strengthen the heart and lungs, and promote regular bowel movements. The patient should consult with his doctor to determine a safe and appropriate exercise regimen.
Manage stress: Stress can worsen heart disease and constipation. The individual can try relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga to manage stress.
Manage salt intake: Consuming too much salt can worsen fluid retention, which can lead to fluid accumulation in the lungs and other parts of the body. The individual should aim to consume a low-salt diet as recommended by his healthcare provider.
Monitor symptoms: The patient should be aware of any changes in his symptoms and seek medical attention if he experiences any sudden or severe symptoms, such as shortness of breath or chest pain.
It's important for the individual to work closely with his healthcare provider and follow their recommendations for managing his health conditions.
When I've had constipation in the past, I found that eating 1-2 Medjool dates a day really worked and kept me regular.
Best of luck to you. I hope you get some relief soon.
That info is very useful.
I keep a graduated pitcher in the frig and measure my water intake every day. I make any changes very slowly and am learning every day. I find that restricting my diet is very helpful. Steaks and pork chops are out, low salt corned beef hash and low salt chili are in. Salt is out. Salt is the killer.
I add new meals every day as I find meals I can digest.
I really shouldn't complain as all the people I grew up with are long gone.
Thanks for your help and good luck to you.
Hi @tadueo , I don't think you are complaining! You are just looking for some input. My mom suffered with CHF and it was such a delicate balance to work with. You are correct about salt being your enemy with CHF. One time my mom ate a tiny little snack bag of potato chips and ended up in the hospital. Salt is in everything we eat it seems. But you can't stop living either, so you have to decide what is best for you based on what your doctor says and how many changes you are willing to make in your lifestyle. Compression stockings helped my moms edema in her legs and elevating her legs when she was sitting. And walking as much as possible is helpful too. How often do you see your doctor? Be sure to not make changes in your dosages without their knowledge. That can be dangerous! Do you live in an area where you are able to get out and enjoy the outdoors?
I'm always either coming from or going to see one of my doctors. The cardiologist and pulmonologist get most of my time. I live in a lakes area and have access to a family, lakefront cabin where I'm heading today.
I found that my daily diet is a lot more important than I thought to the operation of my lower GI. For instance, steaks and pork chops and fried ground meats are hard to digest while low salt corn beef hash and low salt chili
and low salt chicken noodle soup move swiftly through my system.
You're welcome tadueo. I hope you can tweak some things to get at least a little relief.
You might ask your doctor about taking a stool softener every day. It is my understanding they are not habit forming, and they do a great job of keeping the stool soft. If you do not have an appointment soon, ask your pharmacist
I take Miralax almost every day on the directions of my gastroenterologist but find my diet is more important. I'm still learning which meals I can eat and which I can't. If I eat the right meals I don't need any laxative. A surprise to me. I'm still collecting data on what I can eat Wierd that if I eat low sodium corned beef hash my stomach works like a Swiss watch!
I use taurine a bile salt and silymarin capsules for constipation to help with bile insufficiency which causes constipation, just a piece of information. My friends' doc says to use the omega 3 fish capsules or flax oil too. I have hiatal hernia now so raw foods for fiber are troublesome at times.