Congestive heart failure is a condition in which the heart is not able to pump enough blood to supply the body with the amount of blood its tissues needs 1. The blood that enters the chambers of the heart, is not completely pumped out. According to Cedars Sinai Medical Center, this leads to a weakening of the heart due to blood backing up into the lungs and veins 1. It also leads to the body not being supplied with adequate amounts of oxygen. St. Luke's Texas Heart Institute states that approximately 285,000 patients died in 2008 due to heart failure.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Rapid Weight Loss
According to Cedars Sinai Medical Center, patients with congestive heart failure may experience rapid weight loss due to nausea 1. They may also experience rapid weight loss due to their body not being able to adequately absorb food. The University of Maryland Medical Center states that rapid weight loss is defined as losing at least 7.5 percent of a person's normal body weight within a six-month period.
What Is a Cardiac Workload?
Cardiac cachexia is severe, unintentional weight loss that is seen in patients with heart disease. Several heart disease-related issues can cause this complication. According to Revolution Health, these include a decrease in appetite and an increase in nausea due to blood backing up into the intestines and liver leading to swelling, inadequate nutrient absorption due to swollen intestines, and in increase in body temperature that leads to an increase in metabolism because heart failure can force a patient to have to breathe harder. Cardiac cachexia can also occur when the metabolism increases due to tumor necrosis factor, resulting in the patient burning more calories. Tumor necrosis factor can lead to tissue death and increased inflammation.
- Cardiac cachexia is severe, unintentional weight loss that is seen in patients with heart disease.
- Cardiac cachexia can also occur when the metabolism increases due to tumor necrosis factor, resulting in the patient burning more calories.
When patients experience rapid weight loss with congestive heart failure, they may also experience other related complications 1. According to Health eMark, these can include:
- shivering due to decreased body fat
- gall stones due to acute dietary changes
- hair loss due to lack of proteins
- muscle tissue loss due to the body trying to consume energy
- water loss due to muscle tissue loss,
- hanging skin due to losing weight too quickly (in those who are overweight)
Diet for an Enlarged Heart
Rapid weight loss in congestive heart failure is often due to nausea 1. Controlling this nausea can often lead to having better control over rapid weight loss.
Patients may need to gain back some of the weight they lost. According to the Mayo Clinic there are many ways to do this healthfully, such as eating smaller meals more often, adding in snacks that are calorie-dense, eating foods high in nutrients, avoiding coffee and sodas, not drinking with a meal because:
- it can lead to becoming fuller faster
- drinking healthy shakes or smoothies made with juice or milk
Consuming healthier sweets, such as yogurt, bran muffins and granola bars can also be beneficial. Adding cheese to scrambled eggs, soups and casseroles can also help to increase caloric intake.
What Is a Cardiac Workload?
Diet for an Enlarged Heart
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Rose Kitchen is a freelance medical writer pursuing a bachelor's degree in sociology and education. She has a nursing background and is going back to nursing school in September 2011 for her R.N. Kitchen holds a certificate in anatomy and physiology and English and is pursuing certificates in natural and alternative medicine, fitness and nutrition and sports nutrition.