Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)

Congestive Heart Failure

Congestive Heart Failure or CHF basically refers to “pump failure”. That is, compromised heart function that results in poor or inadequate blood flow to the body’s various organs and tissues. Both conventional and alternative treatments are aimed at reducing the burden on the heart as well as strengthening its function and thus output.  What about adult or nonembryonic stem cells for Congestive Heart Failure? Stem cell expert Dr. David Steenblock states that, “In my 40 years of practicing medicine I have never seen such quick and amazing results as using stem cells for treatment of congestive heart failure!” Besides his personal experiences, there are a great deal of other scientific and medical evidence that stem cells can ameliorate CHF and by so doing decrease the shortness of breath, general weakness and swollen legs that are characteristic (primary) symptoms.  One example comes from the STAR-heart study. In this study 191 patients with chronic heart failure with an ejection fraction of 35% or less had stem cells from their own bone marrow injected into a major artery feeding their hearts. There was a control group of Congestive Heart Failure patients who did not receive the stem cells. Regular medical evaluations carried out during the ensuing 5 years showed clear improvements in the treated group including left ventricular ejection fraction (which increased from 29% to 36%), cardiac index, oxygen uptake, contractility, and exercise tolerance.

By the time most people with CHF reach Dr. Steenblock they typically have been wrestling with it as well as other chronic health problems for some time. Many take a number of drugs, some of which actually deplete compounds such as CoQ10 that are integral to heart function.

With this in mind, Dr. Steenblock approaches his CHF patients with a number of goals in mind:

(1) Determine what is going on in their body including disease processes both pronounced and subtle. To do this he takes and reviews their medical history and prior tests, then does his own exams and testing. Unlike most conventional doctors he looks at players they tend to overlook or dismiss such as heavy metals, GI tract problems such as infections that produce endotoxins that wind up in the patient’s circulation, nighttime (sleeping) oxygen levels, genetic factors, and nutritional, dietary and lifestyle influences including the vitamins, herbs and herbal compounds taken on a regular basis.

In addition, Dr. Steenblock approaches diagnostics with a successful track record in catching missed or faulty diagnoses made my other doctors, something that he has been doing since his days as a pathologist or “medical sleuth”.

(2) Take what is revealed in the patient’s medical history and various exams to formulate a precise, targeted, personalized treatment plan. This includes dealing with excess heavy metals if present, restoring insulin sensitivity (in CHF patients with Type 2 diabetes), substituting gentle natural compounds for harsh drugs when possible, addressing hormone imbalances or deficiencies and infections (including subtle or smoldering ones), plus introduction of specific nutritional, dietary, supplement, and lifestyle measures aimed at encouraging a halting of disease progression and then reversal and recovery.

As part of treating CHF, Dr. Steenblock also utilizes specific medical devices such as external counterpulsation and Periodic Acceleration Therapy to help strengthen the heart and circulation as well as open up any plaque narrowed arteries and stimulate the growth and healing of the body by the person’s own bone marrow derived stem cells.

As most patients with CHF are middle-aged or older, the cache of stem cells in their bone marrow tends to contain lots of senescent cells. Senescent stem cells are no longer able to divide and multiple and therefore have become useless in the healing processes of the body. In fact they actually are responsible, in part, for some of the inflammation that occurs in the older person’s body that can aggravate heart and circulatory problems such as CHF. Dr. Steenblock uses injections of the FDA approved stem cell mobilizing drug Neupogen® to purge out these devitalized stem cells which prods the body to make massive numbers of healthy, robust replacements. Dr. Steenblock then harvests this stem cell-rich tissue and gives it back to the patient by intravenous drip, which provides the damaged heart with stem cells that can help affect repair and restoration.

With tweaking along the way this program helps halt and reverse CHF and makes a recurrence of the condition less likely.

Dr. Steenblock’s Comprehensive Approach to CHF

·      Making sure of the diagnosis

·      Testing & other assessments: Making sure the bases are covered

·      Putting it all together: Charting a personalized course to improvement

·      Augmenting nature’s own repair & restoration mechanism: Stem cells

·      How you can put Dr. Steenblock to work on your behalf


Making sure of the diagnosis

When a doctor sees a patient for the first time he will ask for copies of medical records as part of gathering information and data that, in combination with taking a medical history and doing relevant exams and tests, helps him arrive at a diagnosis (or confirm previously made ones) and  formulate a medical care plan. Dr. Steenblock  does all this, yes, but goes beyond this. How so? He ferrets out previously undetected cause(s) and contributors of a person’s problems. This medical sleuthing or Sherlock Holmes mindset is what helps Dr. Steenblock come up with answers in situations where others have failed. Not surprisingly his track record of “discerning what has escaped other docs” has earned him the moniker “Doctor’s doctor” by his patients and a great many of his colleagues.

How did Dr. Steenblock come to be a “medical sleuth”?

Medical sleuths are not born but made. The truly good ones have agile minds, intense curiosity, critical thinking skills and a sound medical and scientific education.  Dr. Steenblock certainly has all this and more. His native abilities are reflected in a lifetime of accomplishments including spinning new ideas and inventions.  His education and training are a matter of public record: A B.S. degree from Iowa State University in zoology, an M.S. in Biochemistry and Doctor of Osteopathy degree from the College of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery in Des Moines, Iowa, followed by post-doctoral training that included three years at Case Western Reserve University, one year at the Oregon Health Sciences University and a clinical Rotating Internship at Providence Hospital in Seattle, Washington.  Also — and very integral to doing medical detective work — Dr. Steenblock spent years working in pathology, the science of studying and diagnosing disease.

Estimates vary but it appears around 4% of medical diagnoses are just plain wrong. Dr. Steenblock has run across this many times during his forty-four years of medical practice (40,000+ patients).  Some of these patients had “consensus diagnoses” (a medical diagnosis made by 2 or more doctors) that turned out to be dead wrong.  Needless to say, getting properly diagnosed helped get these folks on the right (as opposed to wrong) road. This is something Dr. Steenblock has in-mind with each and every patient who comes in to see him.

Testing & other assessments: Making sure the bases are covered

As a person’s own bone marrow stem cells play an important role in helping heal up damaged heart muscle in CHF, Dr. Steenblock tests for things that interfere with stem cell mobilization and/or their vitality and activity:

Heavy metals such as mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic, etc:  With adults, A DMPS* Challenge Test is done in which the patient gets 250 mgs DMPS in 250 milliliters saline by intravenous drip over a two hour period. The patient’s urine is collected for 2-6 hours and sent to Doctor’s Data in Chicago for analysis. Click this link to learn more. This helps determine the presence & levels of toxic and essential elements.

*2,3-dimercapto-1-propanesulfonic acid


Hormone deficiencies as well as excess, e.g., hyperthyroidism, hyperthyroidism, etc: Hormones as well as lack of certain ones can impact stem cells as well as the tissues they engraft in (Hormones can effect tissue changes that can dampen or otherwise impede stem cell activity). Dr. Steenblock prescribes hormone panel tests that measure such hormones as DHEA, IGF-1, HGH, estrogen, progesterone and testosterone and prolactin.

Physical stressors including but not limited to hypoxia (low blood and tissue oxygen levels), intermittent hypoxia, nocturnal hypoxemia (serious drops in tissue oxygen levels), chronic persistent hypoxia secondary to COPD (emphysema), metabolic acidosis (happens in poorly controlled diabetes) or other noxious tissue conditions. To detect & measure the extent of these Dr. Steenblock runs tests that measure CO2 blood levels, LDH isoenzymes, lactic acid, pyruvic acid levels, salivary and urine pH. In addition, Dr. Steenblock has patients do a nocturnal oximetry test, EKG, and pulmonary function studies.

Infections: Dr. Steenblock looks for active infections whether bacterial, viral, or mycoplasma in nature in gums, sinuses, organs or other tissues, plus smoldering or hard-to-detect low grade infections especially those caused by certain herpes viruses and retroviruses. Among the tests that Dr. Steenblock utilizes when indicated: A CT of the lungs & sinuses to rule out sinus infections and a CDSA plus parasite test to rule out intestinal infestations. These sorts of infections tend to attract stem cells including those that would ordinarily wind up supporting the body’s own heart repair process.

Nutritional status & issues: Poor nutrition, ingestion of unhealthy fats and simple sugars, binge or heavy drinking, consumption of carbonated beverages especially sugar-laden ones, overconsumption of caffeine, etc. can make CHF worse. In addition, lack of certain nutrients and especially vitamin D deficiency, excess amounts of others such as vitamins K and A can all impede or interfere with stem cells. Generally, Dr. Steenblock does a systematic review of a patient’s diet (This may require the patient keeping a food diary for a period of time. Sometimes specialized testing is done to see if nutritional deficiencies or excesses exist.)

A review of prescription and/or OTC pharmaceuticals and/or illicit drugs: Drug interactions and excessive or wrong drug choices can fuel CHF as well as have an adverse effect on stem cell growth, proliferation or function. Dr. Steenblock reviews each patient’s past & present drug & supplement use (or has the patient do this with their family doctor) to determine what might be contributing to the CHF disease process and/or are inimical to stem cells.

A review of herbs, herb-derived compounds, and vitamins: Many herbs, herbal concentrates-extracts and vitamins can negatively impact CHF as well as influence stem cell growth, proliferation or function.  Patients are asked to provide Dr. Steenblock with a detailed list or record of all the herbs, herbal formulas, teas, vitamins and such they ingest for review.

Assessing the influence of genetics now & down-the-line: Dr. Steenblock makes use of various highly sophisticated tests to help gauge such things as: (1) how a patient is likely to respond to (a) particular medication(s) Dr. Steenblock feels they might benefit from using; and (2) their risk of developing specific chronic diseases in the future. One comprehensive genetics test Dr. Steenblock often has his patients do is 23andme. This kind of testing makes it possible for Dr. Steenblock to personalize many aspects of the care he provides.

In addition to the aforementioned tests Dr. Steenblock makes use of these and deals with any problems that crop up: CBC, ESR, CRP, thyroid panel, uric acid, ammonia (brain cases), EPO if anemia is present, reticulocyte count, iron, TIBC, % saturation, copper, ceruloplasminANA with reflex, and urine organic acids. He has CHF patients who have had a stroke do an antiphospholipid panel and alpha 2 macroglobulin test. If vasculitis is present or suspected he orders a haptoglobin assay. He has all CHF patients tested for levels of brain-natriuretic peptide, fibrinogen, and d-dimer.

Putting it all together: Charting a personalized course to improvement

Once a patient’s diagnosis is confirmed, modified or even overturned and the results of all tests ordered are in, Dr. Steenblock formulates a treatment plan. The therapeutic regimen he introduces is personalized to help insure the patient gets optimal results and has his greatest shot at making significant clinical improvements.

  • If heavy metals toxicity is an issue a suitable course of chelation therapy is typically prescribed.
  • Hormone problems are dealt with.
  • Infections are treated.
  • Nutritional deficiencies and unique dietary needs are addressed. This typically entails Dr. Steenblock’s prescribing an individualized therapeutic diet and possibly oral or IV nutritional therapies.
  • For patients using prescribed and/or OTC drugs, Dr. Steenblock typically substitutes gentle but effective natural compounds when possible. If drugs are essential, Dr. Steenblock makes sure there are no potential conflicts or interactions between these and any herbs, herbal compounds or vitamins the patient routinely takes (He also looks closely at these herbs, herbal compounds and vitamins to make sure their properties and actions are best suited to maximize patient health and not work to the contrary).

In addition to the aforementioned measures, Dr. Steenblock makes use of a variety of medical devices that benefit people with cardiovascular challenges including those arising from a failing heart:

External counterpulsation: This FDA approved computer-driven machine involves the use of large blood pressure kit-like cuffs wrapped about various places on patient’s legs and about his waist which are inflated and deflated between heartbeats. This pushes blood back towards the heart and brain which helps open up narrowed arteries resulting in an increase in the amounts of oxygen and nutrients that reach all the major organs. For CHF patients who have arterial blockage (Many do!) and are prone to have angina attacks these EECP treatments often result in fewer, often less severe attacks. Various studies have shown that upwards of eighty percent of those with refractory angina experience significant improvements that last for up to five years after a course of treatment. Many doctors believe these effects make EECP a genuine “natural by-pass”. In addition, EECP treatments help mobilize a patient’s own bone marrow stem cells!

Periodic Acceleration:  Periodic Acceleration Therapy or PAT involves having patients lie on a motorized platform that gently moves back-and-forth. This gets arteries busy producing a chemical (nitric oxide or NO) that dilates arteries thus increasing blood flow to the heart. PAT also mobilizes bone marrow stem cells. – Bone marrow & Neupogen® – Hyperbaric oxygen – Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy – External counterpulsation – Periodic Acceleration – Hyperthermia – Intermittent hypoxia – Magnatherm – Platelet Rich Plasma therapy


Augmenting nature’s own repair & restoration mechanism: Stem cells

When CHF sets in and begins to progress the sufferer’s heart tries to repair the damage by activating stem cells. Unfortunately, these stem cells are not always up to the job of repair and regeneration. The chemical signals produced by the ailing heart muscle then attracts circulating bone marrow stem cells. However, as people age their bone marrow not infrequently begins to harbor more and more senescent stem cells.  To offset this Dr. Steenblock found that he could prod patient’s bone marrow to make new, more vital stem cells by giving them injections of the FDA approved stem cell mobilizing drug Neupogen® for five (5) consecutive days. How does this work? The mobilization of vast numbers of mostly senescent (poorly functioning/responsive) stem cells from the marrow triggers natural biological mechanisms that swing into action resulting in the production of replacement stem cells. However, what Dr. Steenblock discovered is that in two weeks time this revved up replacement activity has produced upwards of 10 times more healthy stem cells than were present prior to the Neupogen® injections!

Once a patient’s bone marrow is brimming with robust, healthier stem cells, Dr. Steenblock harvests this and gives it back to patients by intravenous drip.  This turns loose scores more stem cells than would ever be mobilized naturally. As a result arterial tissues that would never have had sufficient number of stem cells around to affect repairs and facilitate creation of new blood vessels are amply supplied with these.

How exactly does Dr. Steenblock do a bone harvesting procedure? Dr. Steenblock’s approach to harvesting bone marrow is designed to be as easy and painless as possible. Typically, bone marrow is removed from a thick bone site as the tibia (big bone) in the lower leg or the crest of the hip bone, a process that normally takes about 30-45 minutes. The first step is administrated of a local anesthetic to the area where the extraction will take place. Then, a thin needle is introduced and employed to harvest around 150-200 milliliters (~5-6 oz) of bone marrow. Most patients do not feel the bone marrow being removed.

Is there any evidence pumping bone marrow stem cells into people with cardiovascular problems including CHF genuinely helps them? There is. Click to read about a recent University of Texas study that showed how bone marrow stem cells helped stroke patients.

Other completed studies as well as those in-progress involving interventional cardiologists involve harvesting a patient’s bone marrow cells from their hip, growing them in culture and then threading a catheter up the femoral artery into a coronary artery and then injecting them. Some doctors are putting them into the cardiac veins while others have fancy catheters that have needles built in so the doctors can inject the stem cells directly into the damaged parts of the heart. All of these are more costly, invasive and risky compared to the methods Dr. Steenblock routinely uses. He has, in fact, gone to various medical conferences where interventional cardiologists doing these risky, costly procedures were giving presentations extolling their positive results and then singled them out and asked whether they had tried comparing what they did to what he does, i.e., removes bone marrow from the patient and gives it immediately back to them by simple intravenous injection through a blood filter. Not one of these hotshot specialists had ever even considered doing such a comparison!

In Dr. Steenblock’s experience the use of the patient’s own bone marrow is the safest, simplest, and cheapest method to treat Congestive Heart Failure with stem cells and in his opinion gets consistently good or better results than those more expensive and risky methods of treatment described above.

One example is a 56 year old overweight man who was scheduled for a heart transplant at the VA hospital due to his severe Congestive Heart Failure. His cardiac output was 24% and he was in serious trouble not even being able to walk up one flight of stairs. Within 3 weeks of a simple bone marrow procedure by Dr. Steenblock his cardiac output had jumped to 48% and he was able to walk up 10 flights of stairs!

Another is a 76 year old woman who had a massive heart attack 6 months prior to seeing Dr. Steenblock and came to him with massively swollen legs, fluid in her lungs with shortness-of-breath and terrible weakness. One week after getting her own stem cells, her ankles looked like they were when she was 18 and she had regained her strength and had no more shortness-of-breath!

Dr. Steenblock has many more examples in his files though the important thing is that this is a method is safe and simple and just may be the answer CHF patients have been looking for.

What about the safety of bone marrow aspirate treatments like those Dr. Steenblock does? Clinical research findings show it is. Click to read more.

How you can put Dr. Steenblock to work on your behalf

Call Dr. Steenblock’s Clinic toll free at 1-800-300-1063. If you prefer to communicate using a computer you can send Dr. Steenblock a message by clicking this link and using the on-line form provided.