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Facts About Heart Failure

Do you often encounter a rapid irregular heartbeat? Is that constant chest pain bothering you? Do you find it difficult to concentrate on your work owing to the fatigue and weakness? Then, you may be at the risk of heart failure. Here’s all you need to know about it. Read on!

Did Do you know? Heart failure, also known as congestive heart failure, tends to occur when one’s heart muscle fails to pump enough blood as it should. Are you aware? There are certain conditions such as narrowed arteries in the heart (coronary artery disease) or hypertension which may take a toll on your heart by making it weak or still to fill, and pump blood efficiently.

Moreover, you must also know that not all conditions that cause heart failure can be reversed. But the good news is that tackling at the right time may help improve the symptoms, and quality of life of the person. Likewise, certain lifestyle modifications like staying physically fit; reducing the sodium intake, battling the bulge and dealing with stress can do the trick.

Below are the symptoms of heart failure that you shouldn’t ignore
You will be shocked to know that heart failure can be ongoing that is chronic or it can occur suddenly that is acute. Hence, take notice of symptoms like fatigue, weakness, swelling (edema) in legs, ankle and feet, rapid irregular heartbeat, breathing difficulty, inability to exercise, abdominal swelling, lack of appetite and nausea, persistent cough or wheezing, frequent night-time urination, difficulty in concentration and staying alert, and chest pain. Once you exhibit the symptoms then you must immediately consult your doctor who will advise you a proper treatment. Do not self-diagnose.

Are you aware of these causes of heart failure?
Heart failure can be caused owing to coronary artery disease that tends to occur because of the narrowing of the arteries which supply blood and oxygen to your ticker. Furthermore, there are other conditions like cardiomyopathy, a congenital heart defect, heart valve disease, high blood pressure, anaemia, diabetes, or a certain type of arrhythmias can raise one’s risk of heart failure.

How can it be diagnosed?
An echocardiogram is one of the most effective ways to diagnose heart failure. Likewise, your doctor will also carry out other tests like performing a physical exam on you to look out for the symptoms of heart failure. If there is a leg swelling or irregular heartbeat then your doctor will suspect heart failure, immediately. This will allow him to advise you the right kind of treatment.

Treatment for heart failure
The treatment will help you enhance the quality of life. At the early stages, heart failure can be treated with the help of medications. The medications can help enhance the heart’s ability to pump blood, reduce blood clots and cholesterol levels and heart rate. Avoid self-medication as it can be risky. Furthermore, one can opt for surgery as well. Coronary bypass surgery can be an option. Likewise, your doctor may also advise you to go for an angioplasty.
Follow these preventive measures

You will have to make some lifestyle modification in order to lower your risk of heart failure. Avoid smoking and alcohol as that can put a strain on your heart, tackling conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes is the need of the hour, maintain a healthy weight, and try to de-stress yourself by opting for relaxation techniques like meditation. Stick to a healthy diet and fitness regime. Say no to the foods that are loaded with fat, and follow a proper sleep schedule.

BY: Dr Narayan Gadkar, Consultant Cardiologist, Zen​ Multi speciality​ Hospital​, Chembur

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