World Heart Day: Watch out for these 5 signs to know if your heart is weak
Today, on World Heart Day, take a moment to think about the health of your heart. We get a cardiologist to share signs that indicate whether your heart is weak.Updated: Sep 29, 2017 09:09 IST
This World Heart Day, take a step towards ensuring that your heart is healthy. When it comes to heart diseases, being vigilant about signs and symptoms of heart disease is key to catching the ailment in a timely fashion.
Rapidly changing lifestyle factors like a sedentary routine, lack of exercise, smoking and the use of tobacco, consumption of alcohol, are some of the factors that increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases, including heart failure.
Dr Sundeep Mishra, Professor of Cardiology, AIIMS, New Delhi, clarifies that heart failure does not imply that your heart is failing and there is no looking back. In scientific terms, heart failure is a progressive condition which occurs when the heart muscle weakens or stiffens overtime, reducing the heart’s ability to pump blood and oxygen across the body. This denies proper nutrition to all the organs.
Heart failure is confused with heart attack, and most often the symptoms of heart failure are attributed as the tell-tale signs of ageing. Dr Mishra shares 5 symptoms that indicate heart failure:
•Shortness of breath: Heart failure can cause the fluid in the body to gather in the lungs which may cause shortness of breath while carrying out routine activities such as walking or climbing the stairs. If you have trouble breathing while lying down, forcing you to sleep in a sitting position or with multiple pillows, it is an alarm sign to visit a cardiologist immediately.
•Rapid heartbeat: Heart failure reduces the heart’s capacity to pump blood to all the other organs of the body. In order to make up for the deficiency of oxygen and nutrition supply in the body, sometimes the heart beats at a faster rate, which causes a thumping feeling in the chest.
•Swelling in the ankles, legs and abdomen: A weak heart muscle leads to a fluid build-up in the body, occurring a frequent interval. The fluid can collect in the legs, ankles, and abdomen, and in severe cases, in the lungs as well. This manifests as external swelling in the effected body parts.
•Loss of appetite and sudden weight increase: A build-up of fluid around the gut/stomach area can affect digestion and might cause a loss of appetite, or make one feel sick while eating. One can also experience significant and sudden weight gain, of as much as two to three kilograms in a week. Therefore, it is important not to always associate a sudden weight gain with binge eating or drinking.
•Frequency of urination: Heart failure effects the functioning of all vital organs, including the kidneys. Owing to reduced blood supply to the kidneys, their functioning becomes weak, which impacts the filtering capacity. This leads to a marked decrease in the frequency of urination.
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First Published: Sep 29, 2017 08:49 IST