Watch out for these early signs of heart failure

Updated on Aug 24, 2022 07:58 AM IST

After BJP leader and actor Sonali Phogat passes away due to heart attack at 42, health expert reveals a few early signs and symptoms of heart failure that one should not ignore and consult a doctor once you notice these red flags

Watch out for these early signs of heart failure (Twitter/PsychiatristCNS)
Watch out for these early signs of heart failure (Twitter/PsychiatristCNS)
ByZarafshan Shiraz, Delhi

The recent death of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, actor and Tik-Tok star Sonali Phogat on Tuesday, after suffering a heart attack in Goa, has once again brought the warning signs of heart conditions to the forefront especially after young celebrities like Sidharth Shukla (40), Puneeth Rajkumar (44), KK (53) and Brahma Swaroop Mishra (36) succumbed to heart failures in recent past, despite their inspiring fitness routines. Heart failure is seen when the heart muscle tends to get damaged or the heart's ability is reduced to pump effectively.

Did you know? A majority of times, the damage arises due to coronary artery disease or a heart attack. Not only this, even faulty heart valves, untreated high blood pressure, or genetic disease may also be some of the risk factors behind the occurrence of heart failure. No matter what the cause, the failing heart can no longer pump well enough to keep up with the body's need for oxygen-rich blood.

Few know that heart attacks are silent too but we often picture a heart attack as grimacing from the extreme chest pain and clutching our chest whereas men and women may experience a cardiac arrest in different ways hence, creating awareness about the causes, symptoms, treatment and healthy prevention tips of this lifestyle disease are crucial. A heart attack occurs when the blood flow, which brings oxygen to the heart muscle, is reduced or obstructed due to the blocking or severely narrowing of the arteries that supply the heart.

Did you know you can have a heart attack and not even get to know? Yes, that’s right! It can be a silent heart attack which has no symptoms, minimal symptoms or even unrecognized symptoms and many people do not even get to know about it until weeks or months as the symptoms are minimal and one will not take them seriously at all as you may feel like you have flu or sore muscle in the chest while other symptoms could be jaw pain, tiredness, indigestion, chest pain, shortness of breath, cold sweats, light-headedness, nausea, vomiting and heartburn.

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Bipeenchandra Bhamre, Consultant Cardiac Surgeon at Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre in Mumbai, revealed a few early signs and symptoms of heart failure that one should not ignore:

• Fatigue - When one’s heart is unable to pump oxygen-rich blood in order to meet the body's energy needs, one can feel tired or fatigued. Thus, one will not be able to do his/her daily chores with ease.

• Activity restrictions - Those with heart failure are often unable to do their daily activities with ease as they become easily tired and short of breath. They will often be tired and unable to focus on work.

• Congestion - Fluid build-up in the lungs can invite symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, and breathing difficulty by giving one a tough time.

• Edema or ankle swelling - When the heart doesn't have that much-needed pumping power to force used blood back up from the lower extremities, fluid gets collected in the ankles, legs, thighs, and one’s abdomen. Excess fluid can also cause weight gain in many people.

• Shortness of breath - You will be shocked to know that this is also a common symptom of heart failure. Fluid present in the lungs makes it more difficult for carbon dioxide in used blood to be exchanged for fresh oxygen. It may also be difficult to breathe when lying down owing to the gravity that allows fluid from below the lungs to travel up one’s torso.

• Confused or impaired thinking - In some people, there will be memory loss and feelings of disorientation when it comes to some people.

• Lack of appetite, nausea - One’s digestive system tends to receive less blood, leading to issues with digestion. Hence, there will be signs such as poor appetite and even nausea.

• Increased heart rate - Are you aware? One will also have heart palpitations, which feel like your heart is racing or throbbing. It will be imperative for you to consult the doctor, once you notice these red flags.

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