How to Know When Someone Has Heart Failure
Given our sedentary lifestyles and unhealthy eating habits, cardiovascular diseases have become fairly common in this day and age. Sometimes referred to as congestive heart failure, heart failure may be defined as the condition in which the patient’s heart muscles stop pumping blood normally.
More often than not, heart failure is caused by an underlying health problem such as high blood pressure or narrowing (clogging) of the arteries (coronary heart disease) that put excessive strain on the heart muscles, leaving them weakened and inefficient in pumping blood through the body.
However, there are certain tell-tale signs of a possible heart failure that if needed and provided timely medical attention to, can greatly diminish the risks of permanent damage or even death. Here are a few warning signs indicative of the fact that someone has suffered a heart failure.
Shortness Of Breath
Experiencing an unexplained shortness of breath, also termed as dyspnea, might be a possible symptom of heart failure. If you have suddenly felt extremely exhausted while doing something that you usually have no problem with in the past (such as carrying groceries or climbing the stairs), then you might want to get yourself examined by a doctor immediately.
Chronic Swelling In Your Limbs
If you have been noticing persistent edema (swelling) in your abdomen, ankles, legs, and feet, the chances are that your heart might not be functioning as efficiently as it should normally. Unexplained swelling in the different parts of the body may be caused by a buildup of excess fluid in the tissues. Heart failure might render your kidneys less capable of disposing off sodium and water from the body, leading to fluid retention and consequent swelling.
If you or someone you know has had a persistent cough with wheezing and a white or pinkish mucus secretion, it might be a serious red flag indicative of heart failure. The aforementioned persistent cough may be caused by the accumulation of fluids in your lung as a result of blood backing up in the pulmonary veins.
Another common symptom of a possible heart failure is memory loss or feelings of disorientation that leaves you unable to focus or concentrate on something. This decreased alertness may first be noticed by a caregiver or someone that spends a lot of time with the patient.
A sudden increase in heart rate that persists even when you are at rest and not indulging in any aerobic activity can be a possible warning sign of heart failure. When your heart muscles are unable to pump blood normally, the heart begins to compensate for the loss of its pumping capacity by beating faster and harder than normal as a result of which, you experience heart palpitations with a feeling that your heart is throbbing or racing all the time.
If you or someone you know experiences any of the aforementioned problems, it is advisable to seek expert medical advice immediately.
Contact Our Office
With something as serious as heart failure, you should be proactive and receive as much help as you can in determining your condition and the steps you should take to prevent any future problems that you may encounter. Contact Houston Cardiovascular Institute in Baytown to schedule your appointment today!