Watch Out For These Early Signs Of Heart Failure

For much of our lives, we’ve held the belief that heart failure strikes suddenly. While there’s truth to this notion, it’s not always the case. Our bodies are finely tuned to signal when something is amiss, particularly when it comes to heart health. When the heart’s function is compromised, the body sends out distress signals. Though early signs of heart failure may be subtle, ignoring them can have life-threatening consequences. Unfortunately, there’s been a concerning rise in heart failure cases among young people in recent years, highlighting the critical need for awareness.

To shed light on the warning signs of heart failure, we consulted with Dr. Anbu Pandian, Medical Advisor at Agatsa.

Understanding the Causes:
Before delving into the signs and symptoms, it’s essential to grasp what leads to heart failure. Whether due to a loss of pumping efficiency or damaged heart muscles, heart failure occurs when the heart struggles to perform its vital functions. Individuals with a history of heart attacks, coronary artery disease, hypertension, genetic conditions, or faulty heart valves are particularly vulnerable.

Recognizing the Signs:
Identifying signs of heart failure is crucial as it can be a matter of life and death. Here are five signs that warrant immediate attention:

  1. Chest Pain:
    While chest pain is often dismissed, it can signify underlying heart issues. Particularly if the pain is sharp, frequent, or prolonged, it should never be ignored.
  2. Breathing Difficulty:
    Shortness of breath, especially during physical exertion or stress, is a common indicator of heart trouble. It occurs when the heart’s function is impaired, leading to blood pooling in the blood vessels.
  3. Fatigue and Tiredness:
    Insufficient blood flow due to heart dysfunction can result in fatigue and tiredness. Dizziness, especially upon sudden movement, may also occur.
  4. Congestion:
    Fluid buildup in the lungs can cause breathing difficulties, wheezing, and coughing. This congestion can disrupt heart function and escalate into heart failure.
  5. Swollen Ankles or Edema:
    Heart failure impedes efficient blood circulation, leading to fluid accumulation in the lower extremities, such as the ankles. Sudden weight gain accompanied by ankle swelling may signal impending heart failure.

Awareness of these warning signs is paramount for prompt intervention and prevention of heart failure-related complications.