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Are You Familiar with These Initial Symptoms of Heart Failure?

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Are You Familiar with These Initial Symptoms of Heart Failure?

Cardiology | by Dr. Sabyasachi Pal | Published on 29/08/2022

The burden of heart failure in India has been estimated to be very high, ranging between 1.3 million to 4.6 million. The condition is marked by the inability of the heart to pump blood efficiently. As this happens, the Chambers of your heart tend to stretch in order to be able to hold more blood or, in some cases these may even become stiff or thicken. Although this will help to ensure that your body is getting enough blood supply, this will put an excessive strain on your heart muscles and gradually they will wear out. Heart failure is a potentially life-threatening condition that calls for the need of timely treatment and care. Fortunately, you can find the best cardiologist in Kolkata who specialised in treating the most complex forms of heart failure.

The symptoms associated with heart failure progress at a very slow pace and the initial symptoms are often overlooked. In this blog, we have elaborated on some such initial symptoms of heart failure that should not be neglected. Before starting with these let us first try to understand what causes heart failure.

It is a burden to note that there are not just one but several different reasons that could be responsible for damaging your heart muscles and leading to heart failure. These are:

Coronary artery disease is marked by restricted flow of blood through the coronary arteries, due to a blockage or narrowing. CAD has been linked with unhealthy lifestyle practices and eating habits and happens to be a major factor in serious heart diseases.

Heart attack, is marked by an abrupt blockage in the coronary artery that holds the flow of oxygenated blood to the heart muscles. As this happens, the oxygen-deprived heart muscles tend to die. The damage, so induced, is irreversible.

Cardiomyopathy is marked by severely damaged heart muscles due to factors other than restricted blood supply due to arterial blockage. These include excessive alcohol or drug abuse or severe infection involving the heart. 

Apart from these three, heart failure can also be a result of work overload, which is quite likely to happen when you have an underlying medical condition like kidney disease, diabetes, or a congenital heart defect.

Let's now talk about the initial signs that suggest that your heart might be failing.

Dyspnea - Commonly referred to as breathlessness, the problem is very commonly experienced when you are indulged in some physical activity however in patients suffering from heart failure, breathlessness is much more common and they might experience it even when they are sitting idle or even sleeping. There is no particular reason behind it. In the majority of the patients, it has been seen that breathing difficulty tends to increase when they lie down on their back. The person might also feel restless and anxious due to the same reason. If you are wondering why this happens the answer is very simple, when the heart is not able to keep up with the normal blood supply, the blood tense to accumulate in the pulmonary veins, causing the fluids to leak into the lungs.

Coughing - Unlike a normal cough, people suffering from heart failure tend to produce white or pink blood-tinged mucus as they cough. This is also a result of the build-up of fluids in the lung due to blood accumulation in the pulmonary veins.

Oedema - There are several different reasons that could be responsible for the swelling in your ankles, feet, arms, and stomach, however, the best cardiologists in Kolkata suggest that these could also be linked to heart failure. When your heart is not functioning properly the flow of blood moving out of it tends to slow down while that flow of blood returning to it from other organs tends to remain the same. As this happens, the blood starts backing up in the veins and the fluid builds up in the tissues. The fluid retention causes the concerned area to swell up which we commonly referred to as edema.

These are the classic symptoms of heart failure that you need to look out for. Apart from these, there are several other symptoms like fatigue, tiredness, nausea, loss of appetite, impaired thinking, and accelerated heart rate. If you can relate to any of these symptoms consult a Doctor immediately and get yourself assessed at the earliest.