The Heart failure, a chronic progressive condition associated with high mortality and morbidity.
When the heart muscle does not pump blood as good as it should, the result is heart failure. The mortality rates and morbidity associated with heart failure is significant and healthcare expenditure incurred on this condition is high. It is mainly associated with elderly individuals. There are certain conditions, such as narrowed arteries in your heart (coronary artery disease) or high blood pressure due to which your heart gradually weakens or becomes stiff to fill and pump efficiently. It is not possible to reverse or change all the conditions that lead to heart failure. But, with appropriate treatments and lifestyle changes, the signs and symptoms of heart failure can be improved. Key lifestyle changes that are recommended include exercising, reducing sodium in your diet, managing stress and losing weight can prolong life.
Know the signs and symptoms of heart failure
You may be experiencing chronic heart failure or it may start suddenly called acute heart failure. Heart failure signs and symptoms may include:
- Shortness of breath on exertion or on lying down
- Swelling in your ankles, feet and legs
- Fatigue and weakness
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
- Difficulty in exercising
- Persistent cough or wheezing with white or pink blood in sputum
- Increased need to urinate at night
- Swelling of your abdomen (ascites)
- Very rapid weight gain from fluid retention
- Lack of appetite and nausea
- Difficulty concentrating or decreased alertness
- Chest pain if your heart failure is caused by a heart attack
Prevention is an important aspect of heart failure, to lead a healthy life:
Controlling conditions that cause heart failure which include coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes is important. Though there have been a lot of advances in healthcare, the mortality related to heart failure is considerable and hospitalizations for heart failure are frequent and readmissions are also high. Proper preventive measures can help in decreasing the incidence of heart failure and improving survival rates. Reducing risk factors is of profound importance in preventing heart failure. Maintaining a healthy weight, getting adequate sleep and taking care of your mental health and stress levels will go a long way in preventing heart failure.
COVID-19 in patients with heart failure:
With the COVID-19 pandemic, and the new normal of social distancing, taking care of cardiac health becomes imperative. Along with old age, chronic comorbidities increase the risk of getting the infection and also its fatality. In heart failure patients, due to reduced immunity, and reduced ability to cope with severe infections, their risk for the infection increases. Consulting doctor with virtual visits like video calls and self-care during the pandemic is crucial. Adherence to diet, restricting salt intake and taking medications as prescribed helps in preventing complications. Monitoring symptoms carefully and taking care of weight can also help in ensuring necessary changes in medications and treatment so as to reduce hospital visits.
Managing Heart Failure in 2020 with new antidiabetic drug used for non-diabetic heart failure. Newer blood pressure medicine, cholesterol, vaccines, alternative pacemaker implantation, artificial heart and heart transplants are saving many lives around the world irrespective of the age and genders.