The human body usually depends on the heart’s pumping action to deliver oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to the body’s cells. The body functions conventionally when the cells are nutrified properly. Heart failure occurs when the heart muscles become incapable of pumping a sufficient amount of blood to the body tissues. This can happen either because of a sudden injury to a heart muscle or as an aftermath of other heart diseases.
The causes of heart failure range from an unhealthy lifestyle to genetic heart conditions. A few causes could be excessive alcohol consumption and smoking, obesity, abuse of drugs containing psychoactive substances, heartbeat irregularities, high blood pressure, congenital heart disease, diabetes and some diabetic medications, and coronary artery disease.
After reading a brief about the causes of heart failure, let’s now look at the signs of heart failure that you should never ignore. If you happen to notice any of these signs, avail heart failure treatment as soon as possible.
1.Feeling of Discomfort in Your Chest
This happens if your artery is blocked and you start feeling pain, tightness or pressure on your chest. It usually lasts for a few minutes or longer. This can occur even when you are doing some normal physical activity or even just resting for a bit. The feeling of air hunger increases when you exert yourself with any strenuous activity. Due to shortness of breath, sometimes walking for too long may seem like a difficult task.
If the symptoms are severe and don’t mitigate in few minutes, calling an emergency service might be the best option. A crucial point to remember is that in women, heart failure can happen without symptoms of chest pain.
2.Irregular Heart Beat
Witnessing changes in your heartbeat is a normal scenario. It happens when you are excited, nervous or scared. It can also happen if you don’t get enough sleep or have too much caffeine in your blood. But if you feel like your heart is beating out of time for a longer period and it is happening quite regularly, consult a doctor.
3.Sudden Change in Weight
In the scenario of heart failure, when the heart doesn’t pump blood as effectively as it should, the extra fluid buildup backs up and goes into the arms and abdomen, which feels like fat accumulation. This causes a sudden increase in body weight.
4.Swollen Legs, Feet, and Ankles
When the heart starts moving unconventionally, the kidney stops receiving blood properly and it remunerates by retaining fluids. These fluids then get accumulated in the legs and feet and cause bloating.
5.Nausea, Indigestion or Stomach Pain
Your digestive system is also affected when there is a possibility of heart failure. When the blood gets diverted, very less amount reaches your stomach and gastrointestinal tract. Due to this, symptoms like vomiting, nausea, indigestion and stomach pain occur. Although stomach pain can happen due to various reasons, you need to be aware of the fact that it can be felt during heart failure too.
6.Feeling Dizzy or Light-Headedness
A sudden drop in blood pressure can cause lightheadedness. This indicates that the heart has stopped pumping enough blood because of which you experience fainting or memory disorientation issue.
7.Pain Spreads Through the Arm
One of the most common symptoms of heart failure is a sudden burst of pain that gradually takes over the left side of your body. This pain can start from your chest and spread through your arm. In some cases, just the arm pain has turned out to be a heart attack.
8.Throat or Jaw Pain
Usually, throat or jaw pain is caused by a cold or a sinus, but if you feel extreme chest pain that has travelled to your throat or your jaw, then this can be a sign of worry. In this situation, seeking medical attention is the best solution.
Feeling of exhaustion is normal if you have worked your body to its full potential. But if you suddenly feel winded and are unable to complete an easy task without feeling shortness of breath, then your body is showing a symptom of heart failure. This situation arises because the body has diverted the blood from muscles and limbs to more crucial parts of your body like the brain.
If you witness that your body is breaking out in cold sweats without any apparent reason, you should immediately seek medical help. This could again be a symptom of wrong or incomplete circulation.
Sleep apnoea puts a huge amount of pressure on your heart and hence can be a sign of heart failure. In the case of sleep apnoea, your snore makes a gasping or choking noise. Additionally, your breathing stops several times at night while you sleep, which in turn stresses your heart.
It is crucial to have a discussion with your doctor and take preventive measures so that you can prevent heart failure. But in a situation where you witness these symptoms, don’t risk your life. Immediately call the emergency number.