Fatigue, shortness of breath, swelling and chest pain are usually the main warning signs, indicating that something is happening in the heart. However, they are not alone, and in fact there are many others who they are usually not related With heart failure at first.
Considering that heart diseases are the main cause of death In Argentina and the world, data that can help access care and treatment early is particularly relevant.
Recently the American Heart Association (AHA) highlighted the importance of scientific statements based on research reviews. understand correctly And clearly to make decisions related to symptomatic diagnosis and treatment of heart diseases.
Do not know some special symptoms in this direction may be signs Heart failure is one of the barriers, but there are others, such as attributing symptoms to other disorders, or making a habit of avoiding tasks or activities that cause shortness of breath.
what is heart failure
In an expert article, Gosia Vamil, a cardiologist, Mayo Clinic Healthcare in London, explains that although heart failure is considered a disease of old age, it can manifest in any moment of life, And in many cases it is possible to prevent and treat it.
It also specifies that it refers to the word heart failure To pump blood throughout the body, as efficiently as it should. This occurs when this organ becomes too weak or rigid.
Arterial diseases are the main reason for this.
“The hardened heart muscle It is mainly the result of high blood pressure or diabetes which is not well controlled. In addition, there are less common causes of heart failure such as myocarditis, caused by a viral infection, and cardiomyopathy,” he says.
that heart failure can be linked to other diseases, means that sometimes to be confused your symptoms.
Common symptoms with other conditions
In this sense, cardiologist Eduardo Perna, former president of the Argentine Federation of Cardiology (FAC) and head of the Heart Failure and Pulmonary Hypertension Division of the “JF Cabral” Cardiology Institute in Corrientes, clarifies that similar symptoms may appear due to various reasons“Like obesity, lung disease, varicose veins, or older age.”
“Since this is a chronic condition that can appear after any heart disease, it is common for patients to say that they do not feel anything. The point is that become accustomed To avoid doing things that make it difficult for them to breathe. Then they stop trying, or they don’t climb the stairs so they feel better,” he reflects.
“That’s why it’s important to suspect heart failure and look for it. Sometimes heart damage can affect function. without symptoms“, he warns.
lesser known symptoms
Now, what are some of the symptoms that we don’t usually know about, but that could work? red flag,
“Some warning signs in heart failure are known by intuitionsuch as swollen ankles, shortness of breath, chest pain, fast or irregular heartbeat, and fatigue with exercise,” says Vamil.
However, he cautions that there are other symptoms that often not connected With this illness, “such as persistent cough, swelling, rapid weight gain, nausea or loss of appetite,” he lists.
And it recommends consulting everyone who presents any of these symptoms.
Perna adds to the less “classic” symptoms of bloating, loss of appetite or food intolerance in the legs or abdomen.
“And striking sign is that when the laces are tied, the lack of air is visible. It is also common for these people to have trouble sleeping because they have shortness of breath when they lie down and they have to sit, so they usually sleep sitting up.”
The AHA statement links mood disorders (primarily depression and anxiety), and cognitive dysfunction (mental blackouts, memory disturbances).
In any case, the article also highlights the importance of exercising. symptom monitoring Timely, as it can give an early warning that allows intervention to prevent the situation from escalating.
heart failure in men and women
Regarding whether there are differences between men and women, Perna explains that the symptoms are actually the same for both.
“The problem is that women are sub-diagnosisBecause alternative explanations have been given for the symptoms: ‘You are short of breath because you do not exercise or because you are overweight’, they are commonly reported”, he describes.
However, the AHA scientific statement indicates that women are more likely to suffer from mood disorders In addition to reporting a poorer quality of life than men, heart failure is linked.
In their case, they are also more likely to appear a multiplicity of symptoms, Such as nausea, palpitations, digestive changes, bloating and sweating, and the pain they experience is usually of greater intensity, reaching not only the chest, but other parts of the body as well.
lifestyle and risk factors
“Maintaining a healthy diet, treating obesity, avoiding tobacco use, secondhand smoking and alcohol consumption” help stop heart failure,” advises Vamil.
Other risk factors for heart failure include sleep apnea, certain cancer treatment drugs, and viral infections that damage the heart muscle.
heart failure treatment
Experts say it’s important identify the cause Heart failure because treatments can vary.
And although he points out that in most cases it is not curable; Although symptoms can often be controlled for many years, the disease is treated by qualified professionals.
Regarding the treatment, he points out that there are multiple choices including drugs, surgically implanted devices and, in advanced cases, heart transplants.
“In recent years, considerable progress has been seen with the introduction of new types of drugs to manage heart failure, such as the so-called SGLT2 inhibitors, initially developed to lower glucose levels in patients with diabetes. was gone,” he concluded.
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