Heart failure: Overview
Heart problems are nowadays becoming more and more common, not only among adults but also among young adults, making heart problems one of the major causes of death among people. These heart problems if ignored later turn into severe cases of heart failures and heart attacks.
Heart failures might not lead to sudden death like a heart attack but in the long run, it can weaken your heart and increase the risks of heart attack and heart stroke by a lot.
Treatment can help you live a longer and better life with these diseases too but as you know prevention is better than cure. Prevention of these diseases can help you live a far better and longer life as compared to life with heart failure.
So, one of the biggest questions that arise is, can heart failure be prevented?
And according to the top cardiologist of Bangalore, yes it can be. You can do so by controlling the conditions that cause heart failure such as high blood pressure, blocks in heart, coronary heart disease etc.
Here are some of the symptoms that heart failure might include:
- Swelling in legs, ankles, feet, and abdomen
- Irregular heartbeat
- Restlessness, fatigue, weakness, and lack of appetite
- Inability to exercise
- Non-stop cough along with white or pink mucus
- Shortness of breath even while lying down
- Chest discomfort during heart failure usually denotes a heart attack
When to see a doctor
If you are facing any of the above symptoms for a long time, then make sure you plan a visit to a best heart specialist in Bangalore as soon as possible, as it will give your cardiologist enough time to recognise the underlying cause of your disease and treat it.
Here are a few of the signs that might be a tell tale sign to visit a cardiologist near you immediately:
- Discomfort in chest or areas around it
- Irregular heartbeats along with shortness of breath and chest discomfort
- Breathlessness along with cough with white or pink mucus.
- Fainting or weakness
In these cases, you should call an ambulance or tell someone else to take you to the nearest heart doctor instead of driving there yourself and make sure you reach the hospital as soon as possible as it will give your doctor enough time to diagnose you.
If you are someone who has been seeing the above symptoms for a long time or has a family history of heart problems or diseases that cause heart problems such as hypertension or elevated cholesterol, then preventive cardiology is something that’s made for you.
Preventive cardiology is a subspecialty that means to bring down patients’ danger for cardiovascular infection and slow the movement in those with existing illnesses.
Preventive cardiology is exceptionally customized; your cardiologist will work personally with you to decide a treatment plan and alterations that fit your way of life. While taking prescriptions may be fundamental for certain patients, others may just have to change what they eat each day or the amount of physical activity they are doing each day. These individualized plans particularly target all those factors that may later lead you up to severe heart problems. These can be well informed by an interventional cardiologist who can assess your risks and suggest a way forward.
Some of the risk factors that may lead you up to heart failure are as follows:
- Obesity: Having extra weight can lead to way more problems than you can think of and one of these includes heart failure as obsese people are more prone to heart failure.
- Sleep Apnea: Sleep Apnea refers to the condition where a person is not able to breathe properly while sleeping and in the long run, this can make our heart weak as it results in low oxygen and irregular heartbeat.
- Existing heart problems: Heart problems such as coronary artery disease, irregular heartbeats, congenital heart disease etc. if left untreated can also lead to heart failure as in the long run they weaken the heart and hinder the normal working of the heart.
- Heart attack: People usually think that it’s heart failure that in the long run usually causes heart attack, but a heart attack can lead to heart failure too. It weakens our arteries and vessels, becoming a hindrance in the proper working of our heart.
- High blood pressure: If you are someone who’s suffering from high blood pressure then you are at higher risk of heart problems as higher blood pressure makes your heart work more than it’s required, hence weakening its muscles in the long run.
- Diabetes: Diabetes can also lead to a higher risk of heart problems as it increases the risk of high blood pressure and coronary artery disease. Some of its medications can be harmful to your heart too so it is better for you to consult a cardiologist and check out what you can do for your heart.
- Smoking or drinking: Excessive drinking, smoking, or use of tobacco for the long term can result in weakening of the heart too.
What to expect at your doctor’s appointment
If you are going for your heart assessment, then here are some of the few questions and tests that you can expect at your doctor’s appointment:
- Questions about family medical history: One of the major questions that you will be asked by your cardiologist will be whether anyone in your family has any history of heart problems or not as it will help them get a better idea of risks related to heart problems in your life.
- Cardiac Health Check up : The best cardiologist in Bangalore will go for a genetic screening if there’s any case of medical history related to heart problems in your family as well as suggest few cardiac tests such as ECG, ECHO, TMT as it will help them properly assess the risk of heart problems in your life.
- Blood tests and Coronary calcium screening: Your cardiologist may do various tests such as lipid profile test and Coronary calcium screening to identify the exact condition of your cholesterol and triglycerides levels in your blood along with any calcium depositions in your coronary arteries.
- Questions related to your lifestyle: Your cardiologist may ask you different questions related to your lifestyle too, as this will help him to understand more about the risks and alterations that can be made in your lifestyle to reduce these risks.
As mentioned earlier, prevention is always better than cure, here are some of the lifestyle changes that you can make to reduce the risks of various heart problems.
- Stay away from any kind of stress
- Get rid of any excess weight
- Have a regular exercise routine
- Quit bad habits such as smoking and drinking alcohol
- Have a healthy diet routine
- Keep your blood pressure, cholesterol, and sugar levels in check
In case of any heart related emergencies, you can reach out to me via call or whatsapp on
Dr. Pavan Rasalakar – MD, DM Cardiology
Director & Lead Interventional Cardiologist
Unique Heart Care Centre