In India, heart failure cases are on a constant rise. It’s a progressive and chronic condition, in which the heart muscle becomes stiff over time and the heart is unable to pump blood properly, thereby limiting the amount of oxygen and nutrients circulated to the vital organs of the body.Also Read - Health Tips: What Is Dengue Fever? Causes, Symptoms And Preventive Measures, EXPLAINED | Watch Video
The key reason behind the rising incidences of heart failures in youth as per the International Congestive Heart Failure study, the mean age of heart failure patients in India is 59 years, which is around 10 years younger than patients from western countries. A sedentary lifestyle, rising stress levels, and higher intake of junk foods combined with exposure to pollution are taking more and more youngsters in India under the grip of heart diseases. Also Read - Why Crash Dieting is Bad For You, Nutritionist Manisha Chopra EXPLAINS | Watch Video
The majority of heart failure patients get diagnosed at the time of their first hospitalization. This clearly shows the lack of awareness and ignorance about the signs symptoms of heart failure. The Heart Failure Society of America developed a handy tool that goes by the acronym FACES helping both doctors and patients quickly spot a possible combination of heart failure symptoms. Dr. Sunil Sofat, Director, Department of Interventional Cardiology, Jaypee Hospital (Noida) shares 5 warning signs you should not overlook: Also Read - Weight Loss Tips: Does Cutting Down on Salt Promote Weight Loss?
- F = Fatigue.
- A = Activity limitation.
- C = Congestion.
- E = Edema or ankle swelling.
- S = Shortness of breath.
These five warning signs do not confirm a diagnosis of heart failure; however, they do convey a sense of urgency to seek medical assistance.
Dr. Sofat further shares tips for a healthy heart:
- Reduce salt intake- The sodium results in water retention in the body which worsens the fluid build-up linked with heart failure. Hence, it is important to reduce the salt intake to manage the symptoms of heart failure. With more fluids in the body, the heart struggles to pump properly.
- Avoid drinking alcohol and smoking- Alcohol and smoking can severely damage the heart. Alcohol consumption leads to high blood pressure. Thus, patients with heart failure are strictly advised to completely stop smoking and alcohol consumption.
- Do moderate exercise and walking- it is imperative to do 20-30 minutes of light physical activity as a part of the daily routine. Brisk walking or jogging strengthens the heart muscle and helps regulate blood flow. This will help to keep your body weight in check, as well as also control blood pressure. For heart failure patients, it is advised to always consult a doctor before initiating any form of exercise
- Maintain a healthy diet- Keeping proper control on the eating habits is compulsory for heart failure patients. It is recommended to include a vegetable in the diet, refrain from red meat and limit their consumption on sugary drinks and soda.