Do you also think heart failure means the heart has stopped? There are several common heart failure myths that people believe are true. To better understand heart disease and break down common misconceptions, read on.
About 8-10 million people in India suffer from heart failure. It is a serious, chronic and progressive disease, with a significant associated burden. However, although heart failure is a major public health challenge in our country, it remains poorly understood and neglected.
Vishal Rastogi, Additional Director, Cardiac Sciences, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, New Delhi, said: âHeart failure is a growing concern in India. In our hospital, we see about 20 patients each month coming to the hospital for complications related to heart failure. However, there are several barriers to early diagnosis and care, including some misconceptions and lack of awareness. Educating people about heart failure would help improve understanding and the ability to identify symptoms and risk factors, allowing for early detection. This can promote effective management of early heart failure. Thus relieving patients’ symptoms and reducing hospital visits, allowing them to live longer with a better quality of life.
Myth: Heart failure is the same as a heart attack.
Reality: Although heart failure and heart attacks both fall under the category of cardiovascular disease, they vary wildly. A heart attack refers to a sudden blockage in blood flow to your heart. On the other hand, heart failure is a chronic and progressive disease in which the heart is unable to pump blood efficiently.
However, a heart attack can cause heart failure, as well as a variety of other risk factors for heart failure, including other heart disease, hypertension, lung or kidney disease, diabetes, obesity, or modes of heart failure. unhealthy life.
Myth: Heart failure doesn’t have any warning signs.
Reality: There are several symptoms associated with heart failure that you should be aware of, in addition to identifying risk factors, such as family history and co-morbidities, that may predispose you to an increased risk of heart failure. .
The most typical signs are shortness of breath or dyspnea, fatigue, fatigue, increased time to recover from exercise, and swelling of the ankles. Slightly less typical symptoms include wheezing, nighttime cough, feeling bloated, confusion, palpitations, depression, dizziness, irregular heartbeat, loss of appetite, and temporary loss of consciousness (syncope) .
Myth: Heart failure only affects the elderly, not the younger population.
Reality: Although heart failure is more common in older people, the younger population can also develop heart failure. What’s more, research suggests that Indians were affected by cardiovascular disease almost a decade earlier than their Western counterparts.
Younger heart failure patients (18-55 years) typically have a higher frequency of co-morbidities, such as obesity, in addition to myocarditis, congenital heart disease and cardiomyopathy, which increases the risk of heart failure. early heart failure. Thus, their condition would be managed differently, by addressing these risk factors and alleviating the symptoms to improve their quality of life.
Myth: Heart failure is the âend of the roadâ and cannot be managed.
Reality: Heart failure doesn’t mean your heart has stopped working and it certainly isn’t the âend of the roadâ. Although there is no definitive cure, it can be treated and the symptoms can often be managed effectively.
By effectively managing the disease, including relieving or stabilizing symptoms, patients can still benefit from treatment to live a better quality of life. Management of the disease typically involves a holistic treatment plan, including drug or surgical procedures and lifestyle changes, which may include exercise and dietary modifications. Adhering to treatment and lifestyle changes is essential to effectively managing your condition.
Now that these myths have been eliminated, you can be better prepared to track your heart health! If you or a loved one has symptoms of heart failure, seek immediate medical attention.