Weak heart: 5 warning signs that your heart health is deteriorating
The heart can become weak due to multiple factors. Here are signs that your heart health is deteriorating.
A weak heart is not able to pump enough blood to perform body's important function. Your heart can lose the ability to function properly due to various health conditions like coronary heart disease, high blood pressure or diabetes. When the heart is weak, it tends to pump blood even faster trying to compensate for its loss of function which thickens the heart muscle and further affect heart health. Shortness of breath, swelling in legs or feet, chest pressure or chronic fatigue can be some of the symptoms of a weak heart. (Also read: World Heart Day 2022: Best and worst foods for heart health)
"The heart can become weak due to multiple factors. There can be two warning zones concerning a weak heart. First, having a cardiac condition that is known to be a risk factor for developing heart issues like hypertension, coronary artery disease, valvular heart disease, diabetes mellitus, anaemia etc. At this time, we need to educate the patients about the risk of heart failure and the importance of controlling the risk factors. The second situation is in patients who are unaware of any underlying condition or has one of the known risk factors which has progressed to develop heart muscle weakness," says Dr Gopi A, Director - Interventional Cardiology, Fortis Hospital, Cunningham Road, Bangalore.
Early warning signs of a weak heart
"Early warning signs that the heart health is deteriorating are easy fatigability, weight gain over days, breathlessness on routine activity which one was doing comfortably before, swelling of feet by evening etc. If one experiences any of these early warnings, symptoms or signs it is better to see a doctor at the earliest and start treatment," says Dr Gopi.
Dr. Hanumantha Reddy, Consultant, Interventional Cardiologist, CARE Hospitals, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad says chest pain, breathing difficulties, orthopnea, difficulty in breathing while lying down flat, giddiness, palpitations, and decreased urine output can be the 5 symptoms of cardiac disease in people indicating a weak heart.
Signs that your heart health is deteriorating
Depending on the intricacies of the patient's health status and the symptoms in question, these symptoms may have a variety of effects.
1. People can witness breathing difficulties during night time or exhaustion while simply walking due to blockage in coronary arteries.
2. When the heart is frail, it cannot pump as much blood as the body requires which leads to giddiness.
3. Some cases can also include irregular heartbeat or increased awareness of their heartbeat generally known as palpitation.
4. Often, excess fluids get accumulated in our tissues due to congestive heart failure which can cause Pedal edema, a condition resulting in swelling of the foot, ankle, and leg.
5. A weak heart can lead to a decrease in kidney perfusion which leads to a decrease in urine output and can lead to dialysis and other critical illness.
"In the worst instance, patients can even end up in the hospital if these symptoms go untreated. There can be fluid in the lungs which are known as Pulmonary Edema. In critical cases, the blood pressure falls. To improve their blood pressure, patients will need medications. This is known as cardiogenic shock. So, people need to keep their diabetes and hypertension in check and stop smoking. Other lifestyle modifications like a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and regular check-ups of the heart are necessary if already been diagnosed with cardiac disease," says Dr Reddy.