Heart Failure Awareness Week
Heart Failure Awareness Week
Did you know that heart failure is one of the most common diagnoses in hospital patients aged 65 and over? Or that heart failure is normally a progressive disease, meaning it slowly gets worse over time? If you didn’t, we have some good news!
February 14th through the 20th is Heart Failure Awareness Week, and we’re providing you with some preventative tips to help understand and prevent heart failure.
What Is Heart Failure?
According to Hopkins Medicine, heart failure isn’t when your heart stops or suddenly fails to do its job. However, this disease happens when your heart cannot keep up with the demands of your body, and your heart is having problems pumping blood with oxygen throughout your vital systems.
When your heart can’t do its purpose the way it should, it tends to beat faster than normal, but it can also swell to make room for the extra fluids backing up inside. Less blood is circulating inside your body because of this, and extra strain is put on your heart.
Signs of heart failure include:
- Breathing issues during little to no physical activity
- A persistent cough that results in blood with mucus
- Swelling in your hands and/or feet
- Feeling tired all of the time
- Loss of appetite or not being able to keep food down
- Trouble remembering information or feeling confused
- Feeling like your heart is racing
Ways To Prevent Heart Failure
Taking measures to prevent heart failure should begin as early as possible in your 20s is the perfect time to begin adjusting your lifestyle and choices to set your health on a positive path in the long-term!
Some ways to help prevent heart failure include:
- Maintain a healthy diet with plenty of fibers, fruits, vegetables and even eating more proteins like fish or nuts instead of red meats.
- Exercise regularly to help strengthen your heart and respiratory system.
- Avoid Secondhand smoke and quit smoking if you’ve already started.
- Manage Stress to keep your heart rate and blood pressure down.
- Pay attention to small signs like snoring, or sleep apnea.
Understanding your family’s medical history and if there’s a pattern of heart disease. It is also incredibly important to know that a family history of heart disease, especially involving a parent or sibling, potentially puts you at higher risk of inheriting heart-related illnesses or conditions. Be sure to pay attention to how you’re treating your body and actively take measures to prevent heart failure.
If you are concerned about heart failure, or any form of heart disease, please make an appointment with a medical provider here at CCMH online at ccmhhealth.com/providers. or contact our Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery unit at 580.250.4278.
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Hopkins Medicine. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/congestive-heart-failure-prevention-treatment-and-research
American Heart Association. https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/heart-failure/warning-signs-of-heart-failure
American Heart Association. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-lifestyle/how-to-help-prevent-heart-disease-at-an