Robin Traufler, NP
One out of every five people over the age of 40 will develop heart failure at some point in their lifetime. Right now, around 6 million Americans have heart failure, and another 900,000 people will develop it each year. Heart failure is a big issue, so it’s important to know the facts in case it happens to you or someone you love.
The heart’s job is to pump blood to the body. If you are told you are at risk for heart failure, this means your heart is struggling to pump blood like it should to meet the demands of the body. So, how does this make your body feel? Robin Traufler, NP, Palmetto Heart, shared the most common symptoms:
- Shortness of breath when trying to do normal activities.
- Having a cough.
- Decreased appetite.
- Memory problems or confusion.
- Elevated heart rate.
Robin said, “Don’t blow these symptoms off. Don’t think these are a normal process of aging. If you’re having trouble, let somebody know.”
To know if you are at risk for heart failure, you need to know your risk factors. Some of these risk factors include:
- High blood pressure. Robin said, “Your blood pressure is the weight that your heart has to lift when your heart is pumping. The higher your blood pressure, the harder the heart has to work.”
- Diabetes. If you have diabetes, keep your blood glucose levels in control and take your medications as needed.
- Blocked arteries. This can also be known as coronary artery disease.
- Cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease can refer to a number of conditions, including heart attacks, strokes, arrhythmia and heart valve problems.
If you have any of the heart failure risk factors and experience any of the symptoms above, don’t ignore them. Talk to your doctor right away.
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