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Heart Failure Awareness Week: How to recognize symptoms and prevent heart failure

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This week is Heart Failure Awareness Week, a week dedicated to recognizing the signs and symptoms of heart failure. Most people don’t know that it happens gradually, not all at once like a heart attack.


According to Dr. Ankie Amos, heart failure is categorized as damage to the heart so that the heart can’t pump blood, or the chambers have issues filling up. That causes fluid to back up, which can cause swelling in a patient’s ankles or stomach.


One sign is decreased energy, another is shortness of breath.


“Problems breathing is a big one, laying flat at night. You can’t lay flat; you wake up gasping for air,” Amos explained.


Symptoms of heart failure can mimic asthma or pneumonia. She said that there are people who are in and out of the emergency room with either, and they actually have heart failure.


Luckily, most of the causes of heart disease are preventable by staying active. Lowering a person’s blood pressure, getting into a healthy weight range and lowering cholesterol are all ways to lower the risk of heart failure. Amos said that a person knowing their cholesterol and blood pressure is a good place to start. She did note that some people have a genetic predilection to heart failure, such as the disease lupus, which can be controlled.


Amos said that if a person exhibits the symptoms similar to asthma or pneumonia, they should get checked out for health failure.


The post Heart Failure Awareness Week: How to recognize symptoms and prevent heart failure appeared first on KTVA 11.



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