How do you know when your heart is in red zone?

January 25th, 2009 - 4:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Jan 25 (IANS) Beware - you could be undergoing a heart attack when the organ is in the red or danger zone, without your ever realising it.The colour is also associated with love and lust when a profusion of red-shaped hearts characterise Valentine’s Day in February that happens to be the American Heart Month.

Heart failure is a progressive condition characterised by the weakening or stiffening of the organ’s muscle, which gradually loses its ability to pump enough blood to supply the body’s needs. Because of this, you may feel tired or weak.

Signs and symptoms are shortness of breath or fatigue when doing daily activities; weakness in legs with activity and exercise; a persistent cough; swelling in the feet, ankles, legs, or fingers; and a fluttering or racing heart, light-headedness, or chest pain.

This problem can also cause fluid buildup in your organs and tissues, leading to swelling in your legs and feet, or congestion in your lungs, leading to increased breathing difficulties.

Heart failure is frighteningly common, but under-recognised. It affects more than five million people in the US, and it’s the most common cause of hospitalisation in people older than 65 years of age.

Although there is no cure for heart failure, the American Association of Heart Failure Nurses (AAHFN) has suggested the following steps to keep your heart healthy. Take medicines, eat a low-salt, heart-healthy diet, exercise regularly, give up smoking, and limit or avoid alcohol, among others, said an AAHFN release.

The AAHFN is an organisation dedicated to advancing nursing education, clinical practice and research to improve heart failure patient outcomes.

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