Heart Failure at a Young Age: Causes, Symptoms & Early Detection
Heart failure at a young age is fatal. Know the causes and symptoms and how to detect them before it's too late. Launching from a journal published by the European Journal of Heart Failure, it is estimated that around 64.3 million people live with heart failure worldwide. So, what is heart failure?
|image source: Harvard Health
Heart failure is when the heart becomes too weak or stiff, so it cannot adequately pump blood throughout the body. As a result, all body functions are disrupted because they do not receive sufficient blood flow.
Sometimes, this health problem is also known as congestive heart failure and is a risk for all ages. Although, in most cases, it occurs in the elderly, heart failure at a young age is also very likely.
In addition to disrupting daily activities, heart failure at a young age can also be fatal, even death. To prevent the worst, learn more about heart failure at a young age. I am starting from the causes, and symptoms, to how to detect them early.
Causes of Heart Failure at a Young Age
To prevent heart failure at a young age, You need to understand and avoid the causes. Reporting from the Mayo Clinic and Healthline, here are the causes of heart failure at a young age:
1. Coronary Heart Disease
The most common cause of heart failure is coronary heart disease. This disease occurs because there is a buildup of cholesterol in the arteries, which causes reduced blood flow, so the risk of causing a heart attack.
2. High Blood
Pressure High blood pressure (hypertension) causes the heart to work harder than usual to circulate blood throughout the body. Over time, this condition can make the heart muscle stiff or weak to pump blood. This is what causes heart failure at a young age.
3. Heart Valve Disease Heart
valves work to keep blood flowing in the right direction. If the heart valves are damaged, it will be difficult for blood to flow correctly. This will force the heart to work harder, which can eventually lead to heart failure.
4. Heart Muscle Abnormalities (Cardiomyopathy)
Cardiomyopathy is an abnormality or damage to the heart muscle that interferes with the heart's ability to pump blood. The cause is due to certain diseases, infections, genetic factors, heavy alcohol use, and the effects of drugs such as cocaine or some drugs for chemotherapy.
5. Inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis)
Myocarditis causes a lack of ability of the heart muscle to pump blood throughout the body. This condition is often caused by viruses, including COVID-19, and carries the risk of causing left-sided heart failure.
6. Congenital Heart Disease
Babies are at risk of being born with congenital heart disease. If the heart, chambers, or valves are not correctly formed, the healthy part of the heart has to work even harder to pump blood. This condition can cause heart failure at a young age.
7. Abnormal Heart Rhythm (Arrhythmia)
If Toppers has an abnormal heart rhythm, this can cause the heart to beat too fast or too slow. This condition can force the heart to work ineffectively and, over time, have the risk of causing heart failure.
Diseases such as severe anemia, diabetes, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), an overactive or underactive thyroid, and a buildup of iron or protein are also at risk of causing chronic heart failure.
Symptoms of Heart Failure at a Young Age
Before it worsens, friends must know the symptoms to get treatment as soon as possible. Summarizing to the National Health Service, the most common symptoms of heart failure are:
- Shortness of breath; this symptom usually occurs after activity or rest.
- Easy to feel tired; this condition is deemed all the time or during exercise.
- Swollen ankles and feet are caused by fluid buildup (edema).
Meanwhile, the following are other rare symptoms of heart failure:
- (a sound heard when breathing)
- Persistent cough
- Distended stomach
- Dizziness and fainting
- Irregular heartbeat
- Loss of appetite
- Sudden weight gain or loss
How to Prevent Heart Disease by Staying away from Bad Habits
If you experience the symptoms of heart failure at a young age mentioned above, contact your doctor immediately.
The doctor will run tests to see how severe the heart failure is and what causes it. Quoting from various reliable health sources, some of the standard tests that are usually carried out are:
Blood tests to check if there is anything in the blood that might indicate heart failure.
An electrocardiogram (ECG) records the electrical activity in the heart. This test can show the patient's heart rhythm as well.
An echocardiogram is an examination that uses sound waves to check the heart's size, structure, and valves. This method can also show the flow of blood through the heart.
Chest X-ray to check if the heart is more significant than usual if there is fluid in the lungs, and whether the condition of the lungs indicates heart failure.
Cardiac catheterization is an examination using a catheter to detect whether there is a blockage in the heart's blood vessels.
Thus, an explanation of heart failure at a young age, Toppers. Hopefully, with this discussion, we can better maintain heart health and start living a healthy lifestyle what’s more, for someone with a disease that is at risk of causing heart failure.