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Recognize heart failure in time

Heart failure is a situation where the heart is unable, not strong enough, to pump enough blood. This is a process that in most cases occurs very gradually and is therefore not recognized or recognized in time. Because the pumping power of the heart decreases, the organs function less and all kinds of complaints arise.

Heart failure is classified into 4 categories: NYHA (New York Heart Assiciation) I through IV. In the first category, the complaints are not that clear and can easily have other causes. Class IV is called end-stage heart failure and these patients can only be treated with an LVAD or a heart transplant. The sooner the heart problems are diagnosed, the more chance there is that treatment with medication and lifestyle adjustments can be started to prevent worse.

These are complaints where you could think of heart failure:

  • Weight gain in a short time, several pounds in a few days
  • Fluid accumulation in feet, ankles, legs and / or abdominal cavity
  • Reduced energy and fitness
  • Feeling restless in the chest, palpitations
  • Being short of breath, short of breath, needing an extra pillow in bed
  • Decreased appetite

Often you do not realize that there is a problem with the heart and you only find out when you come to the doctor or cardiologist with complaints. Some examples where you could think of heart failure is when you, for example, cannot eat an apple or sandwich on foot. A nauseous or sick feeling in the stomach makes you decide to sit down for a while. The idea that people around you are walking faster and faster and you have trouble keeping up with them. The feeling that your condition is getting poor and when practicing (endurance) sports 'you cannot get ahead'.

On September 29, 2016, World Heart Day, a study was published showing that there is insufficient knowledge about (having) heart failure. Here we devote extensive attention to this research.

If you think you have heart failure, the checklist below is useful to have at hand. This way you know when what action needs to be taken when the condition changes.

The list on the right in a PDF file for printing.