Heart failure affects 6.2 million adults in the United States, but many don’t even know they have it.
They think it could be something else. We’ll show you the symptoms that you may be ignoring.
Stan Deferitas’ story is speckled with sunshine. For decades he has been known as Mr. Greenthumb, a nationally known gardener with radio and TV shows.
“Plants, I know horticulture, I know a little bit of radio and television, I think I know. But when it came to signs of heart problems, I didn’t know,” said Stan Deferitas, Nationally Known Gardner.
What a shock when he ended up with heart failure. On the waiting list to get a heart transplant, and yes he was still gabbing about gardening from his hospital bed.
“Without plant material, we wouldn’t be here,” said Deferitas.
Same goes for a heart, but like many, he ignored what could have been deadly signs.
“No matter what all the different insults are to the heart muscle, it all leads to the heart failure,” said Dr. Siva Kumar, MD, Transplant Cardiologist at Tampa General Hospital.
Insults like alcohol, high blood pressure, unaddressed thyroid issues, and smoking, but the symptoms are many times mistaken for something else.
“Some patients will have a cough so they think they have bronchitis,” said Dr. Kumar.
Dr. Kumar also said that abdominal distention, not being able to bend down and tie shoes, and lightheadedness can also be mistaken for something else when in fact it is heart failure.
“The moment you’re not getting better, the next step is to make sure your heart is okay,” said Dr. Kumar.
“I was like a river in Egypt, I was in denial,” said Defreitas.
For Mr. Greenthumb, well he had to get a new heart, but now he’s hoping to plant seeds for others so their story doesn’t get cut short like his almost did.
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