Cardiovascular disease is a real problem in the UK, accounting for around a quarter of all deaths. It refers to a range of conditions that affect the heart and circulatory system.

Heart failure is one such condition. This occurs when the heart is unable to pump blood around the body properly.

It does not mean your heart has stopped working. But the organ will need some support to help it work better.

As with any health condition, the sooner you spot the symptoms the sooner you can seek the help you need.

While some symptoms of heart failure might seem likely such as breathlessness, fatigue and a fast heart rate, there is one more unusual sign. An expert warned that one such sign can appear on your fingernails.

NHS surgeon Doctor Karan Rajan, took to social media platform TikTok to share warning signs of various conditions on the nails.

One is known as Terry’s nail. This means the nail has turned white apart from a pink band that runs across the top.

As well as heart failure, it can also indicate other serious health problems such as cirrhosis of the liver.

Speaking to his 5.2 million followers, Dr Rajan said: “If the entire nail is white with a pink band on top, this is called Terry’s nail.

“Often linked with liver cirrhosis, kidney failure or congestive heart failure.”

This advice is supported by information provided by the Cleveland Clinic in the US.

“Terry’s nail is a type of nail discolouration,” it explains. “The nailbeds look ;washed out,’ except for a thin reddish-brown strip near the tip.

“Often, Terry’s nails are a symptom of a chronic condition, such as liver failure or diabetes.”

However, they are not always something to worry about.

“Sometimes, it is a sign of ageing,” the clinic says. “If you have Terry’s nails, see a healthcare provider for evaluation and treatment.”

It is thought that Terry’s nails can come as a result of having fewer blood vessels near the nailbeds.

“But Terry’s nails can be a symptom of an underlying medical condition,” the clinic adds.

These include:

  • Cirrhosis
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney failure
  • Viral hepatitis.

Other symptoms of heart failure to look out for include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Waking up short of breath at night
  • Chest pain
  • Heart palpitations
  • Fatigue when you’re active
  • Swelling in your ankles, legs and abdomen
  • Weight gain
  • Need to urinate while resting at night
  • A dry, hacking cough
  • A full (bloated) or hard stomach
  • Loss of appetite or upset stomach (nausea).

The NHS says: “See a GP if you experience persistent or gradually worsening symptoms of heart failure.

“Call 999 for an ambulance or go to your nearest A&E department as soon as possible if you have sudden or very severe symptoms.”

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