6 symptoms of a heart failure
Your heart can begin to fail as you age, but the condition can affect young people, too. Most people with it had a related problem first. It could be high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, a heart attack, a birth defect of the heart, or a disease that strikes the blood-pumping muscle.
Lung disease can lead to heart failure, too. Obesity, diabetes and sleep apnea have also been linked to it.
Shortness of Breath
It’s one of the first red flags you may notice, especially after you’re active. It can also happen when you’re at rest once heart failure gets worse. Sometimes you may feel short of breath when you’re lying down or sleeping. That’s because the heart can’t keep up with the blood flow back to it from the lungs. When that happens, fluid leaks into the lungs. That will make it harder to breathe.
If your heart isn’t pumping properly, the brain takes blood from less-important areas of the body, like the muscles in your limbs to the brain and other vital organs. That can make your arms and legs feel weak. You may feel tired doing everyday things like climbing stairs or walking across the room. You can also get light-headed
Nagging Cough and Wheeze
This is another sign that your heart is struggling, and that blood returning to it from the lungs is backing up. That means fluid gets in your lungs. Sometimes, the cough can bring up white or pinkish mucus. Let your doctor know if you have it.
Swelling and Weight Gain
Fluid can back up in tissues, too. This can cause your feet, ankles, legs or belly to swell. The kidneys, since they have less blood to work with, may not get rid of sodium as well. That would cause more fluid to stay in your tissues. Talk with your doctor right away if you have persistent swelling or sudden weight gain.
You may have that or you might just feel full, as if you can’t eat any more. Either way, that can lead to a lack of appetite. This happens because your digestive system isn’t getting enough blood and oxygen.
A Racing Heart
It’s a common warning sign. When your heart doesn’t pump enough blood, your body knows. It can make up for this in a few ways:
By adding muscle to your heart to push more strongly.
By enlarging your heart so it can stretch and snap back better.
By making your heart beat faster.
You may seem confused or sluggish. You might be disoriented, or you might start forgetting things. When other organs aren’t working well because of a lack of blood, it affects the amount of some things (like sodium) in the blood. This can affect your brain.