The symptoms of heart failure are related to the changes that occur to your heart and body, and may be moderate to severe, depending on how weak your heart is. The symptoms can include:
Congested lungs. Fluid back up in the lungs can cause shortness of breath with exercise or difficulty breathing at rest or when lying flat in bed. Lung congestion also causes a dry, hacking cough or wheezing.
Fluid and water retention. Less blood to your kidneys causes fluid and water retention, resulting in swollen ankles, legs, and abdomen (called edema) and weight gain. Symptoms may cause an increased need to urinate during the night. Bloating in your stomach may cause a loss of appetite or nausea.
Dizziness, fatigue, and weakness. Less blood to your major organs and muscles makes you feel tired and weak. Less blood to the brain can cause dizziness or confusion.
Rapid or irregular heartbeats. The heart beats faster to pump enough blood to the body. This causes a fast or irregular heartbeat.
If you have heart failure, you may have one or all of these symptoms or you may have none of them. In addition, your symptoms may not be related to how weak your heart is; you may have many symptoms but your heart function may be only mildly weakened. Or you may have a more severely damaged heart but have no symptoms.
Heart failure is a condition in which the heart can't pump blood effectively to the lungs or the rest of the body.
This can be because the person has developed a weakened heart muscle or because the heart muscle has thickened, making it difficult to fill the heart and backing up blood into the lungs.
With heart failure, the weakened heart pumps less blood than usual, causing the kidneys and adrenal glands to produce chemicals that help the body to hold onto salt and water.
In addition, the blood...
If you have any of the above listed symptoms, be sure to see a doctor. Also, because heart failure can occur without symptoms, be sure to get a yearly doctor check-up so that any problems can be detected and treated.