HEALTH: Symptoms Of Heart Failure

Heart failure occurs when your heart muscle doesn’t pump blood as well as it should. When your heart doesn’t pump enough blood to meet your needs, blood often backs up and causes fluid to build up in your lungs (congest) and in your legs, causing your legs to swell and turn blue from lack of oxygenated blood flow (cyanosis). This fluid in your lungs can make you short of breath. Heart failure can be ongoing (chronic), or your condition may start suddenly (acute).

Heart failure signs and symptoms may include:
•Shortness of breath (dyspnea) when you exert yourself or when you lie down
•Fatigue and weakness
•Swelling (edema) in your legs, ankles and feet
•Rapid or irregular heartbeat
•Reduced ability to exercise
•Persistent cough or wheezing with white or pink blood-tinged phlegm
•Increased need to urinate at night
•Swelling of your abdomen (ascites)
•Sudden weight gain from fluid retention
•Lack of appetite and nausea
•Difficulty concentrating or decreased alertness
•Sudden, severe shortness of breath and coughing up pink, foamy mucus
•Chest pain if your heart failure is caused by a heart attack

When to see a doctor

See your doctor if you think you might be experiencing signs or symptoms of heart failure. Seek emergency treatment if you experience any of the following:
•Chest pain
•Fainting or severe weakness
•Rapid or irregular heartbeat associated with shortness of breath, chest pain or fainting
•Sudden, severe shortness of breath and coughing up pink, foamy mucus

Although these signs and symptoms may be due to heart failure, there are many other possible causes, including other life-threatening heart and lung conditions. Don’t try to diagnose yourself. Call 911 or your local emergency number for immediate help. Emergency room health care providers will try to stabilize your condition and determine if your symptoms are due to heart failure or something else.

If you have a diagnosis of heart failure and if any of the symptoms suddenly become worse or you develop a new sign or symptom, it may mean that existing heart failure is getting worse or not responding to treatment. Contact your doctor promptly.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s