Symptoms of Heart Failure

The following is a list of the most common signs and symptoms of heart failure:
  • Tiredness, Fatigue, Dizziness: Caused by less blood being pumped to your bodily tissues
  • Shortness of Breath: Caused by fluid build up in the lungs
  • Chronic Cough: Commonly described as a dry, hacking cough, this is the result of fluid build up in the lungs
  • Edema (Swelling): Less blood being pumped to your kidneys results in fluid retention throughout the body. Most commonly this accumulates in the ankles, legs and abdomen.
  • Increase in Body Weight: This is the result of fluid build up throughout the body
  • Loss of Appetite: Swelling in the abdomen, gut and liver may cause a “full” feeling that decreases you appetite
  • Mental Confusion or Impaired Thinking: Caused by reduced blood flow to the brain
  • Rapid or Irregular Heartbeats: The extra strain caused by the heart’s reduced ability to pump blood may cause it to compensate by speeding up
  • Cold Hands and Feet: Caused by reduced blood flow
  • Inability to Sleep: Congestion in the lungs may cause worsening shortness of breath when you lie down
  • Waking up from sleep: Fluid congestion in the lungs can cause shortness of breath or feeling smothered. If there is a lot of fluid congestion, shortness of breath can occur when you first lie down but, if the fluid accumulation is less severe, you may get to sleep but may be awakened during sleep when the fluid seeps slowly into the lungs.
In addition to the above symptoms, a physician may detect the following signs upon examination:
  • Enlargement of the Heart (Dilated or Hypertrophied)
  • Abnormal Heart Murmur: Caused by a valve-related disorder
  • Rapid Heartbeat (Tachycardia) or extra heart sounds
  • Abnormal Heart Rhythm (Arrhythmias)
  • Crackling sound of fluid in the lungs: Caused by fluid congestion
  • Swelling and Fluid Retention in Liver or Gastrointestinal Tract
  • Liver Malfunction
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CHFN Annual General Meeting during the CCC in October 2012