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Heart Failure Early Signs

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Heart Failure Warning Signs and Symptoms

Catching cardiac conditions in the earliest stages gives you the greatest chance of living a long and healthy life. At Modern Heart and Vascular, we provide advanced testing with state-of-the-art diagnostic tools. We focus on prevention to avoid unnecessary surgeries and procedures.

Our compassionate staff is dedicated to providing the highest quality patient care. Well answer all your questions and fully explain your treatment options, so you feel in control of your heart health.

We provide modern cardiovascular care for modern patients using modern technology. For more information about Modern Heart and Vascular Institute or to schedule an appointment, contact us today. If youd like to learn more about our practice, read our providers bios.

This article does not provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you need cardiovascular care, please call us at 832-644-8930.

When To Get Medical Advice

See your GP if you experience persistent or gradually worsening symptoms of heart failure.

The symptoms can be caused by other, less serious conditions, so it’s a good idea to get them checked out.

Call 999 for an ambulance or go to your nearest accident and emergency department as soon as possible if you have sudden or very severe symptoms.

This is a medical emergency that may require immediate treatment in hospital.

Page last reviewed: 19 May 2022 Next review due: 19 May 2025

Swelling In The Legs Ankles Or Feet

If you notice unexplained swelling in your legs, ankles, or feet, you could have edema, which the Cleveland Clinic defines as “swelling that is caused by fluid trapped in your body’s tissues.” Though not always, edema is often caused by congestive heart failure because your heart lacks the pumping power to force used blood back up from your lower extremities.

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You Feel Dizzy Or Lightheaded

A lot of things can make you lose your balance or feel faint for a moment. Maybe you didnât have enough to eat or drink, or you stood up too fast.

But if you suddenly feel unsteady and you also have chest discomfort or shortness of breath, call a doctor right away.

“It could mean your blood pressure has dropped because your heart isn’t able to pump the way it should,” Bufalino says.

What Is A Heart Attack

Early Symptoms Of CHF. . Just my two cents. So my thoughts on fluid ...

Heart attack signs and symptoms in men and women: Chest pain or discomfort Shortness of breath Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, back, arm, or shoulder Feeling nauseous, light-headed, or unusually tired.

A heart attack, also called a myocardial infarction, happens when a part of the heart muscle doesnt get enough blood.

The more time that passes without treatment to restore blood flow, the greater the damage to the heart muscle.

Coronary artery disease is the main cause of heart attack. A less common cause is a severe spasm, or sudden contraction, of a coronary artery that can stop blood flow to the heart muscle.

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What Are The Five Early Signs Of Congestive Heart Failure

Congestive heart failure may progress overtime and thus, its early diagnosis is essential for speedy treatment. In order to help the doctors to spot the probable presence of congestive heart failure, the Heart Failure Society of America has mentioned five early signs to suspect the presence of the disease in the patient. These signs can be collectively named as FACES which is an acronym of the symptoms. They include-

Fatigue- The patient may complain about feeling excessively tired while doing any strenuous activity even for short period of time. This usually occurs because the heart in the patient is unable to pump proper amount of oxygenated blood to all parts of the body.

Activity Limitation- Patients with congestive heart failure seems to have limited activities throughout the day because of extreme fatigue they experience after doing any kind of work.

Congestion- There may be fluid retention in the lungs due to improper functioning of heart. This is often noticed when the patient has difficulty in breathing and cough constantly.

Edema- Due to the inability of the heart to pump blood throughout the body, there can be water retention in the legs and ankles along with abdomen and thighs too. This takes a more pronounced form with excess weight gain in short amount of time.

Recognizing And Treating Heart Failure Sooner Rather Than Later May Slow Progression Of This Serious Condition

If you start feeling a bit more tired or winded than normal, its easy to write it off to growing older or being out of shape or overweight. But if these symptoms persist, dont ignore them especially if you also notice swelling in your ankles and difficulty breathing when you lie down.

These are all classic symptoms of early heart failure, which happens when the heart isnt able to pump effectively enough to deliver blood throughout the body . Recent developments in both detection and treatment may help ease the burden of heart failure, which is a leading cause of hospitalization in people 65 and older.

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Early Signs Of Heart Disease

So, what are some of the early signs of heart disease? And what should you do if you experience them? My advice, is to recommend that you seek medical attention, if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Chest Pain – often described as tightness, pressure, squeezing or aching beneath the breastbone Dont assume that you are experiencing this due to stress.
  • Shortness of Breath with or without exertion Dont assume you are just out of shape.
  • Extreme or unusual fatigue Dont assume you are just busy with work and lifes demands.
  • Discomfort in the arms, legs, back, neck, jaw or stomach Dont assume that you worked out too hard or you caught a bug these symptoms can occur when your heart isnt getting enough oxygen.

Symptoms often come and go for some time, but dont assume because they come and go, that they are not important.

Some people report that they just dont feel right they cant pin point it but they know their own body. If this is your situation, get checked out.

Other symptoms, which in some cases, may be quite prominent, include nausea, vomiting, indigestion, cold sweat, or lightheadedness.

Having a family history of early heart disease, defined as a cardiac event occurring in males under the age of 55 or in females under the age of 65 is an important risk factor. Family history is important not only because of a shared environment but more importantly, especially in the case of familial hypercholesterolemia , shared genetics.

Signs Of Worsening Heart Failure

Symptoms of Heart Failure

While some signs and symptoms of heart failure may not be an emergency, they can worsen if you do not take action immediately. If you have any of the following symptoms, call your doctor or healthcare provider and let them know:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Weight gain of three or more pounds in one day
  • Weight gain of five pounds in one week
  • Unusual swelling in the legs, feet, hands, or abdomen
  • A persistent cough or chest congestion
  • Increasing fatigue or a sudden decrease in your ability to do normal activities
  • A loss of appetite or nausea
  • A feeling of fullness or bloating in your stomach
  • Confusion or restlessness

These symptoms may be early signs that fluid is building up and your heart failure is getting worse. If you have these symptoms, let your doctor or nurse know as quickly as possible. Be careful about showering or getting into hot water, which may result in dizziness and lightheadedness as a result of lowered blood pressure. When bathing or showering, try lukewarm water instead. Make sure the water is not more warm than your body temperature.

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Heart Disease: 12 Warning Signs That Appear On Your Skin

Warning signs can appear on your skin and nails, which is why your dermatologist may be the first doctor to notice that you have heart disease. If you know what to look for, you can also find warning signs of heart disease on your skin and nails. The following pictures show you what to look for.

  • Swelling in your feet and lower legsWhat it may be telling you: Your heart isnt working properly.Many diseases of the heart cause fluid to build up in your feet and lower legs. As the fluid builds up, you may see swelling, which can extend as far as the upper legs and groin.Medical name: Edema

  • Blue or purple color on your skinWhat it may be telling you: You have a blockage in a blood vessel.When youre extremely cold, your skin can turn blue . If an area of your skin is blue when youre warm, thats can be a sign your blood isnt getting enough oxygen. The patient in this photo has a condition known as blue toe syndrome, which happens when one or more blood vessels are blocked.Without treatment, the lack of oxygen can cause the skin and underlying tissue to eventually die.Medical name: Cyanosis

  • Nails curve downward and the ends of your fingers are swollenWhat it may be telling you: You may have a heart infection, heart disease, or lung problem.For many people, these signs are harmless. That said, if your fingers and nails look like this, its best to find out if you may have a medical condition, such as lung disease or a heart problem.Medical name: Clubbing

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    What Are The Symptoms Of Heart Failure

    There are various stages of heart failure, and each stage can present differently from person to person. For example, the first stage indicates you have known heart failure risk factors but dont have symptoms yet, while stage four means you may notice heart failure symptoms even when resting.

    There is also acute heart failure or chronic heart failure . Chronic heart failure can be treated well with medical therapy, and you may not have any symptoms unless there is an acute problem, Joyce W. Wald, D.O., a cardiologist and professor of clinical medicine at Penn Medicine who specializes in heart failure, tells SELF. But acute heart failure will often cause symptoms until you get the proper treatment.

    In fact, if you have a mild form of heart failure in an early stage, its common to not notice any warning signs unless youre doing something physically demanding, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute . But if heart failure progresses and the organ becomes weaker, you may notice some signs that the condition is becoming worse. Here are the symptoms of heart failure cardiologists typically watch for:

    If youre not getting enough blood flow in different areas of your body, you will have trouble working out, Dr. Wald explains. Excess fluid in your lungs can also make exercising feel especially difficult, she says.

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    Can Congestive Heart Failure Stem From Unhealthy Lifestyle Habits

    Congestive heart failure can occur if a person lives an unhealthy lifestyle for prolonged period of time. Some of the conditions include-

    Obesity: Lack of routine exercise and prominent obesity may put a pressure on the heart directly which may lead to heart failure.

    Salty Food: Consumption of excessively salty food or high intake of salt in any form may facilitate water retention making the person prone to congestive heart failure.

    Alcohol: Excessive consumption of alcohol and smoking affects the functions of the internal organs and may lead to congestive heart failure.

    Medicines: If the patient does not take proper medication for existing conditions like high cholesterol or high blood pressure and does not confirm with the medical therapies, it can increase the risk of congestive heart failure.

    Heart Failuresigns And Symptoms

    Heart Disease: Signs, Symptoms, and Complications

    Heart failure is a condition in which the heart fails to function properly. The terms “heart failure” and “congestive heart failure ” don’t mean that the heart has actually “failed” or stopped but mean one or more chambers of the heart “fail” to keep up with the volume of blood flowing through them.

    Heart failure is brought on by a variety of underlying diseases and health problems.

    Your condition may involve the left side, the right side or both sides of the heart. Each side has two chambers:

    • An atrium or upper chamber
    • A ventricle or lower chamber

    Any one of these four chambers may not be able to keep up with the volume of blood flowing through it.

    Two types of heart dysfunction can lead to heart failure, including:

    • Systolic Heart Failure This is the most common cause of heart failure and occurs when the heart is weak and enlarged. The muscle of the left ventricle loses some of its ability to contract or shorten. In turn, it may not have the muscle power to pump the amount of oxygenated and nutrient-filled blood the body needs.
    • Diastolic Failure The muscle becomes stiff and loses some of its ability to relax. As a result, the affected chamber has trouble filling with blood during the rest period that occurs between each heartbeat. Often the walls of the heart thicken, and the size of the left chamber may be normal or reduced.

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    What Can I Do To Recover After A Heart Attack

    Take our quiz to see how much you know about cardiac rehabilitation.

    If youve had a heart attack, your heart may be damaged. This could affect your hearts rhythm and its ability to pump blood to the rest of the body. You may also be at risk for another heart attack or conditions such as stroke, kidney disorders, and peripheral arterial disease .

    You can lower your chances of having future health problems following a heart attack with these steps:

    • Physical activityTalk with your health care team about the things you do each day in your life and work. Your doctor may want you to limit work, travel, or sexual activity for some time after a heart attack.
    • Lifestyle changesEating a healthier diet, increasing physical activity, quitting smoking, and managing stressin addition to taking prescribed medicinescan help improve your heart health and quality of life. Ask your health care team about attending a program called cardiac rehabilitation to help you make these lifestyle changes.
    • Cardiac rehabilitationCardiac rehabilitation is an important program for anyone recovering from a heart attack, heart failure, or other heart problem that required surgery or medical care. Cardiac rehab is a supervised program that includes
    • Physical activity
    • Education about healthy living, including healthy eating, taking medicine as prescribed, and ways to help you quit smoking
    • Counseling to find ways to relieve stress and improve mental health

    Early Symptoms Of Heart Failure

    A person with early heart failure might not have any noticeable signs. When early symptoms occur, they can be subtle and easy to miss or ignore. Early signs of heart failure include:

    • Shortness of breath, at first when youre active and later even when youre sitting or lying down
    • Lowered ability to exercise or be active
    • Confusion or forgetfulness
    • Frequent fatigue, sleepiness or weakness
    • Palpitations, or a fluttering feeling in your chest, as the heart pumps harder and faster

    Without treatment, heart failure can worsen over time. Symptoms that were once mild can become increasingly more severe, and may prevent you from doing everyday tasks.

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    What To Do If You Notice Worsening Heart Failure Symptoms

    Heart failure can lead to serious complications, such as kidney or liver damage, other heart conditions, pulmonary hypertension and stroke. If youre experiencing worsening symptoms of heart failure, keep track of them and talk to your doctor.

    Seek immediate medical attention or call 911 if you experience:

    • Cough that brings up a white or pink foamy substance
    • Fainting, dizziness or confusion

    What Is Heart Failure

    Heart Failure : Symptoms of heart failure

    Heart failure is different from a heart attack. Just like a heart attack, heart failure can be life-threatening. But its important to know the difference.

    A heart attack happens when blood flow is blocked in one of the vessels that supply the heart itself. Heart failure is a malfunction in the heart that prevents the heart muscle from filling or pumping blood well enough to keep the body working properly.

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    The Silent Signs Of Heart Disease

    health care organizationsTalk to your doctor if you or a member of your family shows any signs of early heart disease. Dont disregard signs of early heart disease in women, no matter how unlikely they seem. Early detection and treatment can keep small health concerns from turning into major health issues. For additional support and resources, Become a Member of the Family Heart Foundation.

    Stages Of Heart Failure

    In 2001, the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology described the “Stages of Heart Failure.” These stages, which were updated in 2005, will help you understand that heart failure is often a progressive condition and can worsen over time. They will also help you understand why a new medication was added to your treatment plan and may help you understand why lifestyle changes and other treatments are needed.

    The stages classified by the AHA and ACC are different than the New York Heart Association clinical classifications of heart failure that rank patients as class I-II-III-IV, according to the degree of symptoms or functional limits. Ask your doctor what stage of heart failure you are in.

    Check the table below to see if your therapy matches what the AHA and ACC recommend. Note that you cannot go backward in stage, only forward.

    The table below outlines a basic plan of care that may or may not apply to you, based on the cause of your heart failure and your special needs. Ask your doctor to explain therapies that are listed if you do not understand why you are or are not receiving them.

    The New York Heart Association clinical classifications of heart failure rank people as class I-II-III-IV, according to the degree of symptoms or functional limits. You can ask your doctor if you want to know what stage of heart failure youâre in.

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