Symptoms And Complications Of Right
As is typically the case with most other medical conditions or abnormalities, right-sided heart failure symptoms can be exhibited to varying degrees. They can be mild, moderate, or severe depending on the severity and advancement of the disease thats causing it. The following is a comprehensive list of right-sided heart failure signs and symptoms that you should look out for if youre at risk:
- Sleep apnea
- Intense chest pains
- Coughing pinkish-white phlegm
If you or someone you know experiences a combination of any of these symptoms, then you should seek immediate medical attention as they could be potentially fatal complications of right-sided heart failure. After carefully examining and administering the appropriate medical tests, your doctor should be able to determine the root cause of the problem and treat it accordingly.
Although theres no known cure for heart failure in general, there are ways of managing compartmental heart failure. In most cases, even the most severe outlooks can potentially be improved as long as you adhere to your doctors dietary and lifestyle instructions.
Right Ventricular Myocardial Infarction
People who have a myocardial infarction caused by a blockage in the right coronary artery may suffer from damage to the right ventricular muscle, producing right-sided heart failure. Treating a right ventricular heart attack is similar to treating any myocardial infarction, including rapidly opening up the blocked blood vessel with clot-busting drugs or a stent.
However, because right-sided heart failure can limit the amount of blood that reaches the left side of the heart, drugs aimed mainly at treating left-sided ventricular weakness need to be used with great caution in people having right ventricular heart attacks.
What Are The Symptoms Of Heart Failure
The main symptoms of heart failure are:
- Shortness of breath when youre active or resting, because youre not getting enough oxygen.
- Swollen feet, ankles, stomach and around the lower back area, caused by fluid build up.
- Feeling unusually tired or weak because theres not enough blood and oxygen getting to your muscles.
You should see your GP immediately if you begin to experience any of these symptoms.
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Left Sided Heart Failure
primary cause of right sided heart failure.
When the left ventricle is not working as effectively, fluid pressure increases and ends up moving back through the lungs. This can cause an overload to the heartâs right side.
Consequently, when the right side is unable to pump blood, fluid accumulates in the veins, resulting in swelling.
Heart Failure With Preserved Ejection Fraction
In diastolic heart failure , the same pathophysiologic processes occur that lead to decreased cardiac output in systolic heart failure, but they do so in response to a different set of hemodynamic and circulatory environmental factors that depress cardiac output.
In HFpEF, altered relaxation and increased stiffness of the ventricle occur in response to an increase in ventricular afterload . The impaired relaxation of the ventricle then leads to impaired diastolic filling of the left ventricle .
Morris et al found that right venticular subendocardial systolic dysfunction and diastolic dysfunction, as detected by echocardiographic strain rate imaging, are common in patients with HFpEF. This dysfunction is potentially associated with the same fibrotic processes that affect the subendocardial layer of the LV and, to a lesser extent, with RV pressure overload. It may play a role in the symptomatology of patients with HFpEF.
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When Should I See A Healthcare Provider About Right Heart Failure
If you have chest pains or suspect you may be having a heart attack, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.
Get in touch with your healthcare provider if you experience:
- Shortness of breath.
What else should I ask my provider?
If you have right-sided heart failure, ask your provider:
- What treatment is best for me?
- Is there a special diet I should follow?
- Should I go to cardiac rehab?
- Will I need surgery?
- Will I need a heart transplant?
- What can I do to stop heart failure from progressing?
- What medications will I need?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Right-sided heart failure means the right side of the heart can no longer pump blood efficiently. Fluid builds up in tissues, causing swelling. Treatment focuses on managing symptoms so the disease doesnt worsen. Healthy lifestyle habits, along with cardiac rehab, improve symptoms for many people. Other treatment options include cardiac devices and surgery. If you have shortness of breath, swelling or chest discomfort, talk to your healthcare provider.
Frequent Urination At Night
One of the other symptoms of this condition is frequent urination at night, which is also known as nocturia. This is usually seen as an effect of the edema, wherein the fluid that gets accumulated on the ankle and legs returns into systemic circulation when the person is sleeping or is in supine position. This leads to excessive urine being produced, and hence excess urination.
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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 Do I Need To Know About Heart Failure
Heart failure is a condition that does not allow your heart to fill or pump properly. Heart failure may begin on the left or right side of the heart. If one side does not work properly, the other side has to work harder to function. Over time, heart failure affects both sides of the heart. Heart failure is a long-term condition that tends to get worse over time. It is important to manage your health to improve your quality of life.
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What Happens To The Heart
Most people develop heart failure because of a problem with the left ventricle. But reduced function of the right ventricle can also occur in heart failure. As blood begins to back up behind the failing left ventricle and into the lungs, it will become harder for the right ventricle to pump returning blood through the lungs. Like the left ventricle, the right ventricle will weaken with time and start to fail.
Weight Gain And Increased Urination
Weight gain. Weight gain is common with an increase in fluid retention. This may come on gradually or relatively quickly. One way to measure the effectiveness of treatment is to monitor your daily weight is.
Frequent urination during the night . When excess fluid is mobilized, the kidneys recognize the extra water within the bloodstream and they may produce more urine. This often occurs at night when the legs are elevated leading to frequent nighttime urination .
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Atrial Natriuretic Peptide And B
ANP and BNP are endogenously generated peptides activated in response to atrial and ventricular volume/pressure expansion. ANP and BNP are released from the atria and ventricles, respectively, and both promote vasodilation and natriuresis. Their hemodynamic effects are mediated by decreases in ventricular filling pressures, owing to reductions in cardiac preload and afterload. BNP, in particular, produces selective afferent arteriolar vasodilation and inhibits sodium reabsorption in the proximal convoluted tubule. It also inhibits renin and aldosterone release and, therefore, adrenergic activation. ANP and BNP are elevated in chronic heart failure. BNP especially has potentially important diagnostic, therapeutic, and prognostic implications.
For more information, see the Medscape Drugs & Diseases article Natriuretic Peptides in Congestive Heart Failure.
Can I Improve My Heart Failure Naturally
If your doctor prescribes you medication its important to take it. But making changes to your lifestyle is also going to have a big impact on improving your health.
Changes may include:
- weighing yourself regularly sudden weight gain may mean too much fluid is building up in your body
- watching the amount of fluid you have each day
- limiting how much alcohol you drink
- keeping active this can help improve your energy, stamina and fitness
- keeping to a healthy weight, which will help to prevent your heart from working too hard.
Diet changes are also essential when managing your weight and keeping your heart healthy.
You could feel healthier by eating:
- one or two portions of fruit or veg with every meal
- sunflower oil, olive oil, nuts and avocados instead of saturated fat options like crisps and butter
- one or two portions of beans or pulses everyday with a meal
- your protein in the form of fish, eggs and lean meats
- less salt and sugar.
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Outlook For Heart Failure
Heart failure is a serious long-term condition that will usually continue to get slowly worse over time.
It can severely limit the activities youre able to do and is often eventually fatal.
But its very difficult to tell how the condition will progress on an individual basis.
Its very unpredictable. Lots of people remain stable for many years, while in some cases it may get worse quickly.
What Are The Symptoms Of Left
Symptoms may be mild at first or you may think its a cold or allergy. You might not even notice them. But as heart functioning worsens, you may experience:
- Constant coughing.
- Shortness of breath with walking or bending over.
- Waking up short of breath or unable to lie flat at night.
- Weight gain.
- Swelling in your ankles, legs or abdomen.
Over time, the heart works harder to do its job. This causes complications that may include:
- Abnormal heart rates and rhythms .
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When To See A Doctor
Its a good idea to speak with your doctor to check your heart health if you:
- Notice swelling in your legs
- Become winded easily with normal activities
There is no cure for heart failure. Still, with treatment, you can slow the progression of it and stay feeling better for longer.
You should seek immediate medical attention or call 911 if you or a loved one is experiencing:
- Sudden shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat, or chest pain
- Trouble breathing and blood-tinged phlegm
- Fainting or loss of consciousness
What Is The Difference Between Left And Right
Heart failure can occur in the left side of the heart, the right side of the heart or on both sides. The major difference between left-sided heart failure and right-sided heart failure is in the side of the heart that is weakened. In left-sided heart failure, the left side of the heart is weakened and results in reduced ability for the heart to pump blood into the body. In right-sided heart failure, the right side of the heart is weakened and results in fluid in your veins, causing swelling in the legs, ankles, and liver.
To understand these conditions, it is important to know a little about how blood flows through the heart.
The heart is made up of four chambers. The upper chambers are called atria and the lower chambers are called ventricles. Each side of the heart has paired upper and lower chambers. Blood returns from the body and enters the right atrium. From there it moves to the right ventricle, which pumps it to the lungs where it is oxygenated. Blood moves from the lungs into the left atrium, down to the left ventricle and then out to the body to supply organs and tissues with oxygen and nutrients.
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Classification Based On Course Of The Disease
Heart failure can develop suddenly, for instance after a heart attack or due to certain heart rhythm problems. This is known as acute heart failure.
But it usually develops gradually over time as a result of a different medical problem, such as permanently high blood pressure. This is known as chronic heart failure.
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 Are The Symptoms
Your feet, legs, and ankles will likely to swell because blood is backing up in your veins. This symptom is called edema.
- If it backs up into your stomach or liver, you may notice that your abdomen is distended, too.
- You might find that you have to go to the bathroom more, especially at night. This is caused by fluid buildup, too.
As your heart failure gets worse, you may also see some of these symptoms:
- Itâs hard to breathe.
- Your neck veins are swollen.
- Your pulse is fast or feels âoff.â
- Your chest hurts.
- Youâre gaining weight from excess fluid.
- You donât feel like eating.
- Your skin is cold and sweaty.
- Youâre very tired.
Faces Of Heart Failure
Heart failure occurs when something damages the heart muscle or reduces the hearts ability to pump effectively. Most often, the damage stems from coronary artery disease or heart attack. But faulty heart valves, longstanding high blood pressure, or genetic disease may also be to blame. No matter what the cause, the failing heart can no longer pump well enough to keep up with the bodys demand for oxygen-rich blood.
To help both doctors and patients quickly spot a possible combination of heart failure symptoms, the Heart Failure Society of America developed a handy tool that goes by the acronym FACES.
F = Fatigue. When the heart cant pump enough oxygen-rich blood to meet the bodys energy needs, a general feeling of tiredness or fatigue sets in.
A = Activity limitation. People with heart failure are often unable to do their normal activities because they become easily tired and short of breath.
C = Congestion. Fluid buildup in the lungs can result in coughing, wheezing, and breathing difficulty.
E = Edema or ankle swelling. When the heart doesnt have enough pumping power to force used blood back up from the lower extremities, fluid can collect in the ankles, legs, thighs, and abdomen. Excess fluid can also cause rapid weight gain.
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Heart Failure
The signs and symptoms depend on how severe your heart failure is. The signs and symptoms you have may be due to the backup of fluid and blood in your tissues. It may also be due to decreased oxygen in your blood. You may have any of the following:
- Trouble breathing with activity that worsens to trouble breathing at rest
- Shortness of breath while lying flat
- Severe shortness of breath and coughing at night that usually wakes you
- Feeling lightheaded when you stand up
- Purple color around your mouth and nails
- Confusion or anxiety
- Periods of no breathing, then breathing fast
- Lack of energy , or trouble sleeping
- Swelling in your ankles, legs, or abdomen
- Heartbeat that is fast or not regular
- Fingers and toes feel cool to the touch
Shortness Of Breath While Lying Flat And With Exertion
Shortness of breath while lying flat. People who have left heart failure may experience shortness of breath when lying flat . The person will start using two or three pillows to prop themselves up while in bed so that they can breathe easier. If the shortness of breath is more severe, the person may begin sleeping in a chair or recliner.
Shortness of breath with exertion. Shortness of breath with exertion is referred to as dyspnea on exertion. Dyspnea on exertion occurs because the lungs cannot supply enough oxygen and the heart cannot adequately pump oxygen-rich blood to the body. Initially, the shortness of breath may occur when walking long distances or up flights of stairs, but as the heart failure progresses, less activity may produce more symptoms.
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Precipitating Causes Of Heart Failure
A previously stable, compensated patient may develop heart failure that is clinically apparent for the first time when the intrinsic process has advanced to a critical point, such as with further narrowing of a stenotic aortic valve or mitral valve. Alternatively, decompensation may occur as a result of the failure or exhaustion of the compensatory mechanisms but without any change in the load on the heart in patients with persistent, severe pressure or volume overload. In particular, consider whether the patient has underlying coronary artery disease or valvular heart disease.
The most common cause of decompensation in a previously compensated patient with heart failure is inappropriate reduction in the intensity of treatment, such as dietary sodium restriction, physical activity reduction, or drug regimen reduction. Uncontrolled hypertension is the second most common cause of decompensation, followed closely by cardiac arrhythmias . Arrhythmias, particularly ventricular arrhythmias, can be life threatening. Also, patients with one form of underlying heart disease that may be well compensated can develop heart failure when a second form of heart disease ensues. For example, a patient with chronic hypertension and asymptomatic LV hypertrophy may be asymptomatic until an MI develops and precipitates heart failure.
- Profound anemia
- Nutritional deficiencies