Heart failure symptoms are often mistaken by people as signs of old age. According to various reports one in three persons disregards these signs and avoids going to the doctor. Even though their causes may vary, the next list brings together the top 9 symptoms that can lead to heart failure. By keeping us and our loved ones informed we can avoid unpleasant events, but also true tragedies. Without further ado, take a look at symptoms that should get you worried.
Heart failure makes the ability of pumping blood to the brain difficult, and thus people prone to heart failure will surely experience dizziness. Although the feeling of lightheadedness might not be life-threatening, it can lead to the total loss of consciousness. If this happens, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible.
2. Impaired Thinking or Confusion
Unfortunately, this symptom is hard to be identified by yourself. However, if your family and friends are observant enough they can notice these moments of confusion. You should make sure to let your doctor know as soon as you experience something of the sort. It is caused by the low level of sodium in your blood and by the difficulty the blood is experiencing in reaching your brain.
3. Loss of Appetite or Nausea
Any change in your digestion or appetite can be a sign of heart failure. The digestive system is heavily affected by fluid that accumulates around the intestines and the liver. Congestion can also lead to nausea, not just the loss of appetite.
4. Reduced Energy
If you are feeling tired or fatigued with no visible reasons, then you might take into consideration the possibility of heart failure. A heart that does not function at a normal rate cannot give you the necessary energy for the day, since it is strongly linked to the muscles as well. The blood is instead pumped towards organs like the kidneys or the brain. In this case it is important to keep exercising your body and avoid being sedentary.
5. Coughing or Wheezing
Congestion can also affect your lungs and lead to wheezing or coughing. If you cannot find other causes for your cough, such as being ill or smoking, you should further investigate. If you are a smoker then the first step should be quitting, as this terrible addiction can determine heart failure.
6. Swelling of the Abdomen
Fluid can also accumulate in the abdomen, as congestion can affect the digestive system and the liver. This might lead to discomfort or even serious pains. In order to avoid these symptoms, you will need to consume less alcohol, as well as salty food, but also monitor the fluid levels in your body.
7. Swelling of the Legs or Feet
The same fluids can make your legs or feet swell, due to them being attracted by gravity, as well as the poor circulation of the blood. The phenomenon is common in elder people, because the valves of the veins degrade in time. If you have never experienced this before or if it gets any worse than usual, you should alert your doctor.
If you can’t lay down to sleep on your back, or you need a couple of pillows to prop yourself or even have to sleep sitting up, then you should contact your doctor. The fluids that accumulate in your lungs disperse across them because of gravity, keeping you awake at night.
9. Shortness of Breath
Growing short of breath can indicate heart failure, because the blood remains stuck in the pulmonary veins, which are the blood vessels linking your heart to your lungs. If you must stop to rest when ascending one or two flights of stairs you must definitely see your doctor. If the situation worsens and you start losing your breath even if you are resting, you must go to ER or call 911.