CommunityHealth Fix


Heart Failure: Small Signs that No One Should Ignore

Posted at 9:23 AM, Feb 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-09 11:23:19-05

The term “heart failure” can be a misleading term. Although this is a serious medical condition, it doesn’t mean the heart has stopped working. It actually means the heart isn’t functioning as well as it should be and it can’t keep up with the body’s workload. When the heart cannot properly deliver oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to the cells in the body, it can result in fatigue, shortness of breath, and other complications. If heart failure is diagnosed early enough, there are ways to manage the symptoms.

There are several smaller warning signs of heart failure that some people tend to ignore. In some cases, only one or two symptoms present themselves.

Early warning signs of heart failure

  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Easily exhausted
  • Edema or swelling in ankles and legs
  • Persistent coughing
  • Nausea and decreased appetite

If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important to speak to a healthcare professional. Although heart failure cannot be cured, it can be managed.

Managing the symptoms

  • Lifestyle changes: quit smoking, losing weight, avoiding alcohol, eating a heart-healthy diet, managing stress
  • Monitoring blood pressure and tracking symptoms
  • Medications
  • Devices and surgical procedures
  • Cardiac rehab