There are many early heart failure signs. Some of these include fatigue without cause, unexplained weight gain, and lack of appetite. These may also be caused by other illnesses, but it’s important to know the signs to determine when you should talk with your doctor.
Heart failure refers to the inability of the heart to pump a sufficient amount of blood to carry out the metabolic activity and to supply oxygen and nutrients to our body.
If our cells are not nourished well, the body cannot function normally, which is easy to recognize. The symptoms associated with this disease are serious and diminish the quality of life.
Heart failure is, at the same time, one of the most common and incapacitating conditions among the adult population, especially in people older than 65 years of age.
In spite of being chronic in many cases, a person can still have a good quality of life thanks to proper medication and follow-up health care.
However, some people should have the aid of a defibrillator. This is an apparatus similar to a pacemaker which continually controls heart rhythm.
Life drastically changes when a person has this type of heart complication. Although common, it greatly impacts the individual and the family.
It is very important to be vigilant of the first heart failure signs. In the first phases, it’s common not to notice some anomalies such as fatigue and stress that almost always relate to this condition.
Early Heart Failure Signs and Symptoms
We suggest that you remember this simple information about the early heart failure signs we will share with you in the following article. It’s good to know, when to consult a physician.
1. The need to urinate during the night
Getting up twice during the night to urinate is out of the ordinary.
This can be due to various causes (renal problems, an infection, prostate problems…). However, heart failure should also be taken into account.
When we lie down, heart failure can cause fluid accumulated in the outer extremities to reverse the blood flow. This blood is trapped in the kidneys and is eliminated as urine.
We need to remember that this illness tends to enlarge the chamber of the heart in an almost desperate attempt to pump more blood. Nevertheless, what happens is that fluid is retained.
If we notice that our bathroom schedule has changed from one day to the next, we should consult a doctor.
2. Heart failure and loss of appetite
This is another problem that can be related to many other ailments that are not extremely serious.
However, when the heart stops pumping in a normal rhythm, fluids accumulate in the digestive system and the liver.
It’s common to feel full without eating when this occurs. In fact, you may even feel stuffed after small quantities of food.
3. Constant fatigue
This fatigue occurs without having to exert oneself. What didn’t cause us to be tired in the past now causes us to exert extreme effort and leaves us breathless.
Climbing upstairs, lifting heavy objects, going out shopping, and even talking for a long time exhausts us. Heart failure reduces the capacity for the heart to pump, sending less blood to the muscles.
We can imagine what this means for our body: we receive less oxygen and less nutrients. The muscles are overloaded, causing cramps, pain and extreme exhaustion.
4. Inexplicable weight gain
It can seem contradictory. After all, if we eat less, why are we gaining weight? The answer, again, is that we are retaining fluids.
The major part of this body weight is not due to fat, but fluids. If we gain approximately 4.5 pounds in less than a week, we should immediately contact our doctor.
At the same time, it is worth knowing that with a good diet these extra pounds will disappear and we can get our shape back.
5. Swollen ankles
Swollen ankles can be due to various causes. It may be because you’re overweight, pregnant, have varicose veins, or even poor circulation.
However, if this is a constant problem in our day to day life, we should know that this is not normal. It’s necessary to diagnose the cause.
This swelling or edema can extend from the ankles to the legs. Often, this is a sign of heart failure, kidney or liver problems.
They are issues that we should discuss with our doctors.
6. Shortness of breath
Dyspnea, or shortness of breath, does not refer to an accumulation of fluids. In this case, it’s due to congestion in the lungs.
It’s important to remember that if we accumulate fluid in the lungs, the exchange of oxygen is impossible. This is a very serious symptom. It’s common that at first, dypsnea occurs at very specific times. This may be when we exercise or get up from the bed.
Lying down, fluid tends to flood the lungs, causing us to struggle with breathing.
We should never see this last point as something normal. If we have problems breathing for a few seconds every day when we get up, we need to consult a doctor.
In conclusion, it’s always important to see our health specialists about any problem. Anything outside of the ordinary should be looked into in order to have a normal life.