Heart failure can cause early and subtle symptoms that can be “Harbingers” of worsening disease and imminent death, according to a report released in August by the American Heart Association.
The report outlines the latest data on symptoms of heart failure, as well as other cardiovascular diseases, including stroke.
heart failure occurs when the heart cannot pump enough blood and oxygen to other organs. It can be fatal. It usually can’t be cured, but early treatment can help people live longer with a better quality of life.
Smoking, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, insufficient physical activity, and a poor diet increase the risk of heart failure. Medical conditions, such as heart disease, previous heart attacks, high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes also increase the risk of getting it.
Dyspnea, or shortness of breath, is a hallmark of heart failure, according to the report. Other diseases that cause breathing problems, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, can coexist with heart failure.
Swollen feet, legs, or ankles
Other common symptoms of heart failure include a general feeling of tiredness and swollen feet, legs, or ankles.
The American Heart Association report also notes that fatigue was the most “disturbing” hallmark of heart failure.
Early symptoms of heart failure include stomach upset, nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite, according to the report.
Loss of muscle mass as a result of heart failure may indicate that the disease is progressing to more advanced stages.
Insomnia, depression and anxiety
The report found that between 25 and 30% of adults with heart failure reported mood disorders, mainly depression and anxiety, as well as insomnia.
Heart failure causes insomnia for several reasons. First, people with heart failure are often short of breath when lying down. Second, a side effect of heart failure medications can cause people to urinate more at night.