What Are the Most Common Signs of Heart Failure?

Juliet D'cruz

Updated on:

Over 6 million adults in the US alone have heart failure. Despite its scary commonality, very few people actually understand the signs of heart failure. That means they end up getting taken by surprise when it strikes in the later heart failure stages.

So what are heart failure symptoms? What should you do when you discover them? And how can you act to prevent them?

Let’s dive into the world of heart health and learn what to keep an eye out for.

What Are the Signs of Heart Failure?

The key thing to know is that there are two types of heart failure: chronic and acute. Chronic heart failure is a persistent illness that affects a sufferer consistently over a long period of time. Acute heart failure, meanwhile, can strike suddenly.

A major mistake is to assume that you don’t need to worry because you don’t have chronic heart failure. Acute heart failure is a risk for everyone that doesn’t keep a watchful eye on their health.

So what are the signs?

Number one is shortness of breath and fatigue. Do you find yourself struggling to get a proper lungful of air, particularly when lying down? Ever feel exhausted even when you haven’t been performing the strenuous activity?

That could be heart failure.

Another symptom you might not expect is swelling and unexplained weight gain. Increases in fluid weight and swelling in the legs are potential signs of heart failure. If you’ve found it harder to fit into clothes that used to fit you and your diet hasn’t changed, you might want to see a doctor.

Those are a couple of symptoms of heart failure you might not expect, but there are plenty more. You can find long lists of heart failure symptoms elsewhere.

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What Can I Do to Prevent Heart Failure?

There are measures you can take to minimize your risk of heart failure. That doesn’t mean you should stop looking out for symptoms, but it does mean those symptoms will be less likely to occur.

For example, you can do your heart a massive favor by performing regular aerobic exercise. Check with your doctor first, but a couple of hours of heart-pumping exercise a week can get your heart and your body into better shape.

And, of course, eating right is always good for your health. Limiting your intake of food that’s high in unhealthy fats, sugars, salts and eating more lean proteins and veggies will do great things for your long-term health.

In other words: keep active and eat healthy, just like they told you in school!

A Healthy Heart, a Healthy Life

So now you know a few of the less obvious signs of heart failure and a few ways to combat it. By adopting some good habits, you’ll hopefully never notice any signs of heart failure.

But now you know what to look out for if you do.

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