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Symptoms of Heart Failure
- Shortness of breath, especially with activity, or when lying down
- Edema in the legs, ankles, and feet
- Fatigue and weakness
- Persistent cough or a wheezing cough that may be accompanied by white or blood-tinged phlegm
- Rapid weight gain as a result of fluid accumulation
- Irregular or rapid heartbeat
- Change in urine production, which may include an increase, decrease, or need to urinate at night
- Loss of appetite
- Decreased alertness
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- Cardiomyopathy —Structural changes in the heart muscle caused by excess load on the heart.
- Heart arrhythmias — Irregular heartbeats make it harder to keep chronic heart failure stabilized. They can also lead to sudden cardiac arrest .
- Liver failure —Excess fluid build-up affects the liver's ability to function normally. It may also cause the liver to enlarge.
- Kidney failure —Reduced blood flow to the kidneys results in fluid retention, leading to edema. It also increases blood pressure, forcing the heart to work harder.
- Stroke —Reduced blood flow to the brain and increased blood pressure can cause a stroke.
- Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board Michael J. Fucci, DO, FACC
- Review Date: 09/2017
- Update Date: 09/17/2014