Know these signs
The heart’s job is to pump oxygen and blood full of nutrients around the body so it can work normally. When your heart isn’t pumping strongly enough, your body can’t get the blood and oxygen it needs, which may cause symptoms.
If you have HF, or are caring for someone who does, here are the most important symptoms to monitor. Keep in mind that you may have some symptoms, but not others. Call your doctor if you notice new symptoms or if those you already have become worse.
The heart can’t pump enough to keep up with the blood supply. This causes fluid to back up and leak into the lungs.
Fluid backs up and collects in the tissues. The heart isn’t able to pump strongly enough to manage its workload.
The cough is caused by fluid backing up and leaking into the lungs—because the heart can’t keep up with pumping the blood to the rest of the body.
The limited blood supply is sent away from arm and leg muscles to supply the body’s main organs, like the heart and brain.
Fluid backs up into the lungs because the heart can’t keep up with the blood supply.
The heart can’t keep up with the incoming blood supply, so fluid backs up and collects in the tissue.
For more help recognizing and managing the signs of HF, register for the Keep It Pumping resource program, including your free Heart Failure Handbook.
Take this quiz to find out.
Shortness of breath with everyday activities
Swollen legs, feet, and ankles
Gaining weight could help your heart
It will help you avoid putting on weight
Gaining 3 or more pounds in a day may be a sign you're retaining more fluid
1 in 5
1 in 12
1 in 30
Cleaning the house
Less than 1 teaspoon
There's a lot to learn about HF, and you've come to the right place. Begin with the basic facts.
Surprised by some answers? Make sure you know the signs of HF, and find out more about HF all through this site.
A perfect score—you really know HF! Now make sure you're prepared for your next doctor's appointment.
How do you make the most of your time with the doctor? Here’s a form to help guide the discussion of HF at your next appointment. And always make sure the doctor knows how involved you want to be in your treatment.
Get help managing HF with how-tos from a low-salt diet to daily activity. Sign up
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Get practical approaches to help look after a loved one.