Though the name may suggest otherwise, heart failure does not mean that the heart stops working completely. Rather, heart failure occurs when the heart is no longer able to pump a sufficient amount of blood. The body can still function, but not nearly as well as it could with a fully functioning heart. If you’re at risk of heart failure, it’s important that you identify the symptoms so you know when to see a cardiologist .
Generally speaking, a person’s resting heart rate should be somewhere between 60 and 100 beats per minute. If you have heart failure, your heart struggles to keep up with your body’s demands, and might start beating much faster. An irregular heartbeat is one common symptom of heart failure. Even if you don’t have heart failure, a rapid or irregular heartbeat should be checked out by a cardiologist.
Dizziness or Fatigue
Your heart is responsible for delivering oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to all of your major organs. If your heart is having trouble keeping up with your body’s demands, you may feel weaker or more fatigued than normal. A shortage of blood to the brain can even cause dizziness and lightheadedness. If you feel exhausted despite getting plenty of rest, heart failure could be the culprit.
If your heart can’t pump enough blood to your kidneys, you may begin to retain fluids. You’ll likely notice that your ankles, legs, and stomach start swelling and your weight increases. Fluid buildup in your lungs is perhaps the most troublesome symptom of heart failure, and may cause coughing and shortness of breath.
The sooner your cardiologist identifies heart failure, the sooner treatment can begin. If you’re feeling out of sorts, call Cardiac Solutions at (623) 208-5305 to set up an appointment. One of our Phoenix-area cardiologists can prescribe beta-blockers, diuretics, and other medications to help improve your heart’s performance .