Archive for lack of oxygen

Symptoms of Heart Failure

Symptoms of heart failure are due to one of two causes: fluid buildup or lack of oxygen in your tissues. When these happens, you may experience some of the following heart failure symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath. Shortness of breath is due to fluid buildup in your lungs, effectively making the task of breathing harder. You may first notice this during physical activity and at night when you’re trying to lie flat.
  • Cough. This cough may be described as dry and hacking or one that produces phlegm. The specific symptoms you experience may vary; some cough primarily at night, others throughout the day. This is also caused by fluid buildup in your lungs, especially if your phlegm has a slight pink color.
  • Excessive fatigue. This is usually caused by your heart being unable to pump enough blood to support your body. When your muscles and organs aren’t receiving the blood they need to function, you may feel weak, even after a good night’s sleep.
  • Weight gain. This may be one of the first signs that your body is experiencing fluid buildup. This extra fluid appears as extra weight on the scale – 2 pounds for each quart of additional body fluid. Therefore, it’s important to keep track of your weight and effectively manage your heart failure.
  • Swollen ankles, feet, belly, lower back, and fingers. Another result of fluid buildup. This body parts are where this extra fluid is likely to collect as it seeps out of your blood vessels and into your tissues. A swollen belly can make you feel bloated and nauseated, as well as decrease your appetite. Swelling is usually reported to be worst at the end of the day.
  • Poor concentration and memory lapses. This is the result of a lack of oxygen to the brain.

Right-sided Heart Failure

When the right side of your heart fails to pump as effectively as it needs to, the blood returning to your heart retreats to your veins. When this happens, excess fluid leaks into the tissues surrounding your veins. This can lead to:

  • Swollen liver
  • Bloated stomach
  • Swollen legs and ankles

Left-sided Heart Failure

When the left side of your heart fails, blood backs up and causes fluid to accumulate in your lungs. This can lead to:

  • Swollen liver
  • Bloated stomach
  • Swollen legs and ankles
  • Inability to breathe
  • Cough
  • Fatigue and weakness

You may have right-sided heart failure, left-sided, or even both.



Understanding Heart Failure

If you understand what happens when you’re diagnosed with heart failure, your treatment plan will make more sense to you.

How a Healthy Heart Works

Your heart pumps oxygen-rich blood and nutrients all over your body.

What Happens with Heart Failure

Your heart is unable to pump the blood your body needs to function. This is the result of a weak heart, weakened by conditions or diseases that affect the heart muscle.

Causes of Heart Failure

Any time of heart damage weakens the muscle and may lead to heart failure.

Symptoms of Heart Failure

Whatever your symptoms, they are caused by either a buildup of fluid or lack of oxygen in your tissues. You may experience some or all of these symptoms.



Irregular Heartbeat (Arrhythmias)

If you experience irregular heartbeats, it can be an indication of heart rhythm problems, are arrhythmias or dysrhythmias. This occurs when the SA node, the heart’s natural pacemaker, loses control of the electrical impulses that makes your heart pump. This interrupts your heart’s normal heartbeat rhythm and forces it to work less efficiently. These interruptions are usually described as a “fluttering”, “racing” heart, or skipped heartbeats.


This condition can be the result of various conditions, including not enough oxygen in the heart, damage to the heart muscle, to heart valve disease.


Living a heart-healthy life can maintain healthy cholesterol and blood pressure, keep arteries clear, and prevent carotid artery disease.

  • Eat plenty of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat proteins like nuts and fish
  • Exercise regularly
  • Keep your weight and diabetes under control
  • Quit smoking
  • Drink less alcohol and caffeine
  • Be wary of stimulants in cough and cold medicines, as they may contain ingredients that stresses the problem.