Signs and symptoms

Signs and symptoms of Heart Failure3

Heart failure can cause the fluid in your body to gather in your lungs which may cause you to feel short of breath during everyday activities such as walking or climbing stairs.

Lying flat may also make you feel short of breath so that you need to sleep sat up or with multiple pillows.

Heart failure means less oxygen-rich blood is circulating in your body. Since your muscles and tissues need oxygen for energy, people with heart failure can feel tired very easily.

Clothes or shoes might feel tighter as fluid in the body builds up in the legs, ankles or abdomen causing them to swell up.

A build-up of fluid around the gut can affect digestion and might cause a loss of appetite, or make you feel sick when eating.

Worsening heart failure may cause an increase in weight of more than two kilograms in one week because fluid builds up in your body.

The heart sometimes starts to speed up to compensate for its reduced ability to pump blood around the body.

A reduced amount of blood reaches your kidneys when you have heart failure, causing you to urinate less frequently.

Conversely, if you take diuretics (eg. water pills), you might urinate more frequently, when the excess fluid in your body is eliminated.