Site Home   Gender and Heart Failure       Introduction to Gender and Health   The Gender Lens Tool

General Symptoms

Pulmonary edema

 Fluid leaks in the lungs due to an imbalance in pump function between the right and left sides of the heart. Fluid leaks from the pulmonary capillaries into alveoli of the lungs.

 

Peripheral edema

 Tissues and organs in the lower extermities of the body swell with fluid as the heart loses the ability to remove the fluid from those areas of the body

 

Dyspnea

 The shortness of breath that results from the build-up of fluid in the lungs

Chest pain

 Results from an overworked heart muscle

Weight gain

 Results from the excess fluid retained by the body (peripheral edema)

Lack of appetite

 

Swollen neck veins

 Results from the pressure built up in the venous system when the right side of the heart is failing

Restlessness

 

Confusion

 Can be related to metabolic abnormalities including hyponatremia

 

Short attention span

 

Nausea

 Related to decreased blood flow to the digestive system

 

Abdominal pain

 

Fatigue

 The heart is unable to supply the body with the oxygen and nutrients it needs to function normally

 

Coughing

 Fluid in the lungs triggers the coughing reflex

Depression

 The lifestyle changes inherent in heart failure and heart failure treatment can be difficult for people to accept