6 Warning Signs That Your HEART Doesn’t Work Properly

6 Warning Signs That Your HEART Doesn’t Work Properly

It’s an unfortunate truth that your body slows down in your sixth and seventh decade. Climbing the stairs, which used to be two at a time, now feels as daunting as climbing Mount Everest. Natural aging can cause some loss of vitality, but fatigue and shortness of breath can be signs that your heart is not working properly. “There is a common tendency for people to ignore the symptoms of heart failure and attribute it to aging, so it was very important for us to create an easy way to identify these symptoms,” said Dr. Mandeep R. Mehra, MD, director of the hospital. Cardiovascular Center at Harvard Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

The face of heart failure
Heart failure occurs when something damages the heart muscle or reduces the heart’s ability to pump effectively. In most cases, the damage is caused by coronary artery disease or a heart attack. But valvular heart failure, high blood pressure, and genetic diseases can also be to blame. Regardless of the cause, heart failure cannot pump enough oxygen-rich blood to meet the demand.

The Heart Failure Association of America (www.HFSA.org) has developed a handy tool called FACES to help doctors and patients quickly identify combinations of heart failure symptoms.

F = fatigue. When the heart can’t pump enough oxygen-rich blood to meet the body’s energy needs, you generally feel tired or fatigued.

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