The Symptoms of Heart Failure

Dr. Sean Virani, MD, MSc., MPH, FRCPC, FCCS, Cardiologist, talks about the symptoms a person might experience when they have heart failure.

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Dr. Sean Virani, MD, MSc., MPH, FRCPC, FCCS, Cardiologist, talks about the symptoms a person might experience when they have heart failure.
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Video transcript

Featuring Dr. Sean Virani, MD, MSc, MPH, FRCPC, FCCS, Cardiologist

Duration: 1 minute, 5 seconds

Heart failure is a great masquerader, and patients can present with any number of symptoms. I would suggest the most common, however, is shortness of breath. That’s because patients will develop fluid in their lungs as a complication of heart failure, and that leads to shortness of breath.

That fluid can build up in other parts of the body as well, though: in your feet, leading to edema, or swelling of the feet; in your tummy, leading to abdominal bloating or ascites; patients may have difficulty breathing when they go to bed at night and have to prop themselves up on pillows.

So a lot of changes around breathing and feeling short of breath. If patients aren’t getting enough oxygen or blood going to their muscles or other tissues, they may get fatigued. Other patients will be foggy or may not be thinking clearly because they’re not getting enough blood going to their brain. Again, changes in your breathing may be an important symptom of developing or worsening heart failure.

Presenter: Dr. Sean Virani, Cardiologist, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Cardiologist

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.