When the heart cannot pump blood effectively, it is called heart failure, which is sometimes called congestive heart failure. Sluggish blood flow can trigger several complications, including swollen feet and arrhythmias. Thankfully, with the advancements of medical technology over time, living with heart failure is well and truly possible. 

This includes keeping a close eye on the lifestyle one leads, following the medical treatment plan, and keeping a close eye on certain complications that should not be left unaddressed.

Read on to learn more about symptoms that shouldn’t be ignored when dealing with heart failure:

THE SYMPTOM: A cough that worsens upon nightfall

Heart failure can lead fluid to build up in a person’s lungs, which can make it difficult to breathe. A condition known as pulmonary edema happens as a result. Most cases of pulmonary edema have an obvious cause, like the heart failing to pump enough blood. The most dangerous pulmonary edema cases arise when there is no known cause, although they are still rare. Nonetheless, rapid intervention is required when this happens.

At that point, a cardiologist or an emergency room doctor may prescribe medications so that extra fluid can be pushed out of the body for the lungs to better work.

THE SYMPTOM: Consistent shortness of breath

Given the way fluid builds up in the lungs of people with heart failure, sufferers of the condition typically feel short of breath when walking to the kitchen for a glass of water or when getting dressed. If the shortness of breath is starting to seem chronic and it won’t improve no matter what, it’s important to seek advice from a cardiologist. There may be medication adjustment from your provider that can help your breathing to improve. On the other hand, additional testing could be prescribed to see if oxygen therapy is necessary.

THE SYMPTOM: Heart palpitations

If you have “fluttery feelings” in your chest after your heart failure diagnosis, or if your pulse comes across as erratic, it’s important to call your cardiologist right away. Heart failure can occasionally induce arrhythmia or an abnormal heartbeat. In turn, this can make a person weak or dizzy. 

A doctor will evaluate a heart’s electrical conduction and likely prescribe more medications. Alternatively, they could also make recommendations about ways to manage heart failure-triggered arrhythmia.

THE SYMPTOM: Increasing fatigue or dizziness

Fatigue and dizziness are not entirely out of the ordinary for people who have heart failure. Dizziness often occurs when standing after sitting for a while, since the heart needs time to pump blood to the brain. However, if feeling fatigued or dizzy is becoming more and more frequent, a cardiologist should be called immediately. 

Increasing fatigue or dizziness can be a sign of the heart weakening considerably. The good news is, there’s a chance for this to be entirely treatable given certain dosages or medications.


When it comes to heart failure, it’s well and truly possible for a person to live with it. That said, there are several symptoms that should not be ignored. This includes increasing fatigue or dizziness, consistent shortness of breath and heart palpitations.

Seeking NJ for doctors that can help with issues of the heart? Contact Garden State Medical Group today! We have board-certified physicians and specialists who practice multidisciplinary functional, integrative medicine.

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