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Community Views: Unexpected Symptoms of Heart Failure

When dealing with heart failure (HF), it can be difficult to be prepared for each symptom that may arise. Many symptoms of HF come unexpectedly. This can make having HF even more difficult. Many people struggle to perform daily tasks due to the various symptoms that they encounter.

Unfortunately, many people may be unaware of the multitude of symptoms that can occur with HF. To find out what uncommon symptoms of HF people in the community have encountered, we reached out to community members on the Facebook page. We asked, “What has been the most unexpected symptom of heart failure?”

Over 200 community members shared their stories. Here are some of the more common symptoms they have encountered with HF.

Overwhelming fatigue

Many people with HF struggle with fatigue. No matter how much sleep they may get at night, their fatigue persists throughout the day. This can affect their ability to perform their usual daily tasks. Fatigue can not only affect work productivity, but enjoyable activities begin to feel like hard labor. Even getting out of bed can become a chore.

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“After 9 hours of sleep, I’m still tired! I can take a 2-hour nap and still feel tired! It is so frustrating everyday.”

“Vacations won't be the same, I can't walk very far any more on family vacations.’”

“I went from unloading trucks one day to not being able to walk 4 steps.”

“I am getting so tired doing practically nothing and I feel so out of breath even making my bed. I tell my family and friends that I am so tired of being tired.”

“Fatigue has taken over my life.”

Having difficulty breathing

Not only can people get fatigued, but controlling their breathing can become very difficult. Simple tasks can seem like a burden due to the effects the symptoms can have on your breathing. It can become difficult to remain active and to maintain the routines you were familiar with prior to your condition.

“I feel winded with a few steps taken. I have always been very active, so it has been life altering.”

“I have to use a nebulizer and do breathing treatments every day, use an asthma inhaler, do exercises, and use my walker.”

“I am short of breath, unable to do what I used to love to do, because it makes it harder to breathe.”

Dealing with weight gain

Many members of the community said they gained weight even while on a healthy diet. It can become challenging to stay active when you are at a higher weight. The gain can prevent you from seeing progress or reduce your motivation to continue. Weight gain can occur due to fatigue or water weight. If you are experiencing weight gain, know this symptom is shared by many people with HF.

“Not being able to lose weight is frustrating.”

“Oh yes, about gaining weight OY!! I can’t seem to be able to lose any.”

“I seem to be putting weight on despite watching what I'm eating.”

Feeling anxious

Anxiety is felt by many people with HF. And feeling anxious can result in sleep deprivation. This may make it harder to be active throughout the day. It can also affect your performance at work by causing you difficulty focusing on tasks. Anxiety can make it a challenge to put forth your usual effort and focus.

“Night sweats, I change sheets and clothes 3 to 4 times per night sometimes.”

“Being labeled as a hard, reliable worker to now being lazy and not taking initiative."

Thank you

We are very appreciative of the community sharing their personal experiences. Not everyone is aware of the many symptoms that can come with HF. We hope learning about others' symptoms promotes awareness for community members and people who are unfamiliar with the condition.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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