11 Warning Signs of Early Heart Failure

11 Warning Signs of Early Heart Failure

Heart failure is a long-term condition that occurs when the heart stops functioning correctly. Warning signs of early heart failure is important to know as it’s incidence are increasing. Heart failure doesn’t mean the heart has ceased beating, despite what you might think when you hear this term. It is a condition when your heart cannot adequately pump blood to your body.

The heart’s chambers may extend to carry more blood to pump through your body when your heart cannot pump effectively. As a result, your heart muscles become stiffer and thicker; over time, the muscular walls might weaken, leading to heart failure. Insufficient heart pumping can harm your organs and cause fluid to build up in your lungs, legs, limbs, or other organs.

There are chances that you can have a weak heart. You should also check these 18 warning signs of weak heart. Let us know about heart failure in details along with the warning signs of early heart failure.

Types of heart failure

Many different things can cause heart failure. Exercise and prescription drugs from your doctor can be used to treat it in its early stages. Your doctor might choose to operate on your heart if the condition worsens and becomes life-threatening. From your side, you should be aware of the warning signs of early heart failure.

Underlying illnesses or other health issues that harm the heart can result in heart failure. These can be considered as the warning signs of early heart failure. The types of heart failure are; 

  • Systolic heart failure: Heart failure is most frequently caused by systolic dysfunction. It happens when your heart cannot contract strongly enough due to weakness and enlargement. When the left ventricle’s muscle loses some of its ability to shorten or contract, less oxygen-rich blood is pumped through your circulation.
  • Diastolic heart failure is a disorder in which the heart’s main pumping chamber, the ventricle, fails to relax effectively despite the heart beating correctly. Simply put, the heart’s muscles stiffen and lose some capacity to relax. As a result, your heart receives less blood, which causes the blood pressure in your lungs to rise.

The left chamber of the heart may be normal in size or smaller than usual, and when this occurs, fluid can build up in the lungs, limbs, legs, and other organs.

Heart failure can be categorized into four stages along with the warning signs of early heart failure which include;

Stage A

This is the stage where you’re most at risk of developing heart failure because it runs in your family or you have any of these illnesses,

  • High blood pressure
  • Coronary artery disease (CAD)
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Diabetes
  • familial cardiomyopathy history
  • alcoholism or rheumatic fever history.

To avoid the risk you must be aware of the warning signs of early heart failure.


At this point, your doctor will advise frequent exercise to strengthen the heart. To encourage a heart-healthy lifestyle, you should also alter your way of living. You’ll need to,

  • Quit smoking.
  • Quit consuming alcohol
  • Stop using hard drugs.
  • Reduce weight

Additionally, you should take action to control your blood pressure and cholesterol if they are high. If you experience any warning signs of early heart failure, you should consult your doctor regarding these. If you have a history of heart attacks or high blood pressure, your doctor might recommend beta-blockers.

Stage B

If you have never experienced heart failure symptoms, you will be diagnosed with systolic left ventricular dysfunction (when the left side of your heart doesn’t pump well). This group could include those who have or have previously suffered from the following:

  • Heart attack
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Valve disease


At stage B, your situation would determine the course of treatment. Your doctor might recommend ACE inhibitors or beta-blockers after a heart attack. Surgery to replace damaged coronary arteries and valves is also an option.

Stage C

At stage C, You will be diagnosed with heart failure. You currently have systolic heart failure along with the following symptoms:

  • Respiration difficulty
  • Regularly urinating
  • Fatigue
  • Weak legs
  • Inability to exercise as much
  • Swollen ankles, feet, and abdomen.


Depending on the severity of your illness, your doctor may advise taking Digoxin, Angiotensin receptor blockers, Beta-blockers, Diuretics, or implanting a pacemaker to regulate your heartbeat.

Additionally, you will need to alter your lifestyle by decreasing weight if you are overweight, consuming less salt, giving up alcohol and smoking, exercising frequently, drinking fewer fluids when necessary, etc.

Stage D

This is the last stage of heart failure and those with it show severe symptoms that do not improve with medical intervention. Not paying attention to the warning signs of early heart failure can also lead to even this stage of heart failure with time.


The treatments available for people at this stage of heart failure include; Heart transplants, surgical alternatives, and treatments from earlier stages.

If you think you might be experiencing heart failure, you should immediately see a doctor. You should also know the warning signs of early heart failure.

Causes of heart failure

Along with the warning signs of early heart failure, let’s look at it’s causes. A lot of conditions can damage the heart. Some common causes of heart failure include:

  • Heart attack
  • Coronary artery disease (CAD)
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • Kidney Disease

Besides these causes, do you know that even young people have a risk to have a heart attack? To know more about it, you should also check How young can you have a heart attack?

What are the warning signs of early heart failure?

Most of the time, heart failure is first discovered after a significant incident like a heart attack. However, you can recognize the early heart failure symptoms before this point and consult your doctor for treatment right away. Heart failure signs and symptoms include:

  • breathing difficulty and Chest pain
  • Weakness and exhaustion
  • Dry cough
  • A stomach that is firm or bloated
  • Appetite loss
  • Exercise difficulty
  • Unaccounted-for weight gain
  • quick heartbeats
  • Frequent urges to urinate
  • Leg heaviness when moving
  • Nausea


Heart failure occurs when the heart’s ability to pump blood to meet the body’s needs is reduced from what it once was. Although underlying disorders can occasionally induce heart failure, coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, and past heart attacks are the most frequent causes. All of this may cause the heart muscle to deteriorate and eventually fail.

Heart failure patients can lead healthy, active lives with the support of therapy and drugs. Depending on the condition’s stage, your doctor may advise medication or surgery to treat it. By altering your lifestyle, you can also contribute to strengthening your heart.

Your heart can become stronger, and your blood circulation can be enhanced by adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle. Losing weight if you’re overweight, exercising frequently, cutting back on salt, giving up smoking, and drinking less alcohol are all lifestyle changes that may be helpful. Visit your doctor immediately if you think you may be experiencing heart failure to receive the proper care.


Can heart failure be treated?

Although heart failure is a severe ailment that worsens over time, in certain circumstances, it is treatable. Even when the heart muscle is damaged, several treatments can ease symptoms and halt or limit the condition’s deterioration over time.

How does fatigue from heart failure feel?

You’ll constantly feel worn out and struggle to do simple tasks because the amount of blood needed by body tissues can not be supplied by the heart.

Is it safe to work out if you have heart failure?

You should engage in easy activities that can strengthen your heart and encourage blood circulation. Over time, exercise increases your body’s efficiency, lessening heart failure symptoms.

Is it possible to live with heart failure?

Although there is no known treatment for heart failure, people can learn to live active, healthy lives by controlling their condition with medicine, dietary adjustments, daily weighing, and physical activity.

What’s the main cause of heart failure?

Coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, and a history of a heart attack are the most frequent factors that can result in heart failure. To delay the beginning of heart failure, it’s essential that you properly treat any of these problems if you have been diagnosed with them.

Dr Sanam shakya

Dr. Sanam Shakya is a licensed MBBS doctor working as a medical officer under the emergency department in Karnali Province Hospital, Surkhet, Nepal.Dr. Shakya's interests are intensive trauma care, emergency medicine, and internal fixation surgeries. He spends a considerable amount of time inpatient''s healthcare.

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