What Are The Five Early Signs Of Congestive Heart Failure?

What Are The Five Early Signs Of Congestive Heart Failure?

Congestive heart failure may progress overtime and thus, it’s early diagnosis is essential for speedy treatment. In order to help the doctors to spot the probable presence of congestive heart failure, the Heart Failure Society of America has mentioned five early signs to suspect the presence of the disease in the patient. These signs can be collectively named as FACES; which is an acronym of the symptoms. They include-

What Are The Five Early Signs Of Congestive Heart Failure?

Fatigue- The patient may complain about feeling excessively tired while doing any strenuous activity even for short period of time. This usually occurs because the heart in the patient is unable to pump proper amount of oxygenated blood to all parts of the body.

Activity Limitation- Patients with congestive heart failure seems to have limited activities throughout the day because of extreme fatigue they experience after doing any kind of work.

Congestion- There may be fluid retention in the lungs due to improper functioning of heart. This is often noticed when the patient has difficulty in breathing and cough constantly.

Edema- Due to the inability of the heart to pump blood throughout the body, there can be water retention in the legs and ankles along with abdomen and thighs too. This takes a more pronounced form with excess weight gain in short amount of time.

Shortness of Breath- Due to improper circulation of oxygenated blood, the deoxygenated blood is accumulated in the lungs. This may make it difficult for the patient to breathe properly resulting in shortness of breath.

Can Congestive Heart Failure Stem From Unhealthy Lifestyle Habits?

Congestive heart failure can occur if a person lives an unhealthy lifestyle for prolonged period of time. Some of the conditions include-

Obesity: Lack of routine exercise and prominent obesity may put a pressure on the heart directly which may lead to heart failure.

Salty Food: Consumption of excessively salty food or high intake of salt in any form may facilitate water retention making the person prone to congestive heart failure.

Alcohol: Excessive consumption of alcohol and smoking affects the functions of the internal organs and may lead to congestive heart failure.

Medicines: If the patient does not take proper medication for existing conditions like high cholesterol or high blood pressure and does not confirm with the medical therapies, it can increase the risk of congestive heart failure.

What are the Internal Mechanisms That Occur On Congestive Heart Failure?

Congestive heart failure may be a result of the physiological mechanisms taking place internally due to various reasons-

It can stem from a condition medically known as cardiomyopathy. In this, the heart muscles essentially start to weaken and the normal pumping action is done forcefully.

High blood pressure can damage the muscles of the heart making it weak and unable to pump blood efficiently.

Damage to the heart valves either due to leakage or even blockage may lead to improper functioning of the valves to carry blood throughout the body. In a typical problem of heart leakage, there may be back flow of the blood, making the heart pump blood harder to compensate. This pressurizes the heart and may lead to congestive heart failure.

An incident of heart attack, medically called the myocardial infarction may also lead to congestive heart disease. This may lead to damage of the blood vessels or the chambers of the heart thereby leading to congestive heart disease.


For any progressive disease like congestive heart failure, treatment in the initial stage is more effective compared to the treatment given in the advanced stages. Thus, early diagnosis will lead to early initiation of treatment procedure which will be beneficial for the patient with the disease to lead a quality life.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:February 2, 2019

Recent Posts

Related Posts