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Heart failure

By AJ Murphy

Do you feel shortness of breath after walking or climbing stairs? If you do, then you might be experiencing symptoms of heart failure. Your doctor can help teach you about heart failure. And show you how you can prevent it from happening. We help many of our members with heart failure live happier, healthier lives.


What are the symptoms of heart failure?


For some people, heart failure is an ongoing condition. For others, the signs and symptoms can start suddenly. Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these signs and symptoms of heart failure:


  • Shortness of breath doing regular activities
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Swelling in your legs, ankles and/or feet
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Reduced ability to exercise
  • Persistent cough or wheezing
  • Increased need to urinate at night
  • Swelling of your abdomen
  • Very rapid weight gain
  • Lack of appetite
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Sudden, severe shortness of breath and coughing up pink, foamy mucus
  • Chest pain (this may also require a trip to the emergency department)


How to prevent heart failure


The best way to prevent heart failure is to make healthy choices. You can control and prevent heart failure by:


  • Not smoking
  • Controlling certain conditions, such as high blood pressure and diabetes
  • Staying physically active
  • Eating healthy foods
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Reducing and managing stress


About the author

AJ Murphy is an evocative young writer who grew up in Boston's Charlestown neighborhood. AJ began his writing career at Alaska Ice Rinks Inc. in Anchorage, AK, where he also drove a Zamboni and took care of outdoor hockey rinks.

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