Changing F.A.C.E.S: Early Signs Of Heart Failure Every Woman Should Know

young african american businesswoman having heart attackHeart failure occurs when something damages the heart muscle or lessens its ability to pump effectively, the Harvard Heart Letter, published in September 2016 says. It’s important to note, that while “faulty heart valves,” or pre-existing conditions like high blood pressure and genetic disease may also be to blame – for women, unlike men, heart attack symptoms are often unrelated to chest pain.

The earliest symptoms may be very subtle, but they are certainly not to be ignored. So, what are the warning signs of premature heart failure? How do you respond? To help both patients and physicians spot a combo of symptoms pointing to possible heart failure, the Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA) developed a handy tool that goes by the acronym F.A.C.E.S.

F = Fatigue. When the heart can’t pump enough oxygen-rich blood to meet the body’s energy needs, a general feeling of tiredness or fatigue sets in.

A = Activity limitation. People with heart failure are often unable to do their normal activities because they become easily tired and short of breath.