Is Your Fatigue Related to Cardiovascular Issues?

Fatigue is an often-overlooked symptom of heart trouble. Symptoms like chest pain aren’t always noticeable, if present at all, in people with heart disease, and the absence of chest pain doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. 

If you have unexplained symptoms, suspect that you have heart problems, or have risk factors for heart disease, it’s time to see a cardiologist.

Here at West Coast Medicine and Cardiology, cardiologist Dr. Rajesh Sam Suri and our team treat and manage a wide range of heart conditions. Raising awareness of the warning signs of heart trouble enables patients to take action early when heart issues are easier to treat.

Problems with the heart and circulatory system can cause a variety of symptoms, but patients most often relate classic symptoms like chest pain or palpitations with heart issues. In general, many illnesses can cause fatigue, but persistent, unexplained fatigue may be a sign of heart problems.

Fatigue may be a warning symptom of heart attack in women

Men tend to get the classic symptoms of a heart attack. Think crushing chest pain and tightness, and shortness of breath. Women, on the other hand, often experience more vague symptoms that they may not associate with a heart attack. These symptoms include fatigue and trouble sleeping.

In fact, in a study of women who had heart attacks, unexplained fatigue occurred in some 70% of the cases, making it the most common symptom. It’s easy to chalk up symptoms of fatigue to stress, but it’s important not to ignore symptoms of unusual fatigue.

Fatigue can be a sign of heart valve problems

Some heart conditions have no recognizable symptoms until they have progressed. Unexplained fatigue can be a sign of heart problems such as heart valve disease. Patients often fail to recognize small clues and changes that may point to heart trouble. 

If you have heart valve disease, it’s important to schedule and attend regular checkups to get the proper treatment and monitoring.

Fatigue as a symptom of heart failure

Unusual fatigue is one of the major symptoms of heart failure. In patients with heart failure, the heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s demand. In some cases, the heart can’t fill with enough blood, and in others, the heart can’t pump enough blood to the rest of the body. 

Fatigue is a characteristic symptom, along with lower extremity swelling, shortness of breath, and rapid heartbeat. People with heart failure typically have a reduced ability to exercise.

Chronic fatigue linked to heart problems

The exact cause of chronic fatigue is unknown. However, there is a link between heart problems in patients with chronic fatigue. Issues such as left ventricular dysfunction are common in patients with chronic fatigue. This occurs when the main chamber of the heart that pumps blood is weak, lessening the volume of blood your heart can pump. Fatigue that gets worse with exertion is a common symptom.

If you’ve been experiencing unusual fatigue, even if you haven’t been diagnosed with heart problems, it’s wise to report your symptoms to a health care provider and have an evaluation of your heart function. 

To learn more, visit Dr. Suri at West Coast Medicine and Cardiology. Call our Fremont or Hayward, California, office to schedule an appointment. You can also send the team a message here on our website.

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