- [voiceover] so left-sidedheart failure means that the left side of yourheart isn't pumping enough blood as it should, right. since the left side of yourheart pumps blood to your body, whereas your right sidepumps blood to your lungs, the symptoms are gonnabe a little different for heart failure on the leftside versus the right side. and we can even furtherdivide those symptoms of left-sided heart failureinto two categories.
and the first one is forward failure, and the second one is backward failure. so if we're talking about forward failure, we're saying that the heart isfailing to pump enough blood out from the heart or forward. so the first and kind of foremost symptom, one of the big pieces of heart failure is tiredness and fatigue. so let's really quick, reviewhow blood moves around.
usually, it comes into the left side. and then, your left side pumps it out to you, the body. and that blood has oxygen because your body needs oxygen, right. so your heart's pumpingthe blood out to your body to give it oxygen. then, your body uses itup, and it gives it back to the right side of the heart,
where it pumps it to the lungs. and then, that blood goesback into the left side, and that whole process repeats. so since your left sideisn't pumping enough blood, enough oxygenated bloodor blood with oxygen to your body, your body'sgonna feel fatigued and tired because it's notgetting enough oxygen, right. and because your whole body,every cell in your body needs oxygen to kind of survive.
so if it's not getting enough oxygen, you're gonna feel tired. you're gonna feel fatigued. and this again is oneof the hallmark symptoms of decompensated or kind oflate-stage heart failure. so second symptom of forward failure is a decrease in urine production. that sounds kind of weird. why would it do that?
well since your body's havingtrouble receiving enough blood because that left side's notpumping enough blood out, it tries to keep or holdonto the fluid to increase the amount of blood in your body. usually any extra fluid willjust be taken up by our kidneys and eliminated through your urine, right. but now your body's like,"we need more blood, "so i'm gonna hold onto this fluid." and so your urine production goes down.
finally, another symptomof forward failure is a rapid or irregular heartbeat. and sometimes we callthese "palpitations," where it feels like yourheart is suddenly racing really fast or even beating really hard. and when this seems inconsistent, either when the heartrate is beating too fast and then too slow and then too fast, or maybe it's beatingreally hard all of a sudden.
we might call that irregular, that it's this irregular heart beat, and sometimes that can evenfeel like a beat was skipped. the reason this is happeningis because the heart's trying to compensate for a lower pumping ability. so the heart's beating faster and harder to try to increase the amount of blood that's sent out to your body. okay, so those were thesymptoms that are caused
by this inability to pumpenough blood forward or out, but you can also havesymptoms that are caused by this backward failure. and when we say backward failure, we mean that the heart isn't able to receive enough blood into the heart. and you start to get this backup of blood. and so most of the time, kindof manifests the symptoms of congestion or fluid buildup,
and it's also why we sometimes call it congestive heart failure,so let's think about this. fluid comes from your lungs to your heart. but if your heart's notpumping effectively, it's not pumping enough blood out. that blood's gonna startto get backed up, right. think of it like a traffic jam. so all of a sudden, there'sthis one lane for all the cars to get through, and so thereends up being this huge
line of cars that gets backed up. it's sort of like the same thingwith fluid being backed up. and where does thatblood get backed up to? well since it's coming from the lungs, it makes sense that it getsbacked up to the lungs. and this is sometimescalled pulmonary edema, since that blood's being backed up into the pulmonary portionof your circulatory system, which is also your lungs.
and the edema justrefers to fluid buildup. so the first backward failuresymptom or congestive symptom is this difficulty breathing. so since this fluid's beingbacked up into your lungs, it can fill into thesealveoli, which are the parts of your lungs that help exchange oxygen. and since those are fillingup with fluid instead of air, it's gonna make it a lotmore difficult to breathe. and along those same lines,
you might start to cough upthis pink or foamy mucus. since that fluid's filling into the lungs when it's definitely not supposed to be, your body tries to clearthose lungs' airways by coughing, by coughing up the fluid. and sometimes thatfluid may be tinged pink because that blood isbacking up into the lungs. and these two symptomsmight even get worse at night or while you're laying down
since now the fluid'sworking less against gravity than it was when you're standing up. and those coughing fitsor difficulty breathing might get worse whileyou're trying to sleep. finally, some patients may notice that they're gaining weight, and this is for the samereasons that we just mentioned, so that the body's holdingonto more fluid, right. so your body's gonna haveall this extra fluid weight,
and that's gonna bereflected in this increase in weight gain.