A Simple Way to Suspect Heart Failure
Do you get short of breath when you bend forward, such as to tie your shoelaces or put on a sock? If so, here’s what this symptom could mean and why you shouldn’t ignore it.
What this Symptom Could Mean
If you bend forward and get short of breath, do NOT ignore this symptom! This symptom was recently coined as “bendopnea” (pronounced bend-op-nee-ah). This symptom could be a sign of heart failure.
A study of 102 heart failure patients showed bendopnea was present in 28% of their subjects (29 out of 102 subjects). When bending over, the average time it took for these symptoms to appear was eight seconds. Some patients thought their bendopnea was due to being out of shape or overweight, but were more likely to have other symptoms of advanced disease.
Try this test: Sit down and bend forward at the waist. Are you short of breath within 30 seconds? If you have “bendopnea”, you have:
What is Heart Failure?
Heart failure, often referred to as congestive heart failure or (CHF), is a serious condition, but people often mistakenly think that it means that the heart has stopped beating.
Heart failure occurs when one or more chambers of the heart “fail” to keep up with the volume of blood flowing through them. The heart cannot pump enough blood and oxygen to maintain blood flow to other organs in your body. The reoxygenated blood from your lungs starts building up inside your lungs when your heart can’t keep up with ejecting it to other organs in need.
The buildup of blood causes fluid (mainly water) to leak from the small blood vessels (capillaries). That is, the arms, lungs, legs, feet, ankles, and other organs become “congested” with blood and fluid which explains how “congestive heart failure” got its name.