Fatigue and Limitation of Physical Activity

Cardiac disorders can often limit a person’s ability to perform different physical activities. Hence one of the most essential ways to evaluate the severity of a cardiac disorder is to determine how limited is the capability of a person to perform physical activities. Doctors often use the New York Heart Association functional class system to evaluate the severity of the cardiac disorder. Class I consists of mild cardiac diseases in which performance of ordinary physical activity may not be limited. In Class II the cardiac disorder is moderate in severity and ordinary physical activity might cause the appearance of symptoms. In Class III the cardiac disorder is moderately severe and even less than ordinary physical activities can cause the appearance of different symptoms. In Class IV the cardiac disorder is severe and the symptoms might appear during rest and the symptoms worsen during any physical activity.

However this class system is not completely foolproof because there are certain cardiac disorders which do not produce any symptoms even if they are serious. These cardiac disorders might not produce any symptoms in case the person reduces his or her physical activity level to compensate for the cardiac disorder.


As in heart failure, when the heart pumps inefficiently the muscles of the body suffer from inadequate blood supply especially during physical activity. Inadequate blood supply to the muscles causes feeling of fatigue and weakness even though the symptoms are often quite subtle. People often compensate the feeling of fatigue and weakness by reducing the level of their physical activities and often they also blame the symptoms of fatigue on increasing age.

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Yasser Elnahas

MD, PHD, Professor Of CardioVascular Surgery
Dr. Yasser Elnahas, Is an associate Professor of Cardiovascular Surgery. Dr. Elnahas was trained as a fellow At Texas Heart Institute And Mayo Clinic Foundation.Dr. Elnahas is dedicated to educating the general public about different disease conditions and simplifying the medical knowledge in an easy to understand terminology.

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