What is Heart Failure?

Despite the way it sounds, heart failure does not mean that the heart suddenly stopped working or that you are about to die. Rather, heart failure is a common condition that usually develops slowly as the heart muscle weakens and needs to work harder to keep blood flowing through the body. Heart failure develops following injury to the heart such as the damage caused by a heart attack, long-term high blood pressure, or an abnormality of one of the heart valves. The weakened heart must work harder to keep up with the demands of the body, which is why people with heart failure often complain of feeling tired.

Heart failure is often not recognized until a more advanced stage of heart failure, commonly referred to as congestive heart failure, in which fluid may leak into the lungs, feet, legs, and in some cases the liver or abdominal cavity.

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