What is Heart Failure? 

Your heart is a muscle that pumps blood throughout your body. The more blood that your body needs, the harder your heart must pump. 

When the body does not receive the amount of blood it needs to function normally, this condition is called heart failure.

Causes of heart failure 

Heart failure occurs as a result of a problem that weakens the heart, such as: 
  • Valve disease 
  • A previous heart attack 
  • Untreated high blood pressure 
  • Viruses that cause heart infection
  • Long-term alcohol or drug abuse

Signs and symptoms 

As the heart is not able to pump enough blood with each beat to supply all the organs with the oxygen they require, the rest of your body cannot function normally. This may cause you to experience some of the following symptoms: 
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Fatigue 
  • Persistent cough 
  • Sudden and unexplained weight gain 
  • Swelling in feet and legs 
  • Gradual loss of appetite 
  • Dizzy spells and fainting

Treatment of heart failure

 For most people, heart failure is a lifelong disease and needs close monitoring. Heart failure may make your daily routine more challenging, but you can live a long and fulfilling life by following some guidelines: 
  1. Take all the medications prescribed by your doctor 
  2. Avoid using salt 
  3. Stop smoking 
  4. Weigh yourself daily
  5. Exercise gently and regularly
  6. Maintain an ideal body weight 
  7. Reduce stress levels 
  8. Limit the number of fluids you drink, if advised 
  9. Remember to go to your follow-up appointments 

Salt intake

Sodium acts like a sponge to hold extra water in the body. The signs and symptoms of heart failure, such as swelling of ankles and feet and shortness of breath, can get worse when your body retains too much water. 

Substitute salt with lemon or a non-sodium salt equivalent. 


 A regular exercise program is a crucial part of your treatment for heart failure. Not only has exercise been shown to be an excellent tool in the prevention of heart disease but it has also been reported to offer dramatic benefits for heart failure patients. Regular exercise can lower your blood pressure and may even increase your heart function. 


STOP if you feel 
  • Chest pain, pressure, or heaviness 
  • Pain radiating to the neck, jaw, teeth, or arms 
  • Extreme fatigue – abnormal to a particular activity
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness 
  • Extreme shortness of breath 
  • Irregular heartbeat or pulse
  • Nausea and vomiting
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