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Heart Failure

What is Heart Failure?

Heart failure is a condition where the heart cannot pump enough blood throughout the body.

Heart failure does not mean that your heart has stopped or is about to stop working. Heart failure means that your heart is not able to pump blood properly. The heart either cannot fill with enough blood or pump with enough force or both.

What Causes Heart Failure?

There are many conditions that may cause heart failure. Sometimes, heart failure is a result of old age. In most cases, heart failure is caused by coronary artery disease, and high blood pressure.

How does Heart Failure Develop?

Heart failure develops over time as the pumping action of the heart grows weaker. Heart failure can affect the left side, the right side, or both sides of the heart. Most cases involve the left side where the heart cannot pump enough oxygen-rich blood to the rest of the body. With right-sided failure, the heart cannot effectively pump blood to the lungs where the blood picks up oxygen.

Complications of Heart Failure

Some common complications of heart failure are:

  • Blood and fluid to "back up" into the lungs
  • The buildup of fluid in the feet, ankles, and legs
  • Tiredness and shortness of breath

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