Heart failure is when your heart is too weak to pump the usual amount of blood through your body.
|It can make you:
|Your heart works more slowly.
|Feel tired very often.
|Your heart can’t pump as hard as it should.
|Short of breath.
|Blood and fluid back up into your lungs.
|Have chest pain.
|Fluid builds up in your belly, legs, ankles and feet.
|Gain weight fast without other explanation.
|Your body doesn’t get the oxygen it needs.
|Have very puffy or swollen legs or ankles.
If you have any of the above symptoms, call your primary care provider (PCP) right away. They will work with you to figure out next steps for your health.
It’s possible to live a long and active life with heart failure. The first step is understanding what heart failure means, so you and your primary care provider can work together to help you feel your best.
Changing some of your habits now can help improve your symptoms and help you live longer. What can you do?
- Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Eat fewer salty and processed foods.
- Drink less alcohol.
- Get active — it’s okay to start small like walking 10 minutes at a time.
- Talk to your primary care provider about what a healthy weight is for you — if you’re overweight, losing even 5% can make a big difference in your health.
- Manage your stress by taking time for yourself — you can do breathing exercises or meditate a few minutes a day.