Heart Failure Symptoms & Causes


• Shortness of breath with little exertion
• Feeling weak or tired after little activity or exertion
• Difficulty sleeping due to breathing problems
• A new or different cough, especially while lying flat
• A swollen and/or tender abdomen
• Loss of appetite
• Increased urination at night
• Swelling of the feet and legs


Heart failure is a common condition that usually develops slowly over time. As the heart muscle weakens, it works harder to keep blood flowing through the body. As the weakened heart muscle works harder to deliver enough oxygenated blood to the body, the muscle becomes bigger and eventually changes its shape leading to cardiac dysfunction and symptoms of heart failure. In most situations, heart failure (cardiac dysfunction) is caused by another existing health problem(s) or disease such as coronary artery disease, long-standing high blood pressure, or abnormal fast heart rhythms. These health problems, or diseases, may contribute to more advanced heart failure if not adequately treated or managed. The term heart failure simply refers to cardiac dysfunction and the constellation of symptoms that occur with it. Learn more about heart failure causes.

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