Despite the negative sound of the phrase, heart failure doesn’t necessary mean that your heart has stopped working. It does signify there is trouble with the pumping action. Heart failure may be caused by coronary artery disease, hypertension (high blood pressure), or even diabetes.
Heart disease is a very common condition, afflicting more than five million Americans. In some instances, the heart is too weak to pump sufficient blood to the lungs where it can be oxygenated; in other cases, left-side heart failure means that the heart isn’t able to pump enough oxygenated blood to the rest of the body.
In either case, the result may be shortness of breath, difficulty in breathing, fatigue, or swelling in the ankles, feet, abdomen and veins in the neck. These symptoms mean that fluid is building up in your body. Other signs are weight gain, a frequent need to urinate, or a cough that is worse when you are lying down.