News

Isn’t “heart failure” the same as “heart attack?”
September 26, 2017

It sounds that way, but the answer is: no. Heart failure actually means heart insufficiency — your heart, simply put, is not working as well as it should. Since your body relies on your heart to pump blood, with its nutrients and oxygen, to all your organs, a weakened heart is both damaged itself and damaging to your whole body.

According to Cardiologists from St. Luke’s Heart and Vascular Center, “Fatigue that doesn’t go away is one sign that your heart may be working too hard. Shortness of breath when performing ordinary activities is another — your heart is unable to supply your lungs with oxygen-enriched blood fast enough. This can cause coughing or wheezing as well, even if you’re lying down. And that slowdown in blood flow also affects your other organs: blood isn’t circulating through your kidneys fast enough, so you experience swelling in your ankles, abdomen, or other areas as sodium and water are not eliminated; the same thing happens to your digestive system, so you get persistent heartburn or stomach aches or nausea.”

These signs are insidious and can be confused with other ailments. But, especially if you have more than one, take yourself to the doctor for a checkup and report them. It may save your life.