Share this page

Health Library

Understanding Heart Failure

NOTE: This resource is designed to provide a concise introduction to a variety of screening, diagnostic, and treatment procedures. All animations in the Procedures InMotion resource are physician-reviewed and reflect the most up-to-date, evidence-based information. Relevant sources are provided for each animation.

The information provided here is intended to offer a general idea of what to expect when you undergo a particular procedure. Some details have been intentionally omitted to make the animation more accessible. Specific details, including length of the procedure, duration of the hospital stay, and the surgical techniques used can vary based on the severity of your condition, your doctor's experience, the hospital's protocol, and other factors. Be sure to thoroughly discuss the details of your procedure with your doctor beforehand.


Transcript

The heart is a muscle. It pumps blood containing oxygen and nutrients throughout the body.

We need oxygen and nutrients to work……to eat…and even to rest.

Normally, the heart pumps enough blood to all the parts of your body.

But when you have heart failure, your heart is weakened, and pumps less blood.

When this happens, your body tries to help the heart pump more blood by releasing chemicals, called hormones, which make the heart bigger.

But over time, this actually weakens your heart more, and it pumps even less blood.

If your body does not get enough blood, it begins holding onto fluid. Slowly the fluid begins building up. This is called edema, and is the cause of many heart failure symptoms.

Shortness of breath, one of most alarming symptoms of heart failure, is caused by fluid build-up in the lungs.

Swelling and loss of your appetite are other symptoms of heart failure.

They can occur if fluid buildup in the feet, legs, hands, face and abdomen. Heart failure can also make you feel very tired.

That’s because the parts of your body are not getting the blood they need to work properly. The weaker your heart gets, the worse these symptoms become.

If they get too bad, you may need to go to the hospital.

Animation Copyright © Milner-Fenwick

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Baptist Flame

Health Library

Find A Doctor

Services

Locations

Baptist Medical Clinic

Patients & Visitors

Learn

Contact Us

Physician Tools

Careers at Baptist

Employee Links

Online Services

At Baptist Health Systems

At Baptist Medical Center

close ×