What is Heart Failure?

Heart failure is when your heart doesn’t pump enough blood around the body at the right pressure.

It usually happens because the heart muscle is too weak or stiff.

It doesn’t mean your heart’s about to stop working. It just needs support to do its job – usually with medicine.

There isn’t usually one cause, and lots of things can contribute to your condition including:

  • high blood pressure
  • coronary heart disease
  • a rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • narrow or leaky heart valves
  • drinking too much alcohol
  • infections that affect the heart.

Heart failure can make you feel very tired or breathless and cause your hands, feet, legs and sometimes your abdomen to swell. You might notice weight gain because of fluid retention.

The symptoms of heart failure are different for everyone. It’s important to keep an eye on yours so you notice any changes early.


Relevant Topics

Heart Failure

What is Heart Failure?

Treatment for Heart Failure

Getting Support for Heart Failure

Eating and Drinking and Heart Failure

Heart Failure Services

Shropshire Services & Support Groups - Heart Failure

National Services - Heart Failure


Self Care and Support

Self Care and Support - Introduction

Self Care and Support - Aims

Shropshire Services & Support Groups - Self Care and Support

National Services - Self Care and Support


Wellbeing Plan (Care Plan)

Wellbeing Plan (Care Plan) - Information

Wellbeing Plan (Care Plan) - Document Sections