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Heart failure occurs when your heart does not pump as much blood as the body needs. Failure does not mean that the heart has stopped pumping but rather that it is not pumping as well as it should. Over time, this causes fluid buildup in your lungs and other parts of your body. Fluid buildup can cause shortness of breath, fatigue, swollen ankles, and other problems. By taking medicines regularly, reducing sodium (salt) in your diet, checking your weight every day, and making lifestyle changes, you can feel better and live longer.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
You will get more details on the specific medicines your doctor prescribes.
Call 911 if you have symptoms of sudden heart failure such as:
Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if you develop new symptoms.
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Current as of: April 9, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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