PREVIOUS QUESTION:

 

NEXT QUESTION:

 

How does your heart work if you have heart failure?

ANSWER

With heart failure, the weakened heart pumps less blood than usual. So the kidneys and adrenal glands make chemicals that help the body to hold onto salt and water.

Also, your blood vessels constrict, raising blood pressure. This makes it even harder for the heart to push blood through the arteries.

Because the body is retaining salt and water or the heart is unable to pump blood forward, water may pool in the legs and ankles, causing them to swell.

SOURCES: 

Silver, W., ''Success With Heart Failure: Help and Hope for Those with Congestive Heart Failure,'' HarperCollins, 3rd edition October 16, 2002. 

American Heart Association.

Reviewed by Suzanne R. Steinbaum on February 20, 2017

SOURCES: 

Silver, W., ''Success With Heart Failure: Help and Hope for Those with Congestive Heart Failure,'' HarperCollins, 3rd edition October 16, 2002. 

American Heart Association.

Reviewed by Suzanne R. Steinbaum on February 20, 2017

NEXT QUESTION:

How does heart failure affect the lungs?

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.