Fatigue is a problem that’s universal in heart failure. The majority of patients with heart failure experience fatigue in their daily lives. Examples of fatigue due to heart failure include:
- Feeling tired in the morning
- Feeling groggy throughout the day
- Trouble exercising or walking without losing your breath
What Causes Fatigue from Heart Failure?
Fatigue affects patients with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) but tends to be worse in those with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF). These patients don’t get enough oxygen and blood going to the brain and muscles due to lower cardiac output. There are potential causes of fatigue in patients with heart failure, including:
- The beta-blockers used to treat heart failure
- Poor sleep
- Poor diet
- Poor exercise habits
How Can You Reduce Fatigue from Heart Failure?
Even though heart failure is a condition that progressively worsens, there are things that you can do to help reduce fatigue. Making a few lifestyle changes can help give you more energy during the day. With your doctor’s approval, try the following:
- Eat heart-healthy foods. Put simply, eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, nuts, and legumes. Try to avoid sugars, trans fats, and alcohol.
- Start exercising. First, talk with your doctor and determine a plan that works for you. Start slowly, even if it means not sitting down as much or going on short, five-minute walks.
- Take a nap. The American Heart Association recommends taking short naps when you’re feeling too tired. These small breaks can restore your energy and give your heart a rest.
- Take care of your mental health. There’s a big link between mental health and heart health. Make sure to treat any depression, anxiety, or stress you may be experiencing. Chances are it’ll also help you’ll sleep better, which will give you more energy during the day. Also, consider yoga and meditation.
- Get better sleep. Always try to get a good night’s sleep. Go to bed early. Avoid looking at your phone while in bed, which can keep you up because of the light, and keep your room at a cool temperature.
Learn More About Heart Failure and Fatigue with Baptist Health
If you’ve experienced fatigue and are concerned that you may be at risk for heart failure, take a Health Risk Assessment today to learn more.