Can Heart Failure Make You Tired

March 30, 2022

The majority of patients with heart failure experience fatigue in their daily lives.

(Paducah, KY) Mar 23, 2022 - Fatigue (or feeling tired) 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
  • Difficulty with everyday activities

What Causes Fatigue from Heart Failure?

“Fatigue affects almost all patients with heart failure at one time or another. Whether the heart failure patient’s heart muscle is weak or if the muscle has gotten thick and stiff, a “flare up” can lead to not getting enough oxygen and blood pumped to the brain and muscles. This leads to a feeling of tiredness or fatigue.” stated Dr. Brian Lea, cardiologist, Baptist Health Medical Group Cardiology.

Some of the other causes of fatigue in patients with heart failure include:

  • Certain medications used to treat heart failure
  • Depression
  • Poor sleep
  • Poor diet
  • Poor exercise habits

How Can You Reduce Fatigue from Heart Failure?

Dr. Lea added, “Even though heart failure is a chronic condition, there are things that you can do to help reduce fatigue and improve your quality of life. 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. Avoid canned foods, processed foods and foods high in sodium. Try to avoid sugars, trans fats, and alcohol.
  • Weigh yourself every day. An increase in your weight of 3 pounds in one day or 5 pounds over a week may mean you are retaining too much fluid. This will make you feel more tired. Patients with heart failure that weigh themselves every day will often see their weight increase before they start having any other symptoms. Weigh yourself at the same time and on the same scale every day. This is usually best to do in the morning when you first get out of bed and after you have used the bathroom.
  • Start being more active. 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.