Fatigue is a very subjective symptom, it is impossible to see and difficult to quantify; tiredness can be related to a multitude of physical conditions.


Perception varies from person to person

This feeling of being tired expresses itself differently from one person to another, despite similar physical conditions or health.

Some people do not feel or rarely feel tired, while others often say that they are.



Are there any other associated symptoms?

Isolated fatigue, or tiredness without other symptoms, is rarely of cardiac origin.

The most common cardiac symptoms associated with fatigue are shortness of breath and / or chest pain. It is very difficult to identify its source and poses a major challenge for health professionals.



Heart fatigue most often accompanies a chronic heart condition. It is rarely the first symptom of a recent heart problem, but it usually shows up when the breath starts to be short.

A tired heart is a consequence of a chronic heart failure with a lowered ejection fraction.


The impact of slower blood circulation

When the cardiac performance is strongly disturbed, the blood circulation slows down and this affects several body organs. Oxygenation and the supply of nutrients to the vital organs are compromised and their functioning is diminished.


The liver and the kidneys are less effective in getting rid of the waste in our body. Toxins accumulate and the body "poisons" itself. Eventually, fatigue may appear.

The brain may also suffer from this condition as concentration and memory may be affected. Physically, the slightest effort can be perceived as difficult.


Possible to feel better

But beware!!! There are people with cardiac difficulties who are active and who have a sufficiently in-shape heart that allows them to live a satisfactory level of activity and a full and happy life!

Let's take a look at this from a different angle and take a closer look at why some "sick" people with weakened hearts can also be active and fit!


The marathoner

A marathon runner trains regularly for long distance running. His or her cardiovascular system is trained for this kind of high-level physical activity.


Optimal cardiovascular performance

A resting, healthy heart has a slower rate, and the normal increase in heartbeats during effort is slower. The cavity of the left ventricle is a little larger. Therefore, at each beat, the heart ejects a larger amount of blood into the circulation. The pump (the heart!) is very effective in providing blood flow. The heart spends less energy but pumps more blood with each beat.

Traffic is also more efficient. The supply of oxygen and nutrients at the muscular level is optimal. The wastes produced by the muscles are quickly expelled through the circulation in the veins and are eliminated by the lungs, the kidneys and the liver. The runner can therefore perform at a high level thanks to the efficiency of his trained heart.


Daily activities

Our daily activities also require cardiac work. As we usually have a consistent routine, our heart is trained to be at this level of activity!

Walking, climbing stairs, carrying packages: All these tasks and activities require the heart to work to meet the muscular demand and release toxins from the body.

The heart increases its rate and blood pressure to provide the blood flow needed for muscular needs.




Patients with heart failure

In patients with heart failure for whom the heart pumps less blood with each beat, the work provided by the heart and the entire cardiovascular system during regular activities is insufficient.

The heart can no longer provide the blood flow needed to meet muscular needs. Therefore, it works harder and has difficulties supplying.


The impact of suboptimal cardiovascular performance

Blood flow is simply not present. In addition to not receiving the necessary oxygen and nutrients, muscle toxins are not removed efficiently from the human body. Fatigue is quickly felt. Yet, these activities are performed without fatigue or shortness of breath in healthy people. Daily activities can be to heart failure what the marathon can be for a normal person.



Severe heart failure

In patients with very severe heart failure, the heart fails to provide baseline blood flow like it does at rest or at a minimal level of activity.


The various vital organs such as the brain, liver and kidneys suffer from "poor circulation".

Consequently, their function and their efficiency are diminished. Blood toxins accumulate and fatigue is rapidly felt.


Inactivity, mother of all evils!

Physical activity is as important as medical treatment. Pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments help improve the efficiency of the pump while maintaining some cardiovascular fitness.

Physical activity helps increase more efficiently the extraction and use of oxygen and nutrients by muscles and vital organs while more effectively evacuating toxins and waste from the body.

In this way, the circulation tends to maintain some efficiency despite the heart condition.


Learn to move

Cardiovascular rehabilitation centers allow people with heart failure to improve their cardiovascular fitness. Medical staff, kinesiologists and dieticians work at these centers to advise and supervise patients with heart failure. Their expertise helps to improve the lives of these patients on a daily basis!




The important thing is to "move" and adopt healthy lifestyle habits. By combining physical activity with conventional medical treatment, fatigue will diminish, or simply become a symptom of the past!

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