DEAR DOCTOR K: I was just diagnosed with heart failure. So far, my symptoms have been mild. What can I do to make sure they don't get worse?
DEAR READER: Heart failure is a condition that progressively weakens your heart's power to pump blood throughout your body. It may start out mild, but can worsen quickly. Many people think "heart failure" means sudden death. It surely is true that when the heart suddenly stops working at all and a person dies, the heart has failed in the worst possible way. But the term "heart failure" refers to a heart that still is pumping, but just not effectively enough.