Heart failure happens when your heart muscle isn't pumping enough blood to the rest of your body. Because the heart isn't pumping as it should, fluids can start to build up. This can cause congestion in the lungs and other tissues, causing shortness of breath, swelling, and fatigue. This is known as “congestive heart failure”. Not everyone with heart failure has a buildup of fluids, and sometimes the simpler term “heart failure” is used to describe this condition.
In addition, your body might do other things to make up for the weakened pumping of your heart. You might hold salt and water in the blood, increasing the amount of blood in your system. Your heart might also beat faster or get larger.
We can treat congestive heart failure to slow the disease and help you feel better and live longer.
The main risk factors and causes of congestive heart failure are:
Weakness, feeling tired. When your heart isn't pumping effectively, the body doesn't get enough oxygen-rich blood to meet your energy demands.
Shortness of breath, coughing. When fluid builds up in your lungs, you might find it hard to catch your breath or have a frequent cough. You could also have shortness of breath when lying down.
Weight gain. Sudden or steady gain in daily weight (for example, 2 to 3 pounds in 24 hours or 5 pounds over a couple of weeks) shows that the body is retaining fluid.
Swelling of feet or ankles. When the body retains fluid, you might have swelling in your feet and ankles.
Changes in the frequency of urination. When the heart isn't pumping effectively, the kidneys can't remove excess fluid from the body. You might urinate less frequently during the day or more frequently at night.
Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following serious changes in your symptoms:
Call 911 if you experience any of the following:
You can manage your risk for CHF in the following ways: