What are the Signs and Symptoms of Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)?

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)?

Congestive heart failure (CHF), also known as heart failure, occurs when the heart cannot pump blood effectively, leading to a buildup of fluid and other problems in the body. Signs and symptoms of congestive heart failure can vary based on the stage of the condition and its underlying causes. Common signs and symptoms include:

  1. Shortness of Breath (Dyspnea):
    • Persistent breathlessness, especially during physical activity or while lying flat.
  2. Fatigue and Weakness:
    • Feeling unusually tired, weak, or lacking in energy, even with minimal exertion.
  3. Swelling (Edema):
    • Fluid retention, resulting in swelling in the legs, ankles, feet, or abdomen. This occurs due to the accumulation of excess fluid in the tissues.
  4. Coughing and Wheezing:
    • Persistent cough, often accompanied by frothy or pink-tinged phlegm (sputum), especially when lying down or at night. Wheezing or whistling during breathing may also occur.
  5. Rapid or Irregular Heartbeat:
    • Palpitations, a fluttering or racing heart, or an irregular heartbeat.
  6. Sudden Weight Gain:
    • Rapid and unexplained weight gain over a short period, due to fluid retention.
  7. Reduced Exercise Tolerance:
    • Difficulty or inability to perform usual activities or exercises due to fatigue or shortness of breath.
  8. Swollen Abdomen:
    • Enlargement or bloating of the abdomen due to fluid accumulation in the liver or intestines.
  9. Loss of Appetite or Nausea:
    • Reduced desire to eat or feeling nauseous.
  10. Frequent Urination at Night:
    • Increased urination, especially during the night (nocturia).
  11. Dizziness or Light-headedness:
    • Feeling dizzy, light-headed, or faint, often when standing up quickly.
  12. Chest Pain or Discomfort:
    • Chest discomfort, tightness, or pain (angina) due to the heart’s inability to pump effectively.
  13. Difficulty Sleeping or Insomnia:
    • Difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up frequently due to breathlessness or other symptoms.
  14. Confusion or Impaired Thinking:
    • Mental fog, confusion, or difficulty concentrating, especially in advanced stages.
  15. Decreased Urine Output:
    • Reduced amount of urine produced or a need to urinate less often than usual.

It’s important to note that symptoms may worsen or improve over time, and individuals may experience a combination of these symptoms. If you suspect you or someone else may have congestive heart failure, seek medical attention promptly for a thorough evaluation and appropriate management. Early diagnosis and proper treatment can help manage symptoms and improve quality of life.

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