Related Media: Understanding Heart Failure
Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a condition that is usually the result of other underlying conditions. It is important to diagnose the underlying cause, so that the proper treatment can be given.
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There are not always noticeable symptoms for CHF as it develops. When symptoms do occur, they may include:
- Shortness of breath, especially with activity, or when lying down
- Swelling of feet and ankles
- Fatigue and weakness
- Persistent cough or wheezing cough that may be accompanied by white or blood-tinged phlegm
- Rapid weight gain
- Irregular or rapid heartbeat
- Change in urine production (increase or decrease, need to urinate at night)
- Loss of appetite
- Decreased alertness
American Heart Association website. Available at:
Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine. 14th ed. McGraw-Hill; 2001.
Heart Failure Online
website. Available at:
Mayo Clinic Heart Center website.
Vasan RS, Benjamin EJ, Levy D. Prevalence, clinical features and prognosis of diastolic heart failure; an epidemiologic perspective.
J Am Coll Cardiol.
Last reviewed September 2012 by Michael J. Fucci, DO
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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