Congestive Heart Failure
Congestive heart failure or heart failure occurs when the heart muscle weakens and doesn't pump enough blood as it should. When this happens, blood often backs up and fluid can build up in the lungs, causing shortness of breath.
Certain heart conditions, for example, coronary artery disease or high blood pressure, gradually leave the heart too weak or stiff to fill and pump blood properly.
Signs and symptoms of congestive heart failure
- Shortness of breath with activity or when lying down
- Fatigue and weakness
- Swelling in the legs, ankles and feet
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
- Reduced ability to exercise
- Persistent cough or wheezing with white or pink blood-tinged mucus
- Swelling of the belly area (abdomen)
- Very rapid weight gain from fluid build-up
- Nausea and lack of appetite
- Difficulty concentrating or decreased alertness
- Chest pain if heart failure is caused by a heart attack