Symptoms of congestive heart failure

When the heart has been damaged and can no longer pump efficiently but has not failed outright, a person is suffering from congestive heart failure. When this occurs, the kidneys respond to the reduced blood circulation by retaining salt and water in the body, which adds additional stress to the heart and makes matters worse.

Congestive heart failure can affect either the right or left side of the heart. The left side pumps oxygen-rich blood from the lungs to the rest of the body. The right side of the heart pumps the oxygen-depleted blood back from the body to the lungs, where the oxygen is replenished.
When the left side of the heart is damaged, the blood backs up in the lungs, causing wheezing and shortness of breath (even during rest), fatigue, sleep disturbances, and a dry, hacking nonproductive cough when lying down.

When the right side of the heart is damaged, the blood collects in the legs and liver, causing swollen feet and ankles, swollen neck veins, pain below the ribs, fatigue, and lethargy.

Symptoms of congestive heart failure

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