Information on Congestive Heart Failure
Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a condition in which the heart is unable to pump enough blood throughout the body. This can be due to the heart either not being able to fill with enough blood or not pumping with enough force. The weakening of the heart's pumping ability can cause:
- Blood and fluid to "back up" into the lungs
- Buildup of fluid in the feet, ankles, and legs
- Tiredness and shortness of breath.
If your healthcare provider suspects congestive heart failure, an echocardiogram will most likely be used to confirm the diagnosis. Lifestyle changes, medications, and specialized care (in severe cases) are the standard treatments -- however, this condition usually cannot be cured.
(Click Congestive Heart Failure for more information on this condition, including who it most commonly affects.)