Congestive Heart Failure (CHF or heart failure) is a condition in which the heart muscle weakens and can’t efficiently pump blood throughout the body.
As we age, we naturally lose the ability to pump blood as effectively as we could when we were young, however, heart failure results when the added stress of health conditions either damage the heart or make it work too hard. All of the lifestyle factors that increase the risk of heart attack and stroke—smoking, being overweight, eating foods high in fat and cholesterol and physical inactivity—can also contribute to heart failure.
Watch for these signs:
- Shortness of breath (also called dyspnea)
- Persistent coughing or wheezing
- Buildup of excess fluid in body tissues (edema)
- Tiredness, fatigue
- Lack of appetite, nausea
- Confusion, impaired thinking
- Increased heart rate