What is it?

heart failure is a condition in which your heart is not pumping blood around your body very efficiently.
The left side of your heart gets oxygen-rich blood from your lungs and pumps it to the body, while the right side of your heart gets oxygen-poor blood from your body and pumps it to the lungs.
Heart failure can affect the left or the right side of your heart, or both. Failure of the left side of the heart may cause blood to back up (be congested) into the lungs, while failure of the right side of the heart may cause fluid accumulation in the body (abdomel, legs, etc.).
In many cases, the cause of heart failure is unknown or uncertain. Conditions that can lead to heart failure include:
*heart attack
*disease of the heart muscle (cardiomyopathy)
*high blood pressure
*heart rhythm or valve abnormalities
*myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle)
*Heart failure on the left side can sometimes lead to heart failure on the right side.

412 Alikes with Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)

Learn from others
who are experiencing
Congestive Heart Failure (CHF).

Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Left Heart Failure
- Systolic Heart Failure
- Combined Systolic and Diastolic Heart Failure

Signs & symptoms

Symptoms of heart failure are associated with the accumulation of fluid in different parts of your body, and poor blood flow to the body organs. These symptoms include:
*shortness of breath, especially when walking or exercising. Shortness of breath may also become more noticeable while lying flat.
*leg swelling (edema)
*abdominal swelling
*loss of appetite


Your doctor will ask you questions regarding your past medical history and your symptoms.
Physical examination includes listening to your heart and lungs, examining your abdomen and limbs, measuring heart rate and blood pressure. Additional tests include:
*urine sample
*blood tests
*chest X-ray to see whether you heart is enlarged and check your lungs for fluid
*ECG to measure the electrical activity of the heart
*echocardiogram – an ultrasound of the heart that will check the pumping action of your heart and the function of the valves in your heart


Heart failure results from impairment of the heart's pumping action. Commonly this is related to heart muscle damage that cannot be repaired. However, There are several treatments available to keep the condition under control and relieve the symptoms. These may include:
* medications to control blood pressure and reduce the strain on your heart such as Beta-blockers and ACE inhibitors, diuretics to help you to get rid of excess fluid and more
* Behavioral changes such as fluid restriction and a low-salt diet.
* Surgically implanted devices such as CRT (cardiac resynchronization therapy - a device that coordinates the function of the left and right ventricles) and defibrillators as needed.
* ventricular assist devices (VADs) or a heart transplant for severe heart failure – considered as a last resort

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

Learn more about our editorial process for content accuracy.

Alike Wisdom

Instantly get answers to medical questions with our AI, built from the collective wisdom of our community facing similar experiences

Thank you! Your submission has been received!

Find people who are
experiencing a similar
medical reality

100% Free