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Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) is a chronic cardiopulmonary disease that occurs when your heart does not circulate blood like it should. CHF can be caused by any of the following: coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, alcohol abuse, diabetes, certain medications, tobacco use, obesity, infection of the heart muscle, and irregular heartbeat. These issues leave the heart muscle too weak to work effectively.
Symptoms of CHF include:
- Shortness of breath
- Edema in lower extremities
- Irregular heartbeat
- Cough, often with blood tinged phlegm
- Fluid retention in abdomen, often with rapid weight gain
- Decreased appetite
- Chest pain
CHF is not reversible, but it can be preventable. Steps for prevention and health promotion include providing education for lifestyle changes can help prevent heart failure. Patients should not smoke cigarettes, stay physically active, eat a healthy and balanced diet, maintain a healthy weight, and keep stress under control.