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What are the warning symptoms of congestive heart failure?

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Quick Answer

The symptoms of congestive heart failure may be constant or they can come and go sporadically, and they include congestion in the lungs, fluid and water retention, fatigue, dizziness and weakness, according to WebMD. Congestive heart failure can also cause irregular or rapid heartbeat.

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Full Answer

When the heart doesn't do an effective job pumping, fluid can back up into the lungs. In turn, this causes shortness of breath when exercising or even when lying flat in bed. As a result of congestion, wheezing or a dry hacking cough may also be experienced.

Less blood making its way into the kidneys due to congestive heart failure can also cause fluid or water retention and edema. This can manifest as swollen legs, ankles and feet, and the stomach may also swell. Because of this additional fluid, there may be an increased need to urinate during the nighttime hours, states WebMD. Fluid can also cause bloating, reduction of appetite and nausea.

Congestive heart failure makes the heart work harder and faster to move blood throughout the body. This can result in irregular and rapid heartbeat. Fatigue, dizziness and weakness may also result from less blood making it to the muscles and major organs. Less blood making its way to the brain can result in confusion and dizziness.

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