Chronic heart failure : symptoms

Chronic heart failure
Chronic heart failure (CHF) - a syndrome characterized by impaired function of the heart, and it does not support the circulation at levels sufficient to meet the body's needs.

This means that the blood does not deliver as many organs and tissues of oxygen and nutrients, as required for their normal operation.Furthermore, there is no exchange of full removal of tissue and fluid products.

Causes of chronic heart failure

main causes of chronic heart failure are diseases that affect the myocardium and increase the load on the heart.CHF may complicate the course of almost all diseases of the cardiovascular system, develop chronic lung disease, anemia, hyperthyroidism.However, the most frequent causes of CHF are:

  • ischemic heart disease (myocardial infarction, and as one of the most important of its manifestations);
  • high blood pressure;
  • rheumatic heart disease.

Symptoms of chronic heart failure

main symptoms of heart failure are caused by fluid accumulation and stagnation:

  • shortness of breath;
  • cough;
  • weight gain;
  • lower limb edema;
  • abdominal distension;
  • pain in the right upper quadrant;
  • loss of appetite.

for CHF is characterized by insufficient blood supply to organs and tissues, which is manifested by weakness, fatigue, dizziness.


This is the most frequent and early symptom of congestive heart failure.According to a study IMPROVEMENT, shortness of breath disturbs 98.4% of patients with CHF.At first, it only occurs during physical exertion and goes away after its termination, later appears at rest and increases with the slightest physical activity.

The cause of dyspnea is the development of congestive changes in the lungs.Shortness of breath may disturb and obese individuals and patients with bronchopulmonary diseases, so it should not be used as the sole criterion in the diagnosis of CHF.


more specific symptom of chronic heart failure - orthopnea.This shortness of breath that occurs or increasing in the supine position.

orthopnea emergence due to the fact that the horizontal inflow of blood to the heart from the lower extremities, but the heart can no longer cope with the additional load, which leads to the development of lung congestion and feelings of breathlessness.This shortness of breath occurs within a few minutes of being sick in bed and passes quickly, as soon as he sits down.

To make it easier to breathe, sick, lying in bed, placed under the head and a few pillows in a semi-sitting position sleep all night.

attacks of breathlessness at night (cardiac asthma)

It attacks severe dyspnea, often appearing suddenly at night and accompanied by the excitation of the patient and the fear of death.


Cough is often accompanied by shortness of breath, also occurs in the supine position or during exercise.Typically, dry cough, sometimes with the separation of a small amount of mucous expectoration.

The cause of the cough is a long stagnation of blood in the lungs and swelling of the bronchial mucosa and irritation of cough receptors.Unlike bronchopulmonary diseases at the "heart" is not coughing discharge of purulent sputum, and he goes after adequate heart failure treatment.

swelling in the legs

Swelling often disturb patients with chronic heart failure.In the initial stages there is a slight pasty, later moderate swelling of the feet and legs.As the progression of heart failure, edema become more pronounced and extended to the thighs, abdominal wall, the lumbar region.

However, edema is insensitive sign of heart failure, their appearance may be associated also with massive obesity, liver disease, kidney, thyroid, varicose veins of the lower extremities.

Rapid weight gain

dramatic weight gain indicates accumulation of fluid in the body and is often observed in the deterioration of chronic heart failure (decompensation development).Patients with heart failure should regularly monitor their body weight, with weight gain of more than 2 kg in 3 days, they should consult a doctor or increase the dose of diuretics.


Palpitations say about 80% of patients with chronic heart failure.At first heartbeat occurs when the physical and emotional stress, and then alone.There is due to the development of neuroendocrine changes in patients with heart failure.

Fainting and dizziness

These conditions may disturb patients with CHF due to reduced blood flow to the brain.The reason they may not be the very heart failure and disease, which led to it, such as heart disease or heart rhythm disorders.

appetite loss

appetite in chronic heart failure is reduced due to swelling of the intestinal wall, which prevents digestion.Loss of appetite and nausea are also frequent side effects of certain drugs used in the treatment of patients with cardiovascular disease.


Fatigue - a common symptom of congestive heart failure.People with heart failure may feel constant fatigue and difficulty to perform daily activities such as walking, climbing stairs, carrying bags of groceries.

Fatigue or tiredness occur, because less blood flows to the muscles, but because of the lack of oxygen in the muscles decreases energy education.Fatigue also develop because the body can not remove waste as quickly as it should.


Increased urine volume at night - also a characteristic symptom of CHF, which appears in the early stages of the disease.The reason for the predominance of diuresis at night is insufficient blood supply to the kidney during the day, due to the redistribution of blood flow: the body directs the blood primarily to the vital organs - the heart, the brain.At night, when their reduced activity, increased blood flow to the kidneys, which leads to increased production of urine.

should be noted that in the later stages of chronic heart failure, when the heart is unable to cope with its function and at rest, blood flow through the kidneys is reduced constantly and there is a significant reduction in separation of urine during all day.

Emotional disturbances

Besides physical symptoms, some patients experiencing the seriousness of the situation, suffer from emotional disorders: anxiety, depression.But careful management of patients with chronic heart failure can relieve symptoms, improve prognosis and prolong life.

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