12 Common Symptoms of Congestive Heart Failure Congestive heart failure occurs when the heart is not able to properly administer essential nutrients and oxygen throughout the body. The heart does this by pumping blood throughout your veins. When your heart is not pumping sufficiently, your body suffers from the lack of oxygen and nutrients. How do I know when this occurs? There are a few indicators of congestive heart failure. You may not experience all of these symptoms; however if new symptoms occur or your current symptoms worsen, you should inform your doctor immediately. Breathing If you are experience shortness of breath, this may indicate excess fluid in the lungs as a result of the heart’s inability to keep up with the volume of blood. Swelling If you are experiencing swelling in your legs, feet, and/or ankles, this may due to fluid concentration. When the heart is not pumping thoroughly enough, fluids are not able to flow as freely, and may settle. Coughing A dry, persistent cough signals fluid backup and possible seeping into the lungs. Slow blood movement can cause fluids to settle where they are not supposed to. Sluggishness If you are feeling abnormally tired, and your body is feeling slower than usual, it may be a result of limited blood supply. Difficulty Sleeping If you are having difficulty sleeping when lying flat, and feel the need to sleep at an elevated level, you may have excess fluid in your lungs, making it difficult to breath soundly. Weight Gain If you are gaining around three pounds daily despite changes in diet in lifestyle, your body may be retaining fluids, collecting blood into tissues, resulting in intense weight gain. Most of these symptoms are a result of fluid not moving properly throughout the body, which can have serious outcomes. If you are experiencing any variation of the following symptoms, contact your CIVA cardiologist today.