Heart failure (HF), often called congestive heart failure (CHF) or congestive cardiac failure (CCF), occurs when the heart is unable to provide sufficient pump action to distribute blood flow to meet the needs of the body. Heart failure can cause a number of symptoms including shortness of breath, leg swelling, and exercise intolerance. The condition is diagnosed with echocardiography and blood tests. Treatment commonly consists of: lifestyle measures such as smoking cessation, light exercise including breathing protocols, decreased salt intake and other dietary changes, and medications. Sometimes it is treated with implanted devices (pacemakers or ventricular assist devices) and occasionally a heart transplant. Heart failure is a condition in which the heart can't pump enough blood to meet the body's needs. In some cases, the heart can't fill with enough blood. In other cases, the heart can't pump blood to the rest of the body with enough force. Some people have both problems. The term "Heart Failure" doesn't mean that your heart has stopped or is about to stop working. However, heart failure is a serious condition that requires medical care. Heart failure is a very common condition. About 5.8 million people in the United States have heart failure. Both children and adults can have the condition, although the symptoms and treatments differ. This article focuses on heart failure in adults. Currently, heart failure has no cure. However, treatments—such as medicines and lifestyle changes—can help people who have the condition live longer and more active lives. Researchers continue to study new ways to treat heart failure and its complications. Heart failure develops over time as the heart's pumping action grows weaker. The condition can affect the right side of the heart only, or it can affect both sides of the heart. Most cases involve both sides of the heart. Right-side heart failure occurs if the heart can't pump enough blood to the lungs to...
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