Patient Comments: Congestive Heart Failure - Symptoms

For congestive heart failure, what were the symptoms and signs you experienced?

Comment from: astrogirl, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 25

I had swelling of my legs and feet. This was prior to having to have an open-heart surgery at the age of 42. At the age of 47, I experienced swelling in my right leg. It was determined that I had an extreme iron deficiency brought on by the excessive bleeding during menstrual cycles due to uterine fibroids. The red blood cells carry oxygen through the bloodstream, and I was deficient in red blood cells. I received a blood transfusion. Several weeks later, I had a hysterectomy and the symptoms abated. I haven't heard of anyone else who has had this complication due to congestive heart failure (CHF), so I thought I would mention it here.

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Comment from: Moster, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: September 17

At my worst, my doctor said I had “one of the most enlarged hearts I had ever seen.” Being a 25-year smoker (I'm now 45), I immediately quit. I had also become a full-raging type 2 diabetic and would inject 100+ full units of insulin per meal. I weighed 364 pounds at the time and clearly was going to die. I opted for gastric bypass surgery, and I now weigh 190 pounds (my high school weight). I am 6 feet 2 inches tall. I have reversed my congestive heart failure, I am no longer a diabetic, and I ride my bike at least 12 miles every day and feel like a 21-year-old again. No kidding! I eat only whole foods, veggies, no meat, bread or rice. I'm a combination carb/protein type and have a protein shake once or twice a week or salmon. I am, and I feel, completely recovered.

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Comment from: Cyndie, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 29

I was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy about four years ago but just recently began having trouble breathing when lying down. I attributed it to my weight at first but grew concerned when I could hear my lungs crumpling and wheezing with every breath. As it got more and more difficult to breathe and people across the room could hear it, and I felt weaker and was feeling chest pressure, I decided to go to the ER. They diagnosed me with congestive heart failure.

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Comment from: CarolAnn64, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 27

With my congestive heart failure, I had a bloated stomach on and off. I also experienced insomnia, a pressure feeling on my chest as if it was caving in on me, and chest pains. My other symptoms included coughing, bad upper back pains under my shoulder blades, weakness, and light-headedness. Sometimes I had palpitations. The glands just under my armpits would hurt a little. I would have fatigue that seemed to come out of nowhere and I would have to sleep immediately. I was unable to make it up the stairs without having to stop for a break in between because of lack of oxygen and because of weakness. I had to prop myself up on pillows when lying down at night so that I could breathe. Lying on my left side made my chest hurt more.

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Comment from: 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 04

I have very painful fibromyalgia and asthma and COPD. I was tired all the time and spent most of the day in bed or asleep. I was also very depressed. In October I went to the hospital to have a colonoscopy. I never had it done because my heart rate dropped below 40 two times. The second time I woke up in ICU and an hour later I was having a pacemaker put in that works on the top and bottom of my heart. I was told I have CHF. The nurse in ICU said I should count my blessings because had I not been in the hospital I probably would have died.

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Published: July 18

I'm 34 yrs old and I was diagnosed with CHF 6 months ago. My symptoms were shortness of breath, exhaustion, I couldn't breathe when I laid down flat, my tongue had white splotches on it. I have CHF because of meth use.

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Published: July 08

I first noticed the symptoms about three days before they forced me to go to the emergency room. In retrospect I realize that the symptoms had been going on for some time and I had adjusted my life style to accommodate them. The day before I had to have medical attention it took all of my energy to do simple tasks. I felt as if I were wading in water and I had to stop and get my breath many times during my work time that morning. When I returned home I crashed in the recliner and slept most of the rest of the day. From there I went to bed and slept until about 2:00am when I awakened unable to get my breath. I'm the type of person who thinks "if you ignore things, they'll eventually go away", so I fought my way through the night and went to work the next day. I lasted about 45 minutes before I went to the Doctor. I could breathe but felt as if I were getting no oxygen. I was exhausted. To my knowledge I had no swelling and I did not experience any dizziness or disorientation, I even drove myself to the hospital.

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Congestive Heart Failure - Prognosis Question: What was your congestive heart failure prognosis?
Congestive Heart Failure - Treatment Question: What was the treatment for your congestive heart failure?
Congestive Heart Failure - Causes Question: What are the underlying causes of your congestive heart failure?
Congestive Heart Failure - Lifestyle Changes Question: Have you made any lifestyle modifications including diet or exercise?

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