My sister found out recently, by accident, that her medical records from an E.R. visit indicated that she has CHF. She has never been told this by any of her doctors. She does have emphysema, BBB, swelling in lower extremities and high BP. for which she is on meds. What exactly is the criteria for a diagnosis for CHF? Is it possible that she really does have CHF?
In a general sense, congestive heart failure is a loss of pumping efficiency of the heart that leads to fluid retention. This leads to the familiar symptoms associated with heart failure such as swelling and fatigue.
Unfortunately there are a lot of conditions that mimic heart failure as well as many different causes of heart failure itself. Often, anyone with any of these symptoms is given the term CHF, sometimes inaccurately.
I would start with an evaluation by and internist or cardiologist and an echocardiogram (which will provide information of heart function). This should get her moving forward and at least clear up her diagnosis.
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