Congestive heart failure happens when coronary artery disease or some other trigger, such as valve disease or damage to the heart from drug or alcohol abuse, causes the heart muscles to become too weak to pump blood throughout the body. As the heart TRIES to work harder and harder to pump the blood, the muscles stretch or thicken, and eventually they lose their elasticity. The heart becomes increasingly LESS EFFICIENT at pumping the blood to vital organs and tissue and this starts a cascade of OTHER health problems. For example, without a sufficient blood supply, the body's organs become damaged. And organ damage can challenge the body even further. For example, let's look at the kidneys. Without enough blood flow, the kidneys may stop properly filtering liquid from the body, causing the limbs, lungs, and other organs, such as the heart, to swell and become CONGESTED. Excess fluid buildup can cause frequent urination, and a lack of appetite due to abdominal swelling. If fluid builds up in the lungs you may have difficulty breathing, or even wheeze and cough, especially when lying on your back.Dizziness, fatigue, weakness, and rapid or irregular heartbeats are additional side effects of fluid buildup.About 550,000 people are diagnosed with congestive heart failure each year and nearly 5 million Americans are living with the condition. Lifestyle changes such as weight loss, exercise, and smoking or drinking cessation can significantly reduce your chances of heart disease and congestive heart failure.If you find that you're experiencing ANY of these symptoms, contact your doctor.