Discusses importance of tracking weight for those with heart failure. Offers links to info on watching fluid intake, activity and exercise, and eating less salt. Covers how to check your weight when you have heart failure.
Heart Failure: Checking Your Weight
People who have heart failure need to track
their weight carefully. Checking your weight lets you know how much extra fluid
your body is holding on to. Sudden weight gain may mean that fluid is building
up in your body because your heart failure is getting worse. Knowing how your
weight is changing helps you manage your heart failure.
hard to track your weight. Here are some things to keep in mind:
Weigh yourself on the same scale every day, at
the same time each day.
Keep a calendar by the scale. Write your
weight on it each day.
If you suddenly gain weight, call your
It's easy to keep track of your weight if you check it every day. Here
are some tips:
Weigh yourself at the same time each day. Use
the same scale on a hard, flat surface. The best time is in the morning after
you go to the bathroom and before you eat or drink anything.
the same thing each time you weigh yourself, or always wear nothing. Don't wear
Keep a calendar by the scale. Write your weight on it each
day. Take your calendar with you when you see your doctor.
Keep a few notes on your calendar about how you feel
each day. Here are some things to ask yourself:
Is it harder to catch your breath?
Are you more tired?
Are your feet and ankles swollen?
Do your legs or belly seem puffy?
When to call your doctor
If you suddenly gain weight, call your doctor. Your doctor
may tell you how much weight to watch out for. But in general, call your doctor
if you gain 3 lb (1.4 kg) or
more in 2 to 3 days. If you are gaining weight slowly, tell your doctor on your
Tell your doctor if you are having to prop yourself up at
night to breathe, or if you wake up in the night feeling out of breath.
Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Stephen Fort, MD, MRCP, FRCPC - Interventional Cardiology
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.