Advertisement

Why should I weigh myself daily if I have heart failure?

If you have heart failure, weigh yourself every morning and write it down. Weight gain may signal that your body is holding on to water. This means your heart failure is getting worse.

Things you can do:

  • Weigh yourself every morning at the same time.
  • Write your weight on a calendar or chart.
  • Call your doctor or nurse if you gain more than two pounds overnight or more than five pounds in a week.

Weight is important for heart-failure management in a couple of ways:

  • Rapid changes in your weight can mean you are gaining or losing fluid. Weighing yourself daily—at the same time every morning—and keeping a record will help you and your healthcare providers know if your heart failure is under control.
  • Being overweight can also be a strain on your heart muscle, since your heart has to do more work to deliver oxygen throughout your body. Staying active and eating a healthy diet can help you reach or maintain a healthy weight, which will help you control your heart failure and protect your heart from further damage.

A sudden weight gain is one sign that the kidneys are holding salt and water in your body. To check for this, weigh yourself each morning after you urinate and before eating or getting dressed. Write down your weight. Each time you weigh, make sure your scale is set on a hard surface (not carpet) and adjusted to zero. When checking your weight, think about how well you are eating. If you are eating less and losing pounds, you may not notice a gain from fluid. If you gain 3 to 4 pounds in 1 to 2 days of normal eating (or 2 pounds overnight), it is more likely due to fluid rather than food. Call your doctor for advice to get rid of this extra fluid before it further weakens your heart. Often, you need more diuretic (or another drug). Always write down your weight and any diuretics taken in a notebook.

Continue Learning about Heart Failure

Overcoming the Hurdles of Heart Failure Treatment
Overcoming the Hurdles of Heart Failure Treatment
It’s easy to understand why you might run hot and cold with your treatment plan for heart failure. After all, the regimen requires a lot of daily self...
Read More
Who receives a cardiac assist device as destination-therapy?
Yoshifumi Naka, MDYoshifumi Naka, MD
End-stage heart failure patients who do not respond to medical therapy well and still have heart fai...
More Answers
What To Eat If…You Have Heart Failure
What To Eat If…You Have Heart FailureWhat To Eat If…You Have Heart FailureWhat To Eat If…You Have Heart FailureWhat To Eat If…You Have Heart Failure
Keep your heart strong with these expert-backed nutrition tips. If you’ve been diagnosed with heart failure, you may assume there’s very little you ca...
Start Slideshow
Does High Blood Pressure Make the Heart Thicker?
Does High Blood Pressure Make the Heart Thicker?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.