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.

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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.