How Can I Prevent Heart Failure From Worsening?

Keep your blood pressure low

In heart failure, the release of hormones causes the blood vessels to constrict or tighten. The heart must work hard to pump blood through the constricted vessels. It is important to keep your blood pressure controlled so that your heart can pump more effectively without extra stress.

Keep your blood pressure low
Monitor your own symptoms

Monitor your own symptoms

Check for changes in your fluid status by weighing yourself daily and checking for swelling. Call your doctor if you have unexplained weight gain (3 pounds in one day or 5 pounds in one week) or if you have increased swelling.

Maintain fluid balance

Your doctor may ask you to keep a record of the amount of fluids you drink or eat and how often you go to the bathroom. Remember, the more fluid you carry in your blood vessels, the harder your heart must work to pump excess fluid through your body. Limiting your fluid intake to less than 2 liters per day will help decrease the workload of your heart and prevent symptoms from recurring.

Maintain fluid balance
Limit how much salt (sodium) you eat

Limit how much salt (sodium) you eat

If you follow a low-sodium diet, you should have less fluid retention, less swelling, and breathe easier.

Monitor your weight and lose weight if needed

Learn what your “dry” or “ideal” weight is. Dry weight is your weight without extra water (fluid). Your goal is to keep your weight within 4 pounds of your dry weight. Weigh yourself at the same time each day, preferably in the morning, in similar clothing, after urinating but before eating, and on the same scale.

Monitor your weight and lose weight if needed
Monitor your symptoms

Monitor your symptoms

Call your doctor if new symptoms occur or if your symptoms worsen. Do not wait for your symptoms to become so severe that you need to seek emergency treatment.

Take your medications as prescribed

Take your medications as prescribed
Schedule regular doctor appointments

Schedule regular doctor appointments

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