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Living with Heart Failure

To manage your heart failure, you need to:

Follow your zones handout

Your zones handout will provide you with guidelines what to do each day to manage your heart failure.

Weigh yourself every day

Weigh yourself every day
  • A change in your weight can be a sign that your heart failure is not controlled as well as it needs to be.
  • Weigh yourself every day. Know your dry weight. Dry weight is the weight of your body without extra fluid that builds up in your body because of heart failure. Keep a record of your daily weight on a calendar or diary.
  • Call your heart failure doctor or nurse if, at any time, you weigh four pounds or more than your dry weight or four pounds or less than your dry weight.
  • At each appointment, ask what your current dry weight is. Write down your new dry weight so that you can compare your daily weight to your most recent dry weight.

Take your medications

Heart failure and sodium connection.

Heart failure and exercise.

Eat a heart healthy low-salt (sodium) diet

Exercise on most days

Check for Symptoms

Call your doctor for new or worsening heart failure signs and symptoms. Do not wait until your symptoms are severe and that you need emergency treatment. Refer to the zones information and call your doctor if you have:

  • Unexplained change in weight (see above)
  • Swelling in your legs or stomach
  • Shortness of breath that is new, increased or occurs more often or at rest
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness, confusion
  • Chest discomfort during activity that is relieved by rest
  • Changes in heart beat: fast heart rate (more than 120 beats per minute at rest); or a new, more frequent or more irregular heartbeat
  • Poor appetite, nausea or vomiting
  • Respiratory infection; coughing during the night

See your doctor for regular follow up visits

YOU can take an active role in treating your heart failure.

In your binder and on our website, there are tips for return to work, conserving energy and taking care of your emotional health.

Talk to a Nurse: Mon. - Fri., 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. (ET)

Call a Heart & Vascular Nurse locally 216.445.9288 or toll-free 866.289.6911.

Schedule an Appointment

Toll-free 800.659.7822

This information is provided by Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.

© Copyright 2014 Cleveland Clinic. All rights reserved.

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