5 ways to manage your heart failure
If you have heart failure, there's a lot you can do to help manage your condition. Here are our 5 top tips.
1. Weigh yourself every day, before you eat or drink
Even an increase of 1–2lb can be significant; it may mean excess fluid is building up. If you’ve been told to restrict fluid intake, stick to the limit. Ask your healthcare professional how to stay hydrated on hot days.
2. Keep active, but rest when you need to
It’s important to stay as active as possible, but some days this may be challenging. If you feel you need a break, sit and rest with your legs elevated on a foot stool, especially if you have any fluid build-up.
3. Avoid excess salt
Too much salt in your diet can increase blood pressure and fluid retention. Don’t cook with salt (or low-salt alternatives) or add them to your food, and use the traffic light labels on food packaging to help you.
4. Keep taking medications
If you think you’re experiencing side effects, talk to your specialist nurse or doctor. In the meantime, continue taking medications as prescribed.
5. Report new or worsening symptoms to a doctor or nurse
The earlier action is taken, the better the outcome can be. Catching a build-up of excess fluid early can prevent hospital admission.
Healthcare professionals may encourage patients to increase their own diuretics when they notice rapid weight gain. This is useful during out-of-hours periods.