heart failure usually need to monitor their weight
carefully. A sudden weight gain may mean that excess fluid is building up in
your body because your heart failure is getting worse. As heart failure
progresses, most people gain weight in parallel with the development of
congestive symptoms. The amount of weight gained varies greatly among people
with heart failure, and it reflects the amount of sodium and water the body has
In some cases, weight gain may be the first noticeable sign that you
have developed heart failure or that your heart failure is getting worse. In
fact, your doctor will want you to track your weight to monitor your heart
failure and to help gauge the effectiveness of treatment.
Doctors diagnose heart failure by taking a medical history and conducting a physical exam and tests.
During the medical history your doctor will want to know if:
You have any other health problems such as diabetes, kidney disease, angina (chest pain), high blood pressure, or other heart problems
You drink alcohol, and if so, how much
You are taking medications.
During the physical, the doctor will check your blood pressure, use a stethoscope to hear sounds associated...
If you suddenly gain weight, call your doctor. Your doctor may
tell you how much weight to watch for. But in general, call your doctor if you
gain 3 lb (1.4 kg) or more in 2
to 3 days.
Keep a weight record to show the doctor. Weigh yourself
at the same time each day and record your weight on a calendar near the scale.
The best time is in the morning before breakfast. Weigh yourself without
A weight loss of several pounds in a short period of time
is common and expected, especially when you first begin treatment for heart
If you are overweight and your weight is not caused by
excess fluid, try to lose weight. Carrying less weight puts less stress on the
Your doctor likely will work with you to develop some guidelines to
follow for managing ups and downs (fluctuations) in weight caused by fluid
retention. For example, if you have a weight increase of
2 lb (0.91 kg), your doctor may
recommend taking an additional diuretic that day.
Primary Medical Reviewer
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Robert A. Kloner, MD, PhD - Cardiology
July 30, 2010
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
July 30, 2010
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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