When you have heart failure, a sudden weight gain or a steady increase in weight can mean that your body is retaining too much water and sodium. This could be a warning sign that your heart failure may be getting worse.
Weighing yourself each day is the best way to know if you start retaining water. Call your doctor if you gain more than 3 pounds in 1 day or more than 5 pounds in 1 week.
Tips for Weighing Yourself
- Weigh yourself at the same time each morning, after urinating and before eating.
- Always weigh yourself wearing the same clothes.
- Use the same scale each day, and place it on a flat, hard surface—not on a rug or carpet.
- Weigh yourself consistently. If you forget a day, be sure to weigh again the next morning.
How to Use Your Weight Chart
Your doctor will provide you with a weight chart for keeping track of your weight, or you can request a complimentary heart healthy calendar which gives you space track weight, blood pressure, glucose and exercise each day.
- Keep your weight chart near the scale. Write your weight on the chart as soon as you get off the scale so you will not forget.
- Fill in the month and start date on the chart and write down your weight for each day.
- If you miss a day, leave the space blank. Weight yourself the next day and write your weight in the next space.
- Take your weight chart with you to your next doctor's appointment.
Learn more about what to do after you are discharged:
- Coping With Heart Failure
- Taking Your Medication
- Watching for Warning Signs
- Diet, Activity and Other Lifestyle Factors
- When to Call Your Doctor
For more information about heart failure treatment at the Houston Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center or to make an appointment, please call us at 713-DEBAKEY (713-332-2539) or complete our online contact us form.