Physical Changes to Report for Heart Failure

Updated:May 9,2017

Heart failure (HF) requires you and your caregivers to pay close attention to any changes in symptoms. If you notice something new, or a sudden worsening of a current symptom, notify your healthcare professional immediately.

Symptom trackerWatch for:

  • Rapid weight gain — check with your healthcare provider as to the amount you were told to report. It's so important for people with heart failure to weigh themselves every day — preferably every morning, before breakfast and after urinating, with the same type of clothes on, without shoes, on the same scale and in the same spot.
  • Shortness of breath while at rest, not related to exercise or exertion
  • Increased swelling of the lower limbs (legs or ankles)
  • Swelling of or pain in the abdomen
  • Trouble sleeping (awakening short of breath, using more pillows)
  • Frequent dry, hacking cough
  • Loss of appetite
  • Increased fatigue or feeling tired all the time

Psychological changes:

  • Feelings of sadness such as depression.

Download our Self-Check Plan for help with tracking your heart failure symptoms:

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Download Partnering in Your Treatment: Questions to ask your doctor

This content was last reviewed May 2017.

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