Weigh Yourself Each Day
Every morning when you wake up, you can take one of the most important steps toward controlling your heart failure symptoms: stepping on your scale. Weighing yourself daily and keeping a record will help you and your healthcare providers know if your heart failure is under control. Rapid changes in your weight can mean you are gaining or losing fluid.
Your Weight and Your Heart
As you learned from the first section of this guide, heart failure causes fluid buildup in your body. This fluid shows up as extra weight on your scale. Generally speaking, the more severe your heart failure, the more fluid buildup in your tissues. An increase in your weight could mean a downturn in the condition of your heart. For this reason, you need to monitor your daily weight as a measure of your heart's health.
Is there a right way to weigh myself?
Although weighing yourself is as simple as stepping on the scale, there are a few things you can do to ensure that your daily record is accurate and complete:
- Use the same scale every day.
- Weigh yourself at the same time every morning - after urinating but before eating or drinking.
- Weigh yourself when you're dry, not wet from a shower or bath.
- Write down your daily weight faithfully and accurately - you want a detailed record of your weight pattern, not just a general idea. Use your Intermountain Heart Failure Self-Care Diary, and take it with you to your healthcare appointments.
When should I call my healthcare provider about my weight?
Call your healthcare provider if you see either of these weight-gain warning signs:
- You gain 2 or more pounds in one day.
- You gain 5 pounds over your target weight.
These signs could mean that your body is retaining fluid, and may warrant a change in your treatment plan. You should also call if you have any questions about your target weight, or any other aspect of your management plan.
When You're Gaining…
An increase in your weight means either of these conditions:
- You're gaining weight in fluids.
- You're gaining weight in fat.
Fat weight gain happens more slowly than fluid weight gain. Talk with your healthcare provider to determine why you're gaining weight - and whether it warrants a change in your treatment plan.
When You're Losing…
A decrease in your weight may mean you're dehydrated. Consult with your healthcare providers to determine why you're losing weight - and whether it warrants a change to your treatment plan.