It is important to weigh yourself every day and write down your weight.

  • Weigh yourself every morning after you urinate and before you eat or drink anything.
  • Use the same scale.
  • Weigh yourself without clothes.

Call your health care provider if you gain:

  • 3 pounds in 1 day


  • 5 pounds in 1 week

How to manage heart failure

It is important to learn the symptoms of worsening heart failure and call your health care provider right away.

This will affect how you feel and how well you manage your heart failure.

Use the following tips to help you feel better and manage your heart failure:

  • Keep all appointments with your health care provider and health team members.
  • Take your medicines as directed.
  • Carry a current medicine list with you at all times.
  • Weigh yourself each day and record your weight.
  • Follow a well-balanced diet that includes 1,500 to 2,000 milligrams (mg) of sodium each day.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Talk with your health care provider if you are overweight or underweight.
  • Bring all of your weight and activity records to all of your appointments.
  • Exercise every day (as directed by your health care team) and be sure to get enough rest.
  • Do not smoke. Avoid secondhand smoke.
  • Be aware of the stress in your life and try to find ways to relieve it.

Managing your heart failure: At a glance

For a quick reference, print and post this table on your refrigerator or next to the bathroom mirror. It will help remind you what you need to do to every day to manage your heart failure.

Managing your heart failure - At a glance


Spanish: Manejando su falla cardiaca - A simple vista

Hmong: Tswj Kav Qhov uas Koj lub Plawv Khiav Tsis Zoo - Lus Hauv Paus Xwb


Somali: Maamulista Hawlgabka Wadnahaaga - Oo Kooban

Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Heart Failure, fifth edition, 1-931876-31-2
First Published: 10/04/2002
Last Reviewed: 12/10/2015