Tracking Symptoms of Heart Failure

If you have congestive heart failure (CHF), knowing your body can help you manage your condition. Here are common symptoms of CHF:

  • Fluid retention. You may notice swelling in the lower half of your body, especially the ankles, or weight gain. Weigh yourself every morning. Tell your doctor if you suddenly gain three pounds or more.

  • Abdominal swelling or stomach pain.

  • Shortness of breath or coughing. Your heart can't pump as efficiently as it should, so fluid can back up into your lungs. You may be breathless, which can cause you to wake up at night. Let your doctor know.

  • Trouble sleeping. If you find yourself needing to use more pillows, or sleep in a chair rather than a bed to avoid trouble breathing, let your doctor know right away.

  • Fatigue. Blood flow to the muscles may be reduced. This may make you feel tired during the day. Take time to rest and talk with your doctor.

  • Nausea or loss of appetite. Not enough blood in your digestive system can make you feel full or sick to your stomach. Tell your doctor.    

  • Disorientation or confusion. Changing amounts of sodium in your blood can cause confusion. If you or someone else notices this, talk with your doctor urgently.



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