UAB HEART AND VASCULAR CLINIC CENTRAL ALABAMA
Follow a low-salt, low-fat diet; avoid processed foods and high-sodium foods such as chips, chocolate, bacon, ham and canned soups and canned vegetables; limiting salt intake should lessen fluid retention, decrease swelling, and improve breathing.
Reach and maintain your healthy weight
Monitor your weight daily; weigh on the same scales, at the same time of day, in similar clothing, usually in AM after urinating but before breakfast; a gain of more than 3 pounds in 1 day or 5 pounds in 1 week may mean you are retaining too much fluid and should be reported to your doctor.
Avoid significant physical labor, extremes in temperature, and emotional stress
Take medications exactly as prescribed
Monitor and familiarize yourself with your blood pressure; BP should be kept low so that you heart can pump effectively without extra stress
Your doctor may restrict your fluid intake; limiting your fluid intake to less that 2 liters per day will help decrease the workload of your heart and prevent symptoms from recurring.
Stop smoking or chewing tobacco
Monitor the signs and symptoms of CHF such as edema, increased shortness of breath, distended neck veins, weight gain, persistent cough and increased urination at night and immediately report any to your physician
Schedule regular doctor appointments.