Keeping track of your health
As you deal with heart failure, it's normal to have good days and bad days. Staying aware of what's happening in your body may help increase the number of good days. This is especially true of your weight, which should be checked every day. By keeping track of your symptoms and discussing them with your health-care provider, you will know how well your treatment plan is working.
Rapid weight gain can be a sign that you are retaining water. This may mean that your treatment plan needs to be changed. To monitor your weight:
- Weigh yourself at the same time every morning, wearing the same clothes. Always use the same scale. Weigh yourself after urinating and before eating.
- Write down your weight each day.
- Call your doctor if you gain three or more pounds in one day, or if you gain five or more pounds in one week. Your doctor will tell you what to do next.
When to call your healthcare provider
If symptoms are not under control, changes may be needed in your treatment plan. Stay alert to any changes in your body. Call your doctor if:
- You have tightness or pain in your chest, arm or jaw (Phone 911!)
- Your symptoms get worse
- You notice new symptoms from your medication
- Breathing becomes more difficult or you start coughing at night
- You gain weight rapidly
- Your feet or ankles swell more than usual
- You get tired more easily
- You have dizzy spells or you faint
- Your abdomen swells
- Your heart beats faster than normal
To learn more about cardiac services at Baptist Health Paducah, including the Baptist Heart Center, phone Baptist Health Line at (270) 575-2918. If you are experiencing chest pain, speak to one of our cardiac nurses at the award-winning Chest Pain Hotline, 1-800-575-1911.