Physical Changes to Report for Heart Failure

Heart Failure Warning Signs and Symptoms

Talk with your provider about symptoms to report

Heart failure requires you and your caregivers to pay close attention to any changes in symptoms. If you notice something new, or a sudden worsening of a current symptom, notify your healthcare professional immediately.

Self-Check Plan for HF Management PDF

Watch for:

  • Rapid weight gain — Ask your doctor about the amount of weight gain you should report to him or her. It’s so important for people with heart failure to weigh themselves every day – preferably every morning, before breakfast and after urinating. Try to weigh yourself daily with the same type of clothes on, without shoes, on the same scale and in the same spot.
  • Shortness of breath while at rest, not related to exercise or exertion
  • Increased swelling of the lower limbs (legs or ankles)
  • Swelling of or pain in the abdomen
  • Trouble sleeping (awakening short of breath, using more pillows)
  • Frequent dry, hacking cough
  • Loss of appetite
  • Increased fatigue or feeling tired all the time

Psychological changes:

  • Feelings of sadness such as depression.

Download our Self-Check Plan for help with tracking your heart failure symptoms: English (PDF) | Spanish (PDF)

Download Partnering in Your Treatment: Questions to ask your doctor (PDF) | Spanish (PDF)