Physical Changes to Report for Heart Failure

Video: Heart Failure Warning Signs and Symptoms

Talk with your professional about symptoms

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 health care professional immediately.

Watch for:

  • Rapid weight gain — Ask your health care professional about the amount of weight gain you should report to them. 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 location.
  • 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, coughing at night)
  • Frequent dry, hacking cough
  • Loss of appetite
  • Increased fatigue or feeling tired all the time and trouble concentrating
  • General weakness or dizziness
  • Bluish color in your fingers and lips
  • Nausea and loss of appetite
  • Heart palpitations
  • Psychological changes, such as feelings of sadness or depression

Self-Check Plan for HF Management PDF

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)