What is heart failure action plan?

Heart Failure Action Plan

What is a heart failure action plan?

A heart failure action plan gives you an easy way to check your symptoms and see changes. You'll use your plan every day. It tells you when to call your doctor or get emergency help.

Heart Failure: When to Act on Your Symptoms

Getting started with your heart failure action plan

Most heart failure action plans include the following steps. Be sure to follow your plan and any instructions your doctor gives you. These steps can help you get started.

  • Keep a written copy of your plan where it's easy to find and use.
  • Share this plan with other people who can help you.

    They can help you check for symptom changes and make decisions.

  • Weigh yourself.

    Do this at the same time each day. Record your weight. Some people keep a calendar by the scale and write their weight on it.

  • Pay attention to symptoms.

    Symptoms include shortness of breath and swelling in your feet, ankles, or legs.

  • Take your medicines as prescribed.

    Try to take them at the same time every day.

  • Limit sodium.

    Your doctor can tell you how much sodium is right for you. An example is less than 3,000 mg a day.

  • Be active.

    Also watch for signs that your heart is being stressed, and know when to stop and rest.

  • Check each day to see which heart failure zone you're in.

    Your action plan will help you know if you are doing okay or if you need to call your doctor or call 911.

  • Live a heart-healthy lifestyle.
    • If you smoke, quit.
    • Try to stay at a healthy weight. Lose weight if you need to.
    • Eat heart-healthy foods. These include vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, lean meat, fish, and whole grains. Limit saturated fat. Limit drinks and foods with added sugar.
    • Limit or avoid alcohol. Ask your doctor how much, if any, is safe.
    • Manage other health problems, such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
    • If you think you may have a problem with alcohol or drug use, talk to your doctor.

Talk to your doctor if you feel sad and hopeless much of the time or if you are worried and anxious. These may be signs of depression or anxiety. Treatment with counseling and medicine can help.

When you take charge of your health, you're more likely to feel better and keep your heart failure from getting worse.

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The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.