Heart Failure FAQs

Find answers to common questions about heart failure.

Why does heart failure sometimes cause weight gain?

Heart failure may cause water retention, which can cause you to gain weight rapidly. If you find yourself gaining more than four pounds over the course of three days, contact your healthcare provider.

How do I track my weight as a heart-failure patient?

You can track your weight using the Cormeum app. Monitor your weight daily and alert your doctor if there are any severe or sudden fluctuations.

What foods should I eat if I have heart failure?

Your diet should consist of vegetables, fruits, lean proteins and whole grains.

What foods should be avoided with congestive heart failure?

As a general rule, anything with too much salt, partially hydrogenated oil, palm cottonseed oil, or fat should be avoided. You should also stay away from alcohol, deep-fried foods, processed meats and highly processed grains.

Why is a low-sodium diet important for heart failure?

Sodium may be responsible for water retention and high blood pressure. Keep your salt intake low to prevent these issues.

How much sodium is safe with congestive heart failure?

The American Heart Association recommends no more than 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium per day and a limit of 1,500 mg per day for most adults, especially those with high blood pressure or heart failure. Talk with your provider before putting yourself on any restrictions.

Can heart failure cause high blood sugar?

Heart failure is associated with generalized insulin resistance over time, which contributes to high blood sugar. Conversely, those with diabetes or chronically high blood sugar are at higher risk of developing heart failure.

Can heart failure make me tired?

Yes, one of the common side effects of heart failure is fatigue, due to the amount of effort it takes for your heart to pump blood properly.

Is exercise good for heart failure?

Yes, exercise can help boost your mood and support your health. Research has shown that normal activity is safe for heart-failure patients, but you should always talk to your healthcare provider.

Does heart failure cause swelling?

Yes, heart failure causes edema, which is a swelling of the limbs and abdomen due to water retention.

Why does heart failure cause my creatinine to be high?

Poor cardiac output can cause your creatinine levels to rise.

How can I sleep better with congestive heart failure?

Heart-failure patients often deal with sleep apnea and poor sleep quality. Talk to your healthcare provider about a sleep test, and practice good sleep habits. Don’t look at a screen for an hour before bed, and keep your room dark, cool and quiet.

How does heart failure affect families?

Heart failure can be an overwhelming diagnosis. Families affected by heart failure are often faced with caregiving responsibilities.

How should I care for someone with congestive heart failure?

People with congestive heart failure require comfort, support and encouragement. Help them create a plan to monitor their diagnosis, support them in their new diet and lifestyle, and give them space to talk.