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Self-management and Monitoring

Medications

Ensure you always take your medication as prescribed.

Weight

Weigh yourself every morning and record it. This will help to indicate if you are retaining fluid.

If your weight increases by more than 4-5lbs or 2-2.5kg over 2 days or weeks, you should contact your GP or heart failure nurse for a review.

Report any new or worsening symptoms to your GP or heart failure nurse

This includes an increase in weight as discussed above, feeling more breathless or tired, a new cough, difficulty sleeping at night and new or increase in oedema (fluid) in feet, ankles, legs or abdomen.

Diet

Eat as healthily as possible and maintain a healthy weight. Reducing fat and increasing fibre in your diet will help to control cholesterol and prevent constipation.

Salt

Try to reduce your salt intake; too much salt can increase blood pressure. Your daily intake of salt should be 6 grams/1 teaspoon. Avoid salt replacements and be aware that ready meals can be high in salt.

Avoid salt replacements; herbs and spices are good alternatives.

Fluid

To reduce the pressure on your heart, you may be asked to restrict your daily fluid intake to between 1.5-2 litres. This includes all fluids such as milk on your cereal, jelly and other liquid foods.

Smoking

Try to stop. If you need advice to do this, speak to your GP/healthcare professional. You can also visit Smokefree Norfolk or One Life Suffolk for support.

Exercise and relaxation

Keep as active as you can within your own limitations.

Listen to your body, have regular rest periods, relax and unwind - this can help your mental wellbeing.

Gentle exercise such as walking can be beneficial and help improve your exercise tolerance. Avoid strenuous exercise and lifting heavy objects.

Vaccinations

It is recommended that patients with heart failure should be offered the annual flu vaccine and the one-off pneumococcal vaccine if over 65 years.

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