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Heart Failure

Keeping Track Of Liquids

Tuesday, April 10, 2012 - 09:49

Contributing Author: Guy Slowik FRCS

You can help your heart by keeping excess fluid out of your bloodstream. Although diuretics may be doing the job on their own, some people may be advised by their doctor to cut down on the amount of liquid they drink.

Ask your doctor if you should set a limit for your daily fluids. If so, here's one way to keep track:

  1. Put your "daily allowance" of water in a pitcher.
  2. Every time you finish a drink, fill the same cup or glass with water from the pitcher. Then throw that water out. Include soups, sherbet etc. as part of your liquid allowance.
  3. You'll see from the amount of water in the pitcher how much you can drink for the rest of the day.
  4. When the pitcher's empty, you've consumed your daily allowance.

Need To Know:

Weigh Yourself Daily

Weigh yourself every morning after you have urinated but before breakfast. Weighing yourself is a good way to know if you are retaining extra fluid.

Inform your doctor if you gain more than five pounds in a week or more than three pounds in a day. You may need to adjust your medication, drink less, or cut down on salt.

What About Alcohol?

Ask your doctor about alcohol. It may be okay to have a drink a day. You should avoid beer, but wine may be acceptable. However, alcohol can damage the heart muscle and interfere with medication.

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