The term “edema” is how doctors describe the excess fluid in your body caused by your heart failure. Keeping the fluid levels down is important; otherwise, the heart and kidneys may get overworked.
Every day look for swelling in your legs.
If you’re not sure, use a soft tape measure on your ankle and write down the size each day.
Notice if the swelling moves higher up your leg.
If it is getting worse, contact your doctor.
There are several things you can do to help keep your fluid levels under control
Take all your medications exactly the way your doctor instructed.
Medicines to control fluid levels include diuretics (sometimes called water pills); ACE inhibitors and ARBs, both of which help by adjusting hormones that affect how the heart functions; beta blockers, which help the heart do its job; and dioxin. You may take some or all of these. Follow instructions carefully.
Follow a low-sodium diet.
Avoid processed foods, fast food and, if you dine in restaurants, order menu items that are fresh and don’t have sauces. Use as little salt as possible – it will really make a difference!
Your doctor has told you how much water, coffee and other beverages you can drink. If you are still thirsty, suck on hard candy, chew gum or eat a frozen grape.