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A new treatment for advanced prostate cancer improves survival in phase Fluid buildup indicates worsening heart failure. Learn how to spot it and treat it early.
The buildup of excess fluid in your body can take a variety of forms from belly bloating and swollen ankles to nausea, persistent coughing and fatigue. You may be tempted initially to dismiss this hodgepodge of problems as having little to do with your heart. However, they all al water retentionwhich can mean trouble for people with a history of heart failure.
Heart failure may start with injury from a heart attack or develop as a Retaining water symptoms of damaged valves, infection or disease of the heart muscle cells. Many times, it is the product of years of toil against high blood pressure and clogged arteries. Regardless of what triggers the decline, heart failure culminates in a progressive weakening of your heart's power to pump. Consequently, blood circulates through your heart and body more slowly; your cells thirst for fresh oxygen and nutrients.
To compensate for its weakened state, the heart undergoes a series of structural transformations. Other physical processes also come into play. When the kidneys detect the diminished blood flow, they activate hormones that prompt the body to retain fluid and sodium in an effort to boost the volume of blood in circulation. The good news is that you can tell if you're beginning to retain fluid merely by getting on the scale. Most people will retain 8 to 15 pounds of excess fluid before they see leg and belly swelling.
However, symptoms such as coughing and shortness of breath, loose stools, nausea and feeling full when without eating much may develop at the 5-to-7 pound mark" says Dr. He instructs his patients to take action as soon as they notice their weight going up.
The best method to monitor your weight is daily weighing. Your goal should be to keep your weight as close as possible to your "dry weight. If you recently have been in the hospital or had your Retaining water symptoms adjusted, you may already know your dry weight. If not, your doctor or nurse can help you determine the right. To get an accurate picture of your weight trends:.
If you gain more than 2 pounds in a day or 4 pounds in a week, Dr. Eldrin advises taking these steps:. As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician. Recent Blog Articles. Respiratory virus cases tick upward: What parents should know. Will new guidelines for heart failure affect you? Want probiotics but dislike yogurt?
Try these foods. Is our healthcare system broken? Preventing sudden heart death in children: 4 questions can help. Band together for stronger legs. Heart Health Fluid retention: What it can mean for your heart December 16, What to look for The good news is that you can tell if you're beginning to retain fluid merely by getting on the scale. To get an accurate picture of your weight trends: Record your dry weight and compare you daily scale readings to thisnot the day's scale weight. Write down your daily weights in a log or small notebook and bring this record to your doctor visits.
Stick to a regular daily routine. Even small changes to your regular pattern can alter your weight by 2 pounds or more. Weigh yourself at the same time every day using the same scale. A good time is in the morning before you have had breakfast, but after you urinate a full bladder can add as much as a pound.
Weigh yourself without clothing or in underwear only. Taking action against fluid retention If you gain more than 2 pounds in a day or 4 pounds in a week, Dr. Eldrin advises taking these steps: Think about the foods you ate in the days before your weight gain and look for sources of extra sodium or fluid in your diet that you may be able to eliminate. For example, did you eat out at a restaurant or indulge in a salty treat?
If your weight doesn't return to normal in a day or two, call your doctor or nurse for advice. You may need to increase your diuretic medicine water pills or reconsider how much fluid you are drinking. Print This Click to Print. Heart Health. Children's Health.Retaining water symptoms
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