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Heart Failure And Weight Gain

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Can Heart Failure Be Prevented Or Avoided

Study shows even small weight gain is bad for your heart

Heart failure is the result of other diseases or conditions weakening your heart. These can include coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. The best way to avoid heart failure is to prevent those conditions. The following can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle:

If you do have a condition such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes, you need to manage it. Keep levels under control and take any medicines youve been prescribed.

When To Get Medical Advice

See your GP if you experience persistent or gradually worsening symptoms of heart failure.

The symptoms can be caused by other, less serious conditions, so it’s a good idea to get them checked out.

Call 999 for an ambulance or go to your nearest accident and emergency department as soon as possible if you have sudden or very severe symptoms.

This is a medical emergency that may require immediate treatment in hospital.

Page last reviewed: 19 May 2022 Next review due: 19 May 2025

Why This Heart Problem Causes Sudden Weight Gain

Though fluid retention can be caused by a variety of illnesses, chronic heart failure is a very common cause.

Fluid in the lungs is called a pleural effusion, and this will show up on a CT scan or X-ray.

Dr. Lepor says that this fluid retention in heart failure patients is treated with diuretics and salt restriction.

The diuretics, such as Lasix, treat the symptom, not the underlying disease process.

Another name for the fluid retention or swelling is edema.

The fluid can cause, for instance, an increase of eight pounds over a period of just several days despite the patient not changing their eating habits.

Men and women with chronic heart failure are urged to also document their weight every morning to see if theres any unexplained weight gain from week to week, not just day to day.

Not all people with chronic heart failure develop the edema in their lower extremities.

For some, the sudden weight gain could be in their abdomen or the pleural effusion .

Having performed over 4,000 coronary angiograms and angioplasties, Dr. Lepor has focused on prevention and treatment of coronary heart disease.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. Shes also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.

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The Benefits Of Tracking

When youre aware of the changes, you are more likely to take action and make the small changes in your lifestyle and treatment plan that can help you live your longest and healthiest life.

Explore resources on our website and visit the Support Network to connect with others living with heart failure.

Connie Wirta Essentia Health A Special Scale Helps Jackie Storie Of Superior Monitor Her Weight Gain One Of The Symptoms Of Heart Failure The Electronic Scale Also Asks Storie A Series Of Questions And Then Relays The Information To Her Nurse A

2017 Comprehensive Update of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society ...

Essentia Health

A special scale helps Jackie Storie of Superior monitor her weight gain, one of the symptoms of heart failure. The electronic scale also asks Storie a series of questions and then relays the information to her nurse at the Essentia Health Heart and Vascular Center. The daily check-in and follow-up calls help Storie manage her symptoms and medications. Every morning, Storie gets up and promptly steps on the scale. Shes not just checking her weight, shes also checking in with her nurse at the Essentia Health-St. Marys Heart and Vascular Center in Duluth.

Storie is part of a nationally recognized program that helps people diagnosed with heart failure stay healthy and out of the hospital. Her special scale not only records her weight but also asks her questions related to symptoms, such as swelling, shortness of breath and dizziness.

Stories answers are relayed via her phone line to Registered Nurse Karleigh Hatland at the Heart and Vascular Center. Karleigh reviews the answers and promptly calls Storie if there are any troubling symptoms. For example, weight gain is a sign that Storie is retaining fluids, which can affect her heart and lungs.

Often, Storie makes herself a cup of coffee and awaits a check-in call from Karleigh. “Karleigh usually calls me within an hour,” the 75-year-old Superior woman says. “We talk and she tells me if I need to increase or decrease my medications.”

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Case And Control Patients

Case patients were defined by the first occurrence of heart failure hospitalization during the 18-month follow-up period. For each case, we randomly selected a control patient from among all participants who had not been admitted to the hospital for decompensated heart failure up to the time of the matched case patient’s hospitalization. To reduce bias, we did allow for subsequent hospitalization among control patients after the date of the case patient’s hospitalization. Control patients were matched with case patients on the basis of the following criteria: same month in which patients started the monitoring system, similar baseline body weight , similar age , same sex, and same New York Heart Association class . We included the latter 3 factors on the basis of previous studies that have identified age, sex, and NYHA class as primary determinants of worse outcomes among heart failure patients.5,6

Heart Failure Medications And Weight Gain

There isnt a cure for heart failure but there are treatments to relieve the symptoms, which can

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Weight: A Silent Heart Risk

Its long been known that when youre overweight, youre more apt to develop conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes that can lead to heart disease. Now Johns Hopkins researchers have shown that excess weight is more than an accomplice in the development of heart problems. The pounds themselves can cause heart muscle injury.

Basically, being obese seems to be a solo player associated with heart injurythat is, regardless of high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol and diabetes, says Johns Hopkins cardiologist Chiadi Ndumele, M.D., M.H.S. Down the road, this can lead to heart failure.

What Should You Not Take With Entresto

Many conditions are linked to magnesium deficiency

You should not take Entresto within 36 hours before or after you have taken any ACE inhibitor medication. If you have diabetes, do not use Entresto together with any medication that contains aliskiren such as Tekturna or Tekamlo. You may also need to avoid taking Entresto with aliskiren if you have kidney disease.

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What Is Heart Failure

The term heart failure sounds scary. But it simply means your heart isnt pumping blood as well as it should. It can be caused by many different heart conditions and tends to get worse over time. It does not mean your heart has stopped working or that you are having a heart attack. The most common cause of heart failure is congestive heart failure . This means fluid is building up in the body because the heart isnt pumping properly.

What Does Congestive Heart Failure Do To Your Body

Congestive heart failure can cause:

  • Shortness of breath: This happens when fluid collects in your lungs. It’s also called pulmonary edema. It may be worse when you’re lying down or when you’re active. If you’re having a hard time breathing, call your doctor or 911 right away.
  • Coughing: Like shortness of breath, this is usually caused by extra fluid in your lungs.
  • Tiredness: With heart failure, your body doesn’t pump out enough blood to keep your cells healthy. That can make you tired. You might find it hard to do everyday things like climb stairs.
  • Swelling : This happens when there’s too much fluid in your tissues. Your legs and ankles are the most likely places to swell. But other areas of your body, like your arms or belly, can also swell.
  • Weight gain: This is caused by extra fluid that doesn’t get flushed from your body the way it should.
  • A need to pee more often.

Read Also: Types Of Congestive Heart Failure

Is Weight Monitoring Essential For Managing Congestive Heart Failure

Measuring body weight regularly can help identify whether a patients heart failure is getting worse or if adjustments are necessary to control fluid retention. While it is not the only way to manage congestive heart failure, daily weigh-ins can help clinicians get a more accurate understanding of their patients heart health. This allows for better prevention and treatment.

Are you interested in setting up remote weight monitoring for your healthcare organization? Tenovi works exclusively with companies who would like to offer remote patient monitoring solutions to healthcare providers, including: rpm service and software companies, chronic care management companies and telehealth companies. Visit to learn more about our no sync, no app RPM hardware and software services.

Can You Drink Alcohol On Entresto

Maternal gestational weight gain and offspring

What happens when you mix Entresto and alcohol? Drinking alcohol does not need to be avoided when taking Entresto. However, alcohol use can increase blood pressure. This includes a temporary increase in blood pressure with a single drink or developing chronic hypertension with regular long-term drinking of alcohol.

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How Is Heart Failure Treated

Your treatment will depend on the type of heart failure you have and, in part, what caused it. Medications and lifestyle behaviors are part of every treatment plan. Your healthcare provider will talk to you about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment is the same, regardless of gender.

As heart failure gets worse, your heart muscle pumps less blood to your organs, and you move toward the next stage of heart failure. Since you cant move backward through the heart failure stages, the goal of treatment is to keep you from moving forward through the stages or to slow down the progression of your heart failure.

Stage A treatment

The usual treatment plan for people with Stage A heart failure includes:

  • Regular exercise, being active, walking every day.
  • Stopping the use of tobacco products.
  • Treatment for high blood pressure .
  • Treatment for high cholesterol.
  • Not drinking alcohol or using recreational drugs.
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor or an angiotensin II receptor blocker if you have coronary artery disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, or other vascular or cardiac conditions.
  • Beta-blocker if you have high blood pressure.

Stage B treatment

The usual treatment plan for people with Stage B heart failure includes:

Stage C treatment

The usual treatment plan for people with Stage C HF-rEF includes:

If the treatment causes your symptoms to get better or stop, you still need to continue treatment to slow the progression to Stage D.

Stage D treatment

What Are The Types Of Heart Failure

There are many causes of heart failure, but the condition is generally broken down into these types:

Left-sided heart failure

Heart failure with reduced left ventricular function The lower left chamber of your heart gets bigger and cannot squeeze hard enough to pump the right amount of oxygen-rich blood to the rest of your body.

Heart failure with preserved left ventricular function Your heart contracts and pumps normally, but the bottom chambers of your heart are thicker and stiffer than normal. Because of this, your ventricles can’t relax properly and fill up all the way. Because there’s less blood in your ventricles, your heart pumps out less blood to the rest of your body when it contracts.

Right-sided heart failure

Heart failure can also affect the right side of your heart. Left-sided heart failure is the most common cause of this. Other causes include certain lung problems and issues in other organs.

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Why Does Heart Failure Cause Weight Gain

Heart failure, also known as congestive heart failure, is progressive and affects the pumping action of heart muscles. It is very common, with over 3 million cases annually in the United States. Heart failure is also common in females and people age 60 and over.

The weight gain or swelling you may be experiencing could be from fluid accumulation or retention caused by heart failure.

With heart failure, the blood may flow to and from the heart more slowly, affecting the function of other major organs. This results in the collection of fluid in the tissues, which causes weight gain and swelling.

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Symptoms Of Heart Failure

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Some people who have heart failure have few problems or symptoms. Others may have many symptoms, including:

  • Shortness of breath during activity
  • Shortness of breath when lying down
  • Lack of appetite
  • Waking up in the night, suddenly breathless
  • General tiredness or weakness, including the reduced ability to exercise
  • Swelling of the legs, feet, or ankles
  • Swelling of the abdomen
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Chronic cough or wheezing

What causes heart failure?

Heart failure has many causes. Most of these are other conditions or diseases that damage the heart muscle. These could include:

  • Coronary artery disease . This could be with or without a heart attack in the past
  • Problems with the heart muscle itself .
  • Problems with any of the heart valves
  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • The use of toxic substances
  • Congenital heart defect
  • Thyroid problems

Sometimes, the exact cause cannot be found. Some people are at higher risk of developing heart failure, including those who are:

  • 65 years or older
  • Have had a heart attack in the past

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Weight Loss Can Still Be Healthy

Losing excess weight can be an effective way to reduce a personâs risk of several potentially life threatening conditions. These include:

Research is more extensive in these benefits than the possible cardiac risks of sudden weight loss in some groups.

Findings from one observational study may not be representative of potential results from a randomized group. The benefits of losing excess weight may far outweigh the possible cardiac risks associated with a sudden drop in weight.

People living with heart failure can develop rapid weight loss. This is known as cardiac cachexia, and the outlook for people with the condition is not positive due to an increased risk of mortality.

Cardiac cachexia is a condition that causes a person to lose weight, skeletal mass, and muscle mass. It can also cause inflammation and affect several organs.

The condition can cause a person to have an increased risk of death regardless of other risk factors associated with heart disease.

is associated with an increased risk of premature death, independent of other risk factors, such as age or overall health.

A person living with cardiac cachexia will therefore have an increased risk of death even if they have no other risk factors that would indicate a shortened lifespan.

Questions To Ask Your Doctor

  • What is the likely cause of my heart failure?
  • How serious is my condition?
  • How will my life change now that we know I have heart failure?
  • How will I know if my condition is getting worse? When should I contact you or seek treatment?
  • What is the best treatment option for me? Will I need medicine? Surgery?
  • What are the side effects of the medicines used to treat heart failure?
  • Will I need a heart transplant?
  • Is it safe for me to exercise? What kind of exercise should I do?
  • Should I make any lifestyle changes at home to reduce my risk of complications?

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How Is Heart Failure Diagnosed

There is no single test to diagnose heart failure. Your doctor will ask you about your medical history and symptoms. He or she will give you a physical exam and may order some of the following tests:

  • Blood tests measure the level of the BNP hormone that increases in heart failure.
  • A chest X-ray shows if your heart is enlarged or your lungs have fluid in them.
  • An electrocardiogram measures the rate and regularity of your heartbeat. It can help diagnose heart rhythm problems or damage to the heart.
  • An echocardiogram and doppler ultrasound use sound waves to make pictures of the heart. These show how well your heart is working and pumping blood.
  • A Holter monitor is a small box attached to electrodes on your chest records your heart rhythm for 24 hours or more.
  • A stress testmeasures your heartbeat and blood pressure. This can be done before, during, or after exercise to see how your heart responds to activity.
  • Radionuclide ventriculography injects a very small amount of a radioactive substance into your blood. This substance travels to your heart. A special camera or scanner produces pictures that show how well your heart is pumping. The radioactive substance is safe and leaves your body completely after the test is finished.

The Kind Of Weight Gain That Heart Problems Can Cause Is Not The Same Thats Caused By Eating Too Much

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In fact, weight gain from chronic heart failure has absolutely nothing to do with body fat.

Heart failure can lead to weight gain due to fluid retention most likely seen in the lower extremities, though much fluid can accumulate in the abdomen as ascites or in the chest as pleural effusions, says cardiologist and internal medicine specialist Norman E. Lepor, MD, whos with Cedars Sinai in Beverly Hills, CA.

In the lower extremities, the weight gain presents as swelling around the ankles and lower legs.


This fluid retention can extend higher up in the legs and affect the groin area.

A person with chronic heart failure can gain five pounds of fluid weight in a single night.

This is why people with chronic heart failure are instructed to weigh themselves first thing every morning and never skip a morning.

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