Checking your weight is key to keeping an eye on your symptoms. Weight gain is one of the first signs of retaining fluid. Contact your doctor with weight gain or loss as directed. In general, if your weight goes up 2 pounds in one day or 5 pounds in one week, you should call to speak to the nurse or a member of the heart failure team. Changes in your weight may be a sign of fluid retention. Often increases in weight can be easily dealt with by changing your diuretic (water pill). Contact your health care team right away to report weight gain. If you delay in calling your doctor you may need a hospital stay.
Purchase a bathroom scale if you don't have one. Make sure you can see the numbers on the scale. Dial scales may be harder to read but more exact than digital scales. Do not be concerned if your weight on your home scale does not match your weight at your doctor's office. Scales can vary by several pounds. Further, your weight will change during the day.
Place your scale in a handy location. Place the scale on a flat surface without carpet. If you have carpet, you may need to place a thin board under your scale. Make sure your scale is reading true by stepping on and off the scale three times. The scale should read your weight within one pound each time.
Use a calendar, notebook paper, or log to track your weights and keep it by your scale. Each morning step on the scale after you empty your bladder. Weigh before eating or drinking. Always weigh in the same clothing or no clothing. Record your weight every day. Weighing twice a day is not necessary. If you choose to weigh in the morning and evening make sure your doctor knows which weights you are talking about.