Health Tip: Monitoring What You Drink

-- People with heart failure tend to retain fluid, making it important to monitor what they drink.

The doctor may prescribe medication to help rid the body of excess fluid, which puts less stress on the heart. While this type of drug, called a diuretic, may make you feel thirsty, it's important not to drink too much and negate the effects of the medication.

The American Heart Association offers these guidelines for what people with heart failure should drink:

  • Talk to your doctor about how much fluid you should have every day.
  • Carefully track how much you are drinking. Measure how many ounces each container that you drink from holds.
  • Monitor all fluids, including water you use to wash down medicines, as well as fluid sources such as ice cubes, fruits, ice cream and yogurt.
  • Do not drink alcohol, which affects the heart's ability to contract.
  • Limit your intake of caffeine and salty fluids, such as tomato juice and other vegetable juices.

Posted: July 2008


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