Sodium causes your body to hold on to extra water. This may cause your heart failure symptoms to get worse. Limiting sodium may help you feel better and lower your risk of having to go to the hospital.
People get most of their sodium from processed foods. Fast food and restaurant meals also tend to be very high in sodium. Your doctor may suggest that you limit sodium to 2,000 milligrams (mg) a day or less. That is less than 1 teaspoon of salt a day, including all the salt you eat in cooked or packaged foods.
Usually, you have to limit the amount of liquids you drink only if your heart failure is severe. Limiting sodium alone often is enough to help your body get rid of extra fluids. However, your doctor may tell you to limit your fluid intake to a set amount each day.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Avoid high-sodium foods, such as:
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter A166 in the search box to learn more about "Limiting Sodium and Fluids With Heart Failure: Care Instructions".
Current as of: November 28, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & George Philippides, MD - Cardiology
© 2006-2017 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.