Heart failure occurs when your heart is unable to pump blood strongly enough for your body to get oxygen and nutrients it needs. In some cases, fluid can build up in your lungs, kidneys and other parts of your body causing:

Shortness of Breath

Feeling Tired

Swelling of Abdomen, Feet and Legs.

If you have heart failure, a healthy lifestyle can help to improve your health.

What should I count as fluid?

Fluid includes all drinks, and anything that is liquid at mouth temperature:

Water Soft Drinks

Fruit Juice Tea

Chai, Coffee

Milk, Milk Shakes, Thick Shakes

Cream, Ice-Cream, Custard, Yoghurt Jelly Soup, Dal, Gravy, Sauces Alcohol Please talk to your doctor about whether you need to avoid alcohol. Heavy consumption of alcohol can cause alcoholic cardiomyopathy. Patients with heart failure caused by alcoholic cardiomyopathy must abstain from alcohol Food that is liquid at room temperature or that contains large amounts of fluid and is consumed in large quantities e.g., porridge, pasta, rice or fruit dal, should be counted as part of your allowance.

• Use jugs and measuring cups to accurately measure your fluid intake.

• Fill up a jug of water with your daily fluid allowance each morning and use this to keep track of how much fluid you are drinking throughout the day.

• If drinking other fluids e.g. tea, coffee, milk or having foods that contain fluids e.g. rice, pasta, gravy, jelly etc. pour the amount of fluid out of your jug to account, for these other fluids and/or foods.

• Spread your fluid allowance over the day-don’t drink it all at once!

• Drink from small cups rather than large cups.

• Remember to include ice in your fluid count.

• Sucking slowly on frozen fluids or pieces of fruit from your allowance takes longer to consume and is more thirst quenching.




In Heart Failure, the body often retains fluid, leading to:

• Increased blood pressure (more work for the heart)

• Difficulty breathing and shortness of breath (due to fluid in your lungs)

• Swelling on ankles, hands and face

• Nausea and bloating.

Your doctor may recommend limiting your intake of fluid to help control these symptoms.

Your body is 60-70% fluid. There is a difference between fluid weight and body weight. Weight changes due to fluid occur quickly, over a period of days. Changes in body weight (muscles, bone and fat) occur more slowly, over weeks or months.

Taking daily weights is important. Establish a daily routine. Sudden gain of 2 pounds in a day or 3-5 pounds in a month can indicate volume over load. Call your doctor or heart failure nurse if you lose or gain greater than 2 kg over 2 days.


Allowance of 1.5-2 liters /day is recommended in stage IV heart

You may need some extra fluid in hot weather.

It ls important to check with your doctor re the fluid allowance for the day.

There are no benefits to restrict fluid in heart failure patients without symptoms of fluid overload.