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Finding the Right Treatment for Heart Failure

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This content is created or selected by the Healthgrades editorial team and is funded by an advertising sponsor. The content is subject to the Healthgrades medical review process for accuracy, balance and objectivity. The content is not edited or otherwise influenced by the advertisers appearing on this page except with the possible suggestion of the broad topic area. For more information, read the Healthgrades advertising policy.
At Your Appointment

Heart Failure Appointment Guide

Ask the right questions at your next doctor’s appointment. Answer two questions below to personalize your appointment guide.
  • Please describe the symptoms and issues you’re having that led you to schedule this online appointment. Start at the beginning of this current episode and tell me how and when things have changed and progressed.
  • How would you rate your health and symptoms since our last visit? Better, about the same, or worse?
  • How often have you felt winded or fatigued since our last visit? Frequently, occasionally or rarely?
  • How would you rate your limitations on daily activities? No limitations, slight, significant, or unable to carry on any activity without discomfort? Are you able to comfortably climb stairs?
  • What other symptoms are you having? Cough, trouble sleeping, weight gain, abdominal swelling, or feet or ankle swelling?
  • How much moderate exercise, such as walking, do you do in an average week?
  • When did your symptoms begin?
  • Are your symptoms constant, or do they come and go?
  • How severe are your symptoms? Do they interfere with your daily activities? Have you had to modify or discontinue any activities due to these symptoms?
  • Do you have heart disease, high blood pressure, or another chronic medical condition?
  • Do you smoke, drink alcohol, or use recreational drugs? How long and how much?
  • What, if anything, makes your symptoms better or worse?
  • How well is your medication controlling your symptoms? What side effects are you having?
  • What concerns you most about your heart failure symptoms?
  • What new symptoms are you experiencing?
  • What causes heart failure?
  • What other causes could be responsible for my heart failure symptoms?
  • What tests do I need to diagnose heart failure?
  • What treatments are available for heart failure? How effective are they?
  • What kind of diet can help heart failure or prevent it? What foods should I avoid?
  • How severe is my heart failure?
  • What kinds of exercises and activities are safe for me?
  • How does heart failure affect my other medical conditions and vice versa? What is the best way to manage them together?
  • What health checks do I need to do at home? How often should I see you for health checks and testing?
  • When is a cardiac rehab program useful for people with heart failure?
  • Are there other medications that would do a better job of controlling my symptoms?
  • Do my new or different symptoms indicate that my heart failure is getting worse?
  • How do you expect my specific case of heart failure to progress?
  • Should I limit fluid or salt intake? If so, what guidelines should I follow?
  • What other lifestyle changes are beneficial for people with heart failure or at risk of developing it?
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Last Review Date: 2018 Sep 20
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.
  1. Heart Failure. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.
  2. What Is Heart Failure? American Heart Association.