There are an estimated 26 million people living with heart failure worldwide. Typically, a healthy heart beats approximately 100,000 times per day. However, anything that affects the pumping action of the heart has an effect on our body and how we feel.
With heart failure, the heart cannot efficiently pump all of the blood your body needs, and it cannot fill or empty as it should. This, in turn, causes fluid to build up in your body, in areas such as your feet, ankles, legs, stomach, and also in your lungs; which can give rise to breathlessness.
This chronic disease can take years to develop, or it can come on patients quickly, affecting both men and women in the same way. Although the majority of patients with heart failure are over the age of 65, the illness can be developed at a younger age. In fact, as many as one in five people over the age of 40 will develop heart failure in their lifetime, according to The Global Heart Hub — the first global non-profit organization established to provide a voice for those affected by cardiovascular disease.
Early diagnosis of heart failure is crucial to ensure optimal treatment, and this can significantly benefit those living with the condition. That’s why we’re joining The Global Heart Hub and more than 20 organizations across 15 countries worldwide, to help raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of heart failure. On Friday May 24th and May 31st, we invite you to join us and raise a red flag on heart failure. By doing so, we hope to highlight the danger signs and symptoms of this rapidly rising cardiovascular disease.
Early symptoms and when to see your GP
Oftentimes, the earliest symptoms of heart failure are very subtle; and not everyone will have the same symptoms. Any one symptom of heart failure alone may not be a cause for alarm. However, if you have more than one symptom (even if you have not been diagnosed with any heart problems), you should seek professional advice from your GP.
Sadly, awareness of risk factors and the signs and symptoms of heart failure, is low on a global scale. Reg flag symptoms include breathlessness, fatigue, and swollen limbs. The Global Heart Hub recommends watching out for the following heart failure signs and symptoms:
Extreme tiredness or no energy
Loss of appetite
More frequent urination, especially at night
Rapid heartbeat or palpitations
Shortness of breath
Shortness of breath, even when lying down
Swelling in the ankles/feet/stomach
Weight gain over a short period of time (> 2 kg over 2 days)
If you are experiencing symptoms suggestive of heart failure, please make sure to ask your GP “Could I have heart failure?”
To join us in raising a red flag and raise awareness of the symptoms and signs of heart failure, simply capture an image or video and share it online using the hashtag #raisetheflag. For more information and helpful resources, visit The Global Heart Hub.
IF YOU’RE LIVING WITH HEART FAILURE, OR SOMEONE YOU LOVE HAS THIS CHRONIC ILLNESS, CLICK HERE TO VISIT OUR CLOSED FACEBOOK SUPPORT GROUP AND JOIN THE CONVERSATION.