May is Heart Failure Awareness month, and tomorrow, and across the remaining three Fridays in May 17, Galway heart and stroke charity Croí, will be raising a red flag on heart failure, along with 25 heart organisations worldwide.
Croí is joining The Global Heart Hub and other organisations across 15 counties to help raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of heart failure. The campaign can be followed online at #raisetheflag and www.globalhearthub.org
As many as one in five people over the age of 40 will develop heart failure in their lifetime. Heart failure occurs when heart muscles do not pump blood adequately. It is a specific heart condition with many causes, the most common being heart attack, heart disease, heart valve disease, high blood pressure, irregular heart rhythm, and certain infections of the heart.
Signs of heart failure may also be associated with an underlying heart problem. Heart failure signs and symptoms may include coughing/wheezing, extreme tiredness or no energy, loss of appetite, more frequent urination, especially at night, rapid heartbeat or palpitations, shortness of breath, swelling in the ankles/feet/stomach, and weight gain over a short period.
"By raising a red flag, we aim to highlight the danger signs and symptoms of heart failure," said a spokesperson for Croí. "By themselves, any one sign of heart failure may not be cause for alarm. But if you have one or more of these symptoms, even if you haven’t been diagnosed with any heart problems, you should visit your GP and ask the question 'Could I have heart failure?'"