If you’re over 60, this one is for you.

This winter, look out for signs of your heart struggling. During the colder months, the heart can struggle to pump enough blood. This shows up as fluid around the lungs, stomach and legs and can mean that you have less oxygen getting to your brain or heart. Pay attention to what your body is telling you, and always seek the advice of your GP if you’re unsure about your health.

Heart attack occurs when one of the arteries become blocked, causing the muscles of the heart to be starved of oxygen and die. Whereas, heart failure is caused by the hearts inability to pump enough blood throughout the body. Many Australians haven’t heard of heart failure, let alone know what the symptoms are, which can be problematic for our over 60’s especially during the colder months.

Did you know? Loss of appetite, nausea, difficulty sleeping, sudden weight gain from fluid retention, rapid or irregular heartbeat, reduced ability to exercise, a persistent cough, and difficulty concentrating, or decreased alertness can all be signs of heart failure. If you recognise any of these symptoms, you should seek medical advice (from a real doctor, not Dr Google!) as soon as possible.

Heart failure affects more than 500,000 Australians, with another 60,000 diagnosed each year. Heart failure can worsen at any time, though cold weather causes your blood vessels to narrow, putting extra strain on your heart. Which is why, doctors say, there is an increase in heart failure related hospitalisations and deaths during the colder months.

Be sure to remember these symptoms, and share this information with your loved ones, you never know whose life you might save by identifying heart failure early.

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* This is not medical advice and should not be taken as such. Please see your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. Call Mermaid Central Medical Clinic on (07) 5575 2444 or visit the website www.mermaidcentralmedicalclinic.com.au to make an appointment.

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