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Heart failure can cause the fluid in your body to gather in your lungs which may cause you to feel short of breath during everyday activities such as walking or climbing stairs.
Lying flat may also make you feel short of breath so that you need to sleep sat up or with multiple pillows.
Heart failure means less oxygen-rich blood is circulating the body. Because your muscles and tissues need oxygen for energy, this means people with heart failure can feel tired very easily.
Clothes or shoes might feel tighter as fluid in the body builds up in the legs, ankles or abdomen causing them to swell up.
A build-up of fluid around the gut can affect digestion and might cause a loss of appetite, or make you feel sick when eating.
Worsening heart failure may cause an increase in weight of more than two kilograms (about six pounds) in one week because fluid builds up in your body.
The heart sometimes starts to speed up to compensate for its reduced ability to pump blood around the body.
A reduced amount of blood reaches your kidneys when you have heart failure, causing you to urinate less frequently.
Conversely, if you take diuretics (eg. water pills), you might urinate more frequently, when the excess fluid in your body is eliminated.
Heart Failure Symptom Checker
To learn more about the symptoms of heart failure, and how you can check them, take a look at our online symptom checker which Novartis developed with patient groups and expert doctors.
The symptom checker includes the main symptoms of heart failure and is designed to help you evaluate these potential symptoms. It can serve as a basis for discussion with your doctors. The symptom checker is not intended to be used to diagnose heart failure or to replace medical advice.
Check your symptoms
Eight key symptoms of heart failure infographic
Download and print this handy infographic to recognize your symptoms straightaway.
Click here for help talking to your doctor
1 Managing heart failure symptoms. Available at http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HeartFailure/WarningSignsforHeartFailure/Managing-Heart-Failure-Symptoms_UCM_477708_Article.jsp#.WCB-cPp942w. Accessed November 7’ 2016.
Raising Heart Failure Awareness in Florence
We headed to Florence with our stunning LED heart to raise awareness of heart failure and collect your donated heartbeats. See highlights from the event by watching the video below.
Raising Heart Failure Awareness in Dublin
On European heart failure awareness day in May 2016, Keep It Pumping dropped into a shopping center in Dublin to raise awareness of heart failure. See how the day went by watching the video below.
Keep It Pumping supports American Heart Association walks
Keep It Pumping participated in 6 awareness walks in 2015. See how we provided heart-healthy education materials to all those involved.
Don’t fail your heart
Join us on a video journey about heart failure.
Putting our print on Italy
Keep It Pumping joined a special event in Rome, Italy. We teamed up with local artists to create a fun and innovative symbol of awareness. You can see pictures of the event on the Keep It Pumping Facebook page and watch a video of the event below.
Toy-brick heart stop: Basel
Novartis continued the toy-brick heart project at its campus in Basel for European Heart Failure Awareness Day. The heart sculpture took shape, brick by brick, all for heart failure awareness. Watch the video to learn more!