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CONGENITAL HEART DEFECT AWARENESS DAY –  14th February is Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day, an annual campaign to honour and remember everyone born with a heart defect and all of the families and friends touched by children with heart defects. It is an observance to promote awareness and education about congenital heart defects (CHDs). In addition, the medical professionals who care for those born with heart defects are recognized on this day, as are the experts who are involved in conducting research for treating and preventing heart defects.

CHDs are conditions that are present at birth and can affect the structure of a baby’s heart and the way it works. They can affect how blood flows through the heart and out to the rest of the body. CHDs can vary from mild (such as a small hole in the heart) to severe (such as missing or poorly formed parts of the heart). According to the American Heart Association, congenital heart defects are the most common type of birth defect. CHDs affect 1 out of every 100 newborns.

TINNITUS AWARENESS WEEK – 7th – 13th February – Tinnitus Awareness Week has observed the first full week of February and the purpose of it is to educate the public about the symptoms of tinnitus and how it affects people. Tinnitus is the perception of noise or ringing in the ear and 15 to 20 per cent of people experience it. It’s not actually a condition, but a symptom of an underlying condition. These can be age-related, related to hearing loss, ear injury, or a circulatory system disorder. The symptoms include ringing, buzzing, clicking, roaring, hissing, or humming in the ear and it varies depending on the person. Tinnitus.Org will be sharing more and telling you how you can get involved, over the coming days so please do keep checking back to their site for more information. They have downloadable assets available for you to share on social media, helping raise awareness in the run-up to, and during Tinnitus Week. They will also be sharing their latest podcast which will be available from 7 February. Please make sure you subscribe to ‘That Tinnitus Podcast’ so that you are notified when it is available. Look out on social media using the hashtag #TinnitusWeek and tag them into any posts you share @BritishTinnitus. You can follow Tinnitus.Org on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

NATIONAL HEART MONTH 1st– 28th February – National Heart Month is an annual event to raise awareness and encourage people to look after their heart. There are many ways to get involved with National Heart Month and one of the ways we want you to get involved is making your community heart safe! Register your interest this National Heart Month to make a donation towards our Defibs Saves Lives Campaign in 2022 and they will donate a defib to a community of your choice. 

National Heart Month helps people understand how to keep healthy and stay informed about the risks of heart-related conditions. The heart is responsible for pumping blood around our body, transporting oxygen and cells to our other organs, so it’s important that we stay aware and make the right choices to keep our hearts happy and healthy. This month presents opportunities for people to get involved in fun activities to spread awareness and support causes that promote heart health. Why not wear red on National Wear Red Day to raise awareness about heart disease and encourage others to do the same?

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RARE DISEASE DAY – 28th February -Raising awareness and generating change for the 300 million people worldwide living with a rare disease, their families and carers.Rare Disease Day is the official international awareness-raising campaign for rare diseases
which takes place on the last day of February each year. The main objective of the campaign is to raise awareness amongst the general public and decision-makers about rare diseases and their impact on patients’ lives. Rare Disease Day was launched by EURORDISRare Diseases Europe and its Council of National Alliances in 2008.

There are over 300 million people worldwide living with a rare disease. Together across borders, and across the 6000+ rare diseases we work towards more equitable access to diagnosis, treatment, care and social opportunity. Our key message for Rare Disease Day 2022 is SHARE YOUR COLOURS! Find out lots more on the Rare Disease website.

WORLD CANCER DAY – 4th February – Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide. Together, we will change that. While we live in a time of awe-inspiring advancements in cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment, many of us who seek cancer care hit barriers at every turn. Income, education, geographical location and
discrimination based on ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability and lifestyle are just a few of the factors that can negatively affect care. So this year’s World Cancer Day’s theme,“Close the Care Gap”, is all about raising awareness of this equity gap that affects almost everyone, in high as well as low and middle-income countries, and is
costing lives. Join World Cancer Day on 4 February to speak out and stand up for a world less burdened by cancer. #CloseTheCareGap #WorldCancerDay

TIME TO TALK DAY – 3rd February – Time To Talk Day brings the nation together to get talking and break the silence around mental health problems. View our short video to see what we got up to in 2021 and watch this space for our plans for Time To Talk Day next year – which will take place on 3 February 2022

Too often, people who experience a mental health problem are also expected to take the lead on talking about mental health in the wider sense. Time To Talk Day encourages everyone to talk about mental health. Mental health problems affect one in four of us yet people are still afraid to talk about it. For people with mental health problems not being able to talk about it can be one of the worst parts of the illness. So by getting people talking about mental health we can break down stereotypes, improve relationships, aid recovery and take the stigma out of something that affects us all.

Since Time To Talk Day first launched in 2014, it has sparked millions of conversations in schools, homes, workplaces, in the media and online.

Time To Change

EATING DISORDERS AWARENESS WEEK – 28th February – 6th March – This Eating Disorders Awareness Week they are campaigning for all UK medical schools and foundation programmes to introduce proper training on eating disorders. Your voice and support will help them to make this happen!

Speak Up. Sharing any positive or negative experiences with your GP will help showcase the difference knowledge, understanding and compassion can make for someone who is struggling.

Step up. Your fundraising and generous donations will help to amplify call for proper training on eating disorders to be adopted by all UK Medical Schools and Foundation programmes.

Skill up. With the tools and the time to understand eating disorders, their future GPs will be better equipped to make crucial, life-changing interventions.

Join their campaign for change now and they will update you on their progress plus more ways you can get involved. If you want to know more, check out the medical training they have developed and find out how this year’s campaign came about.

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Very Well Health explains the similarities of psoriatic arthritis and fibromyalgia.

Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and fibromyalgia are two very painful and life-altering health conditions. While each condition has its unique features, they do share many common characteristics.

PsA is a type of inflammatory arthritis that causes joint and tissue inflammation throughout the body. It can also affect the skin. Fibromyalgia also affects the muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues, causing whole-body pain.

These two conditions can exist alone or together. Living with both PsA and fibromyalgia can be quite a challenge, so it is important to manage and treat both conditions.

Both PsA and fibromyalgia are painful conditions that cause whole-body symptoms. Common symptoms of both conditions include pain, chronic fatigue, and brain fog. PsA might also cause sleep disturbances, anxiety, depression, and numbness and tingling of the limbs, which are more frequently seen in fibromyalgia.

PsA symptoms include…

  • Swollen, tender joints
  • Swelling of the whole fingers and toes
  • Scaly skin plaques
  • Nail psoriasis
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Back and shoulder pain
  • Enthesitis
  • Chest and rib pain
  • Brain fog

Fibromyalgia symptoms include…

  • Widespread pain, including muscle pain and spasms
  • Stiffness upon awakening or after sitting for too long
  • Brain fog
  • Gastrointestinal troubles
  • Jaw and facial tenderness
  • Sensitivity to lights or smells
  • Anxiety and/or depression
  • Numbness and tingling in the limbs
  • Bladder troubles, including frequent urination
  • Reduced tolerance to physical activity
  • Headaches
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Costochondritis

PsA is an autoimmune disease—that means it is the result of your immune system attacking healthy cells and tissues. An abnormal tissue response leads to joint inflammation and the overproduction of skin cells.https://d85524c7cb1517e42a40acc7d2b97b9e.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

PsA affects between 3.6 and 7.2 per 100,000 people worldwide. Prevalence in the United States ranges from about 0.06% to 0.25%. PsA affects about 30% of people with the inflammatory skin condition psoriasis.

PsA tends to be a condition that will flare up with severe or increased symptoms that may last for days, weeks, or months. These symptoms can subside, and you will experience periods where the disease is milder or less severe. It is also possible to experience remission—periods of minimal disease activity.

Fibromyalgia affects around 4 million adults in the United States—about 2% of American adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The majority of people with the condition are female.

Doctors don’t consider fibromyalgia to be an autoimmune disease or an inflammatory condition. According to the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), it is believed that fibromyalgia is a problem of the nervous system, specifically of the brain and the spinal cord.

The pain and tenderness from fibromyalgia will come and go and affect various parts of the body. It tends to be a lifelong problem that commonly causes widespread muscle pain, severe fatigue, and sleep problems.

Fibromyalgia affects up to 18% of people with PsA. People with PsA who also have fibromyalgia tend to have a worse disease course with PsA than those with PsA alone.

A study reported in 2016 in the Journal of Rheumatology by researchers at Tel Aviv University looked at 73 people with PsA, the majority of whom were female (57.5%). Using the American College of Rheumatology criteria for fibromyalgia, the condition was diagnosed in 13 people—12 of whom were female.

Researchers also determined that having fibromyalgia with PsA might lead to worse disease activity scores. They concluded that the impact of fibromyalgia should be considered when treating people with PsA and that doctors should avoid unnecessary changes to treatment.

Source: Very Well Health