Cytokine Storm: A Serious Coronavirus Complication
Most serious of all, Gilotra says, is the possibility of the immune system launching an attack on the invading virus that is so severe that it destroys healthy tissues.
When responding to infection with the coronavirus, the body releases a flood of proteins called cytokines that help cells communicate with one another and fight the invaders.
In some people, perhaps due to a genetic difference, this normal defensive event is exaggerated, leaving them vulnerable to a cytokine storm. In a cytokine storm, the immune system response causes inflammation that can overwhelm the body, destroying healthy tissue and damaging organs such as the kidneys, liver and heart.
A cytokine storm and its resulting heart damage can also affect the hearts rhythm. Serious ventricular arrhythmias due to a cytokine storm can be catastrophic, Gilotra says.
A cytokine storm is difficult to survive. Current research is exploring the possible benefit of using immune-suppressing drugs to treat patients with COVID-19 who experience this serious complication.
Iv Sleep And A Healthy Heart
There are many things you can do to keep your heart healthy. You should be sure to do the following:
- Eat a balanced diet
- Watch out for and treat high blood pressure
- Get regular medical check-ups
Another thing you can do is to make sure that you get enough sleep to keep your body well rested. You can often sleep better by simply following the practices of good sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene consists of basic habits and tips that help you develop a pattern of healthy sleep. See the Resources section of this site to find out how you can start down the path to better sleep.
Watch for signs that you may have a sleep disorder. Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that can put great stress on your heart. Men who are overweight and have large necks are most likely to have OSA.
Symptoms of OSA include the following:
- Gasping for breath or choking while asleep
- Trouble staying awake during the daytime
You may not be aware of these signs because they only occur while you are sleeping. Your breathing is normal when you are awake. Ask a bed partner or someone else who has observed your sleep to find out if you snore or stop breathing during your sleep.
If your doctor thinks that you have a sleep disorder, he or she may suggest that you take a sleep study. This is called a polysomnogram. A sleep study is usually done overnight in a sleep center. It charts your brain waves, heart beat, and breathing as you sleep. It also records your eye and leg movements as well as muscle tension.
Anemia And Iron Deficiency
Anemia is common among patients with chronic heart failure and is frequently multifactorial. Anemia is associated with worse symptoms and outcomes in HF and so reversible causes should be sought and treated. Iron deficiency Iron Deficiency Anemia Iron deficiency is the most common cause of anemia and usually results from blood loss malabsorption, such as with celiac disease, is a much less common cause. Symptoms are usually nonspecific read more is among the most common causes of anemia in HF, and iron replacement therapy should be considered once treatable causes such as blood loss have been excluded. Oral iron replacement is often less effective due to poor absorption and other reasons, thus intravenous iron replacement is preferred.
Read Also: Diet Congestive Heart Failure
How Sleep Deprivation Affects Your Heart
Ealena Callender, OBGYN
Our team of writers, editors, and medical experts rigorously evaluates each article to ensure the information is accurate and exclusively cites reputable sources. Learn More
We regularly assess how the content in this article aligns with current scientific literature and expert recommendations in order to provide the most up-to-date research.
Its difficult to overstate the hearts importance to health. Responsible for pumping blood throughout the body, the heart powers the circulatory system that ensures that all the organs and tissues in the body get the oxygen they need.
Unfortunately, heart problems are a leading cause of illness and death in the United States. While its already well-known that factors like poor diet, limited exercise, and smoking can harm the heart, theres a growing recognition of the dangers of sleep deprivation for heart health.
Sleep provides time for the body to restore and recharge, playing a key role in nearly all aspects of physical health. For the cardiovascular system, insufficient or fragmented sleep can contribute to problems with blood pressure and heighten the risk of heart disease, heart attacks, diabetes, and stroke.
As a result, getting good sleep may help prevent damage to the cardiovascular system, and for people with heart problems, can be part of following a heart-healthy lifestyle.
What Is The Outlook With Heart Failure
With the right care, congestive heart failure wont stop you from doing the things you enjoy. Your prognosis, or outlook for the future, will depend on:
- How well your heart muscle is working.
- How well you respond to your treatment plan.
- How well you follow your treatment plan.
One study says that people with heart failure have a life span 10 years shorter than those who dont have heart failure. Another study showed that the survival rates of people with chronic heart failure were 80% to 90% for one year, but that dropped to 50% to 60% for year five and down to 30% for 10 years.
A different study found that people who had heart failure and were discharged from the hospital had expected life spans ranging from three to 20 years, depending on various factors like age and gender. Its important to look at your specific situation when considering your prognosis.
Also Check: Treatment For Right Sided Heart Failure
What Happens In Sleep
Normal sleep comprises two phases, non-rapid eye movement and rapid eye movement sleep. Several cycles of NREM and REM occur, each cycle lasting about 90 minutes and containing a greater proportion of REM sleep than that preceding it.
During REM sleep, the rate and variability of breathing is increased and most or all skeletal muscle tone is suppressed because of hyper-polarisation of motor neurons this prevents muscular contraction, even though brain stem motor systems are intensely active. Arousal to respiratory stimuli, such as hypercapnia or the less potent hypoxia, is delayed in REM sleep. During non-REM sleep, however, breathing patterns are extremely regular and slow, with in particular prolonged inspiratory times. This has profound implications for clinical aspects of sleep, including sleep disordered breathing.
Periods of ventilatory instability are common during the onset of sleep even in normal subjects because the control of breathing becomes critically dependent on the chemical/metabolic control system, the result of the abolition of the waking neural drive to breathing and behavioural control systems during NREM sleep. As the subject flips from sleep to wakefulness, a ventilation surge occurs that is large enough to drive the Paco2 below the apnoeic threshold. Any disease process that exaggerates these parameters will sustain periodic breathing during sleep.
Isnt Sleep Apnea Just A Fancy Name For Snoring
Not at all. Snoring is that annoying sound that occurs when air passes relaxed tissues in your throat as you sleep. Sleep apnea is a disorder in which a persons breathing repeatedly starts and stops during sleep. Not everyone who snores has sleep apnea, but many who have sleep apnea do snore regularly and loudly. One in five adults suffers from at least mild sleep apnea it afflicts more men than women. The most common type is obstructive sleep apnea , in which weight on the upper chest and neck contributes to blocking the flow of air. A less-common type, central sleep apnea , occurs when the brain fails to send regular signals to the diaphragm to contract and expand. CSA has been associated with brain stem stroke.
You May Like: What Does Heart Failure Feel Like
Life Expectancy With Congestive Heart Failure
The life expectancy of someone with congestive heart failure depends on the type of heart failure, the cause, the stage of the disease, and how effective treatment is.
When heart failure results from cardiomyopathy or coronary artery disease, a person typically has a less positive outlook than someone with heart failure in its earliest stage.
What Are The Types Of Heart Failure
Systolic dysfunction happens when the heart muscle doesn’t contract with enough force, so there is less oxygen-rich blood pumped throughout the body.
Diastolic dysfunction happens when the heart contracts normally, but the ventricles donât relax properly or are stiff, and less blood enters the heart during normal filling.
A calculation done during an echocardiogram, called the ejection fraction , is used to measure how well your heart pumps with each beat to help determine if systolic or diastolic dysfunction is present. Your doctor can discuss which condition you have.
Recommended Reading: What Are The Early Signs Of Congestive Heart Failure
What Medications Should I Avoid If I Have Heart Failure
There are several different types of medications that are best avoided in those with heart failure including:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as Motrin or Aleve. For relief of aches, pains, or fever take Tylenol instead.
- Most calcium channel blockers
- Some nutritional supplements, such as salt substitutes, and growth hormone therapies
- Antacids that contain sodium
If youâre taking any of these drugs, discuss them with your doctor.
Itâs important to know the names of your medications, what theyâre used for, and how often and at what times you take them. Keep a list of your medications and bring them with you to each of your doctor visits. Never stop taking your medications without discussing it with your doctor. Even if you have no symptoms, your medications decrease the work of your heart so that it can pump more effectively.
When Should I Get Emergency Care
Go to the ER or call 911 if you have:
- New, unexplained, and severe chest pain that comes with shortness of breath, sweating, nausea, or weakness
- Fast heart rate , especially if you are short of breath
- Shortness of breath that doesn’t get better if you rest
- Sudden weakness, or you can’t move your arms or legs
- Sudden, severe headache
- Fainting spells
Read Also: How To Calculate Max Heart Rate
When To See A Healthcare Provider
If you are experiencing chest pain, shortness of breath, sudden swelling of the arms or legs, or fatigue on exertion, you may want to get checked by a healthcare professional.
Heart failure and CHF are chronic, progressive conditions that can often be managed with timely treatment, so do not wait to be seen by a healthcare professional if you experience any of the aforementioned symptoms.
What Is The Outlook For People With Heart Failure
With the right care, heart failure may not stop you from doing the things you enjoy. Your prognosis or outlook for the future will depend on how well your heart muscle is functioning, your symptoms, and how well you respond to and follow your treatment plan.
Everyone with a long-term illness, such as heart failure, should discuss their desires for extended medical care with their doctor and family. An “advance directive” or “living will” is one way to let everyone know your wishes. A living will expresses your desires about the use of medical treatments to prolong your life. This document is prepared while you are fully competent in case you are unable to make these decisions at a later time.
Also Check: How Long Does Heart Surgery Take
How Can I Tell If I Have Developed A Heart Problem After Covid
In some people, heart rates can vary from fast to slow, unrelated to exertion, for no apparent reason. But, Post says, shortness of breath, chest pain or palpitations after having COVID-19 is a common complaint. Any of these problems could be related to the heart, but they could also be due to other factors, including the aftermath of being very ill, prolonged inactivity and spending weeks convalescing in bed.
How Can I Improve My Quality Of Life With Heart Failure
There are several things you can do to improve your quality of life if you have heart failure. Among them:
- Eat a healthy diet. Limit your consumption of sodium to less than 1,500 milligrams each day. Eat foods high in fiber. Limit foods high in trans fat, cholesterol, and sugar. Reduce total daily intake of calories to lose weight if necessary.
- Exercise regularly. A regular cardiovascular exercise program, prescribed by your doctor, will help improve your strength and make you feel better. It may also decrease heart failure progression.
- Don’t overdo it. Plan your activities and include rest periods during the day. Certain activities, such as pushing or pulling heavy objects and shoveling may worsen heart failure and its symptoms.
- Prevent respiratory infections. Ask your doctor about flu and pneumonia vaccines.
- Take your medications as prescribed. Do not stop taking them without first contacting your doctor.
- Get emotional or psychological support if needed. Heart failure can be difficult for your whole family. If you have questions, ask your doctor or nurse. If you need emotional support, social workers, psychologists, clergy, and heart failure support groups are a phone call away. Ask your doctor or nurse to point you in the right direction.
Recommended Reading: Energy Drinks And Heart Attacks
When Should I See My Healthcare Provider About My Heart Rate
Even if theres an obvious reason why your heart rate is high, it can still be hard to know when you should see a provider. An elevated heart rate can be the first warning sign of many different things going on in the body, so you should never be shy about asking for help when something doesnt seem right.
It isnt normal for your heart rate to stay over 100 beats per minute. If this happens, be sure to see your provider. There are also other symptoms you should not ignore.
The following red flags are good reasons to see your provider as soon as possible:
A heart rate that feels faster than your normal
Palpitations that last for more than a few minutes
Shortness of breath
Chest pain, pressure, or tightness
Fainting, lightheadedness, or dizziness
New swelling in one or both of your legs
And if youre having trouble getting in touch with your provider, these are all good reasons to visit your nearest emergency room. Do not wait for a scheduled visit if your symptoms feel severe or get worse.
Symptoms Of Heart Failure
The main symptoms of heart failure are:
- breathlessness after activity or at rest
- feeling tired most of the time and finding exercise exhausting
- feeling lightheaded or fainting
- swollen ankles and legs
Some people also experience other symptoms, such as a persistent cough, a fast heart rate and dizziness.
Symptoms can develop quickly or gradually over weeks or months .
Read Also: How To Figure Max Heart Rate
Surgery For Heart Failure
- Coronary bypass surgery treats blocked arteries by removing healthy arteries from other parts of the body and using them to reroute blood around clogged arteries. This improves blood flow to the heart. If severely blocked arteries are a contributing factor to your heart failure, your physician may suggest bypass surgery.
- Heart valve replacement modifies a faulty heart valve to eliminate backward blood flow. A surgeon will either repair the valve, if possible, or replace it with an artificial valve.
- Ventricular assist devices are mechanical pumps implanted in the abdomen or chest and attached to the weakened heart. The devices help pump blood from the lower heart chamber to the rest of your body.
- Implantable cardioverter-defibrillators are implanted beneath the skin in the chest with wires leading through the veins and into the heart. These devices monitor heart rhythm and will shock the heart back into normal rhythm if it develops a life-threatening arrhythmia. They can also act as pacemakers, speeding up the heart if it begins beating too slowly.
- Cardiac resynchronization therapy, also known as biventricular pacing, sends electrical pulses to the hearts lower chambers to help them pump more efficiently.
- Heart transplant is an option in the most serious heart failure cases, when medication or surgery do not help. The procedure involves removing the damaged heart and replacing it with a healthy one from an organ donor.
Stage C Treatment Options
Treatment at this stage focuses on managing your symptoms, optimizing your heart function, and preventing worsening of your condition.
Medications to treat stage C heart failure include:
- Diuretics to reduce fluid retention
- Beta blockers to help make your heart work less hard
- SGLT2 inhibitors to reduce the risk of cardiovascular death and hospitalization for heart failure
- Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors
- Angiotensin II receptor blockers
- Entresto , which reduces the risk of death and hospitalization among patients with chronic heart failure
- Aldosterone antagonists
- Digoxin to help the heart beat stronger and more regularly
- Possible cardiac resynchronization therapy
- Possible implantable cardiac defibrillator therapy
In addition to the lifestyle changes for stages A and B, you may need to make the following changes:
- Reduce your sodium intake
- Restrict fluid intake
- Keep track of your weight daily
Remember that even if the treatment causes your symptoms to get better or stop, you still need to continue treatment to slow the progression of your condition to stage D.
You May Like: Does Aspirin Lower Heart Rate
How Do I Know My Resting Heart Rate
To take your resting heart rate, make sure youre sitting and have not recently exerted yourself. You can usually find your pulse by feeling the inside of your wrist, just below the base of your thumb. You will feel a soft, pounding sensation there. You can count how many times you feel this in 1 minute, or you can count it for 10 seconds and multiply by 6.