Taking Medicine For A Cold Be Mindful Of Your Heart
Flu has so far infected more than 6 million Americans this season, and winter colds are making their rounds. If you’ve been hit by either, you may be thinking about heading to your local pharmacy to relieve your aches, pains and congestion.
But before you do, you need to consider how some over-the-counter cold medicines may impact your heart.
“People with uncontrolled high blood pressure or heart disease should avoid taking oral decongestants,” said Sondra DePalma, a physician assistant at the PinnacleHealth CardioVascular Institute at UPMC Pinnacle in Pennsylvania. “And for the general population or someone with low cardiovascular risk, they should use them with the guidance of a health care provider.”
DePalma co-authored guidelines released in 2017 by the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology focusing on the management of high blood pressure in adults. Both decongestants and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories , found in many cold medicines, were listed as medications that could increase blood pressure.
“But if you have high blood pressure or heart disease, the last thing you need is constricting blood vessels,” she said. “It can exacerbate or worsen the condition.”
The biggest concerns are for people who have had a heart attack or stroke, or have heart failure or uncontrolled high blood pressure, Michos said.
But research on NSAIDs suggests seemingly healthy people might also be at risk.
This may be due to the compound effect.
When Should You Worry About Your Heart Rate
Some people never notice the rate or rhythm of their heart, while others notice every minor irregularity . In the absence of symptoms , that’s not an indication of trouble. An abnormal rate or rhythm may be discovered during a physical exam, ECG, or other testing, even in healthy people who have no symptoms.
Common symptoms of a slow heart rate include:
- dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting or near-fainting
Resting Heart Rate And Health
A relatively low resting heart rate is considered healthy, while a high resting heart rate may increase the risk of various conditions.
A lower heart rate allows the heart to maintain a healthful rhythm and respond to routine stressors efficiently. These may include exercise, illness, and day-to-day activities.
Having a relatively low heart rate is a significant contribution to overall health. An abnormally high heart rate can lead to a variety of health risks and conditions.
Complications associated with a high heart rate include:
- low energy levels
Stress may cause a high heart rate.
Each heartbeat arises from specialized muscle cells called myocytes.
When these cells need more oxygen, as during exercise, the brain sends messages to the heart, causing myocytes to make stronger, more frequent pulses.
Everyone experiences sudden, temporary changes in their heart rate. They may be caused by:
Having a chronically high or abnormal heart rate is often a sign of an unhealthy lifestyle or an underlying medical condition.
Common long-term causes of a high heart rate include:
- lack of exercise
Research On Heart Problems After Covid
Research shows that there is still a lot to learn about lasting heart effects on people who have had COVID-19. In some cases, patients are left with signs of heart damage that may call for continued monitoring.
Post cites a German study in which cardiac MRIs were conducted on 100 people who had the coronavirus and survived. The researchers saw abnormal findings in 78 of these patients. Compared with those who had not had COVID-19, these patients showed evidence of scarring and inflammation of the heart muscle and its surrounding tissue . However, this study was limited by the lack of an appropriate comparison group, and subsequent studies have found a much lower incidence of myocarditis in those who had a prior COVID-19 infection.
Another small study assessed 26 college athletes who had COVID-19 with mild symptoms or none at all. Cardiac MRI showed that these students had normal EKGs and normal levels of a substance called troponin, which when elevated can indicate heart problems. Four of them had heart muscle inflammation , and two of these had inflammation of the pericardium .
Post says these data have to be considered carefully, since the sample sizes are small, and the pre-COVID heart health of the participants wasnt known.
So Why Do Heavy Training Loads Make You More Likely To Become Sick
One of the key reasons is resilience. As the chart below, taken from the International Olympic Committee statement on load in sport and risk of illness shows, as loads are ramped up, the risk of illness increases rapidly in recreational and age group athletes. Elite athletes, partly due to their genetic makeup, and partly by being conditioned to high weekly loads, are more resilient, and donât get sick so easily when loads are ramped up. In fact, they are more likely to become sick when training loads are reduced and they become deconditioned.
As training loads are ramped up, recovery demands increase too, especially the need for good quality sleep and nutrition. If training loads and recovery demands are not in balance, inflammation starts to become chronic, and the immune system gets stressed trying to repair too many parts of the body at once. Itâs at this point that viruses and bacteria that would normally be swiftly identified and dealt with can much more easily take hold and cause illnesses such as coughs, colds, sore throats and potentially bacterial chest, lung and stomach infections.
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Latest Cold And Flu News
Doctors have long known that a higher resting heart rate — the number of times each minute the heart beats while a person is sitting or sleeping — can be a sign that the body’s immune system is ramping up for a fight.
For example, research has shown that young men with fevers had increases in their resting heart rate of about 8.5 beats per minute for about every 2-degree Fahrenheit increase in body temperature. Other studies have shown that a child’s resting heart rate can go up even more — between 10 and 14 bpm for every 2-degree Fahrenheit rise in temperature.
But there’s a wide variation in what’s normal from person to person, and doctors may not be able to pick up on it.
“When a doctor sees you, as long as your heart rate is between 60 and 100, we don’t think about it. That’s within the normal population range,” says study author Steven Steinhubl, MD, a cardiologist and director of digital medicine at Scripps Research Translational Institute in La Jolla, CA.
“But if we knew that my resting heart rate every day was typically 60, and I come to the doctor’s office and my resting heart rate is now 68 or 72. If we had the knowledge to say, ‘Hmmm. That’s unusual.’ Maybe that’s a sign that something is going on. But we’ve never really had that before,” he says.
How They Did It
Tagging Symptoms Helps Contextualize Your Hr Fluctuations
Sustained elevations in heart rate during sleep and at rest can also be caused by medical conditions unrelated to the flu or by routine things like stress. But when you go to the doctor, it can be difficult to remember your symptoms and organize them with all of the data youve tracked. To better understand your own data and have more informed conversations with your doctor, you can use Cardiogram to tag any section of your heart rate with more detail.
When you see an unexpected change in your heart rate, add a tag to note your symptoms or other potential triggers .
Cardiogram will also suggest a ? tag when your heart rate is significantly elevated without steps or activity. Feel free to delete a ? that you dont think is relevant.
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Increased Heart Rate When Sick Is Normal As Your Body Tries To Get Rid Of The Illness However Elevated Heart Rate Can Also Indicate Something Else
For a healthy and normal adult who is resting, the heart should beat around 60 to 100 times within sixty seconds. Tachycardia is the name given to the condition of elevated heart rate when the person is resting. During tachycardia, the heart rate is either elevated in the upper heart chambers or the lower heart chambers or in some cases in both the chambers.
Elevated heart rate when sick can be worrisome, as people don’t know the answers to questions like “Does heart rate increase when sick? Let’s investigate these questions to understand when elevated heart rate isn’t an issue and when you should be worried by increased heartbeat.
What Is My Role In Checking Out My Fast Heart Rate
If you are concerned about an elevated heart rate, make sure you arent currently dehydrated, and that you are being treated properly for any related medical condition.
If youve accounted for common causes of an elevated heart rate including reducing or eliminating caffeine and are still experiencing symptoms, make sure to see a doctor as soon as possible.
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American Heart Association News Stories
American Heart Association News covers heart disease, stroke and related health issues. Not all views expressed in American Heart Association News stories reflect the official position of the American Heart Association.
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Cause Of Myocarditis Found
Suttons suspicion was right: Johnson had contracted a virus that provoked a severe case of myocarditis.
Like Johnson, many people who develop myocarditis are otherwise healthy.
With time a critical factor, Johnson was taken to the catheterization lab, where the team could view his heart arteries using diagnostic imaging equipment and, if needed, temporarily implant a mechanical support device to help his heart circulate blood.
We had to work quickly because his blood pressure was low and he was having trouble breathing, which can happen with severe heart failure, Sutton says.
That wasnt the only trouble.
Within an hour or two of receiving the initial phone call, the team had gotten catheter access and Johnson went into ventricular tachycardia, a life-threatening heart rhythm, Sutton says.
We started CPR and placed an Impella pump into his heart to support his circulation and allow us to stop CPR while preparing for additional support.
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Hows Your Heart Rate And Why It Matters
When it comes to your heart rate, it’s a bit like the speed of your car. What you want is not too fast, not too slow, and not too erratic. In fact, most of the time, heart rhythm and pace are not things you need to think about. And unless something unusual is going on, you’re likely completely unaware of what your heart is doing.
Heart rate is important because the heart’s function is so important. The heart circulates oxygen and nutrient-rich blood throughout the body. When it’s not working properly, just about everything is affected. Heart rate is central to this process because the function of the heart is directly related to heart rate and stroke volume .
How To Lower The Heart Rate
Practicing meditation or yoga may help to lower the heart rate.
If the heart rate is suddenly spiking in response to issues such as emotional stress or environmental factors, addressing the cause is the best way to reduce the heart rate.
Ways to reduce sudden changes in heart rate include:
- practicing deep or guided breathing techniques, such as box breathing
- relaxing and trying to remain calm
- going for a walk, ideally away from an urban environment
- having a warm, relaxing bath or shower
- practice stretching and relaxation exercises, such as yoga
Many lifestyle habits can contribute to lower the resting heart rate in the long term.
They may also improve a persons ability to maintain a healthy heart rate during physical activity and stress.
The following tips may help to lower the heart rate in the long term:
1. Exercise: The easiest and most effective way to achieve a lasting lower heart rate is to do regular exercise.
2. Stay hydrated: When the body is dehydrated, the heart has to work harder to stabilize blood flow. Throughout the day, drink plenty of sugar- and caffeine-free beverages, such as water and herbal tea.
3. Limit intake of stimulants, such as caffeine and nicotine: Stimulants can cause dehydration, increasing the hearts workload.
4. Limit alcohol intake: Most forms of alcohol dehydrate the body. Alcohol is also a toxin, and the body must work harder to process and remove it.
Heart-healthy nutrients include:
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How Does Illness Affect The Way You Can Train
Once symptoms appear, itâs important to reduce training loads so that the body has a chance to recover, but when do you need to stop, and how soon can you safely return to lighter training? Many people look at the location and severity of symptoms for guidance, such as whether a cold is only above the neck as a sign that training can be resumed, but in fact there are important and useful sub-clinical indications such as Heart Rate Variability that can be measured non-invasively and deliver more useful guidance.
What Are The Signs That I May Have Developed A Heart Problem After Covid
There are many symptoms reported in the post-COVID period, and there are multiple potential causes for these symptoms, says Post.
Severe fatigue is common after infection with the coronavirus, just as it is after any serious illness. Many people experience shortness of breath, chest pain or palpitations. 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, she says.
POTS after COVID-19. People recovering from the coronavirus sometimes show symptoms of a condition known as POTS . Researchers are exploring whether or not there is a link.
POTS isnt directly a cardiac problem, but a neurologic one that affects the part of the nervous system that regulates heart rate and blood flow. The syndrome can cause rapid heartbeats when you stand up, which can lead to brain fog, fatigue, palpitations, lightheadedness and other symptoms.
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Does Being Sick Cause A Big Increase In Heart Rate
- Float this Topic for Current User
Currently dying of some kind of flu/cold virus. Suffering from a temperature and feeling very tired. Sure you all know what I mean- runny nose, chest cough, no appetite and feeling weak ect.
Basically just wondered- my heart rate has jumped up lots. Sat/laying down its between 95-102. When well its usually 80s.
Stood up walking – even just to and from the bathroom ect goes upto 120-135. When well its usually 95-105
Is this normal when we’re sick? Just don’t know if I should be concerned. Not breathless, no chest pains. Just feel majorly hot from the temperature
Bumping the thread. Anyone offer advice?
I’m not a doctor but it makes sense that your body would elevate your heart rate as your immune system fights off a virus.
Just like it does when you digest food or try to stay warm in the cold etc etc etc.
According to WebMD viral infections can raise your blood pressure and heart rate. I guess what all the moms and the grandmom’s said is true – when you’re sick, rest and fluids. Hope you feel better soon!
Im finally over a bout of a cold and feeling crappy. And, yes, my Heart rate was higher then normal. Now that Im feeling better its returned to normal readings.
Remeber to stay hydrated.
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Yes. I’m currently sick and my RHR jumped from 57 to 61 overnight when I got hit and then jumped up further to 64. It’s never that high.
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When To See A Doctor
A person experiencing a fast heart rate should take special note of whether or not he is experiencing additional symptoms. Are there are other things going on that could be making someone feel lousy?
For example, a person who is experiencing shortness of breath, activity intolerance, palpitations, or extreme fatigue should see a doctor immediately.
Its important to note that many people who are experiencing an elevated heart rate dont feel it or associate it with other issues. In other words, it can often take a bit of an investigation to discover the cause.
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