With the winter season, the risk of heart attack due to cold weather increases. Sudden changes in body temperature, especially in winter, adversely affect heart health. In particular, heart patients not being exposed to the effects of cold weather and taking protective measures while spending time outside significantly reduce the risk of heart attack.
Dr. Medicana Samsun Hospital, Department of Cardiology. Dr. Can Hamsici gave information about the negative effects of cold weather on heart health.
Cold Weather And Wind Risky For Heart Patients
Cold weather and excessive wind are the leading factors that negatively affect heart health in winter. Exposure to these two factors at the same time increases the risk of heart attack by causing sudden changes in body temperature.
These types of symptoms, which start in the middle of the rib cage and sometimes spread to the left arm, shoulder, chin, and last for more than a few minutes in the form of pressure, pain, burning and heaviness, may be a sign of a heart attack.
Again, pain and discomfort in one or both arms, in the upper part of the abdomen, accompanying symptoms such as nausea, shortness of breath, cold sweats can also be a sign of a heart attack.
In patients who have had a heart attack, the pain is sometimes in the upper part of the abdomen, stomach pain can be mistaken by both the patient and the doctor, and dramatic results can occur.
Diabetic patients do not always have chest pain, especially. Extreme fatigue, weakness, nausea, sweating may indicate a heart attack. It is of great benefit for patients with such complaints to warn their doctor and state that they have diabetes.
Apart from typical heart attack symptoms, it is vital that an ECG is taken and cases are not missed, especially in elderly patients with abdominal pain and diabetics. It is very important for heart patients to stay away from cold weather and crowded environments in order to spend the winter months in a healthy way. Especially in periods when the weather is extremely cold, thick socks should be worn to protect body temperature, and gloves and berets should not be left on the street.
Increase in Lung Infections in Winter
There is an increase in lung infections especially in the elderly and heart patients during the winter months. In heart patients exposed to cold, a simple flu infection can turn into an important health problem that will affect the lungs. For this reason, chronic heart patients should stay away from cold environments that will cause colds and flu infections and spend little time outside in winter. It is appropriate for them to spend time at home in very cold weather, as long-term exposure to the airflow significantly threatens their heart health. Heart valve patients, heart failure patients, coronary artery patients and patients with bypass are at risk of cold-related crisis, therefore, necessary precautions should be taken.
Indoor areas should be preferred for doing sports in winter
While heart patients do not have any complaints in hot weather, chest pains can be felt as a result of the constriction of the vessels in very cold weather in winter. Especially people who have such a problem with their heart, but do not realize it, do not experience any problems in their physical activities when the weather is sunny and hot. However, when these activities continue in winter, the workload of the heart will increase. Sudden death can occur during cold weather, outdoor sports. People with chronic heart disease during the winter months should stay away from winter sports and prefer indoor sports.
Regular and balanced nutrition should be given importance
Heart patients should also arrange their nutrition programs according to the winter season. A balanced and healthy diet is of great importance for heart health. Patients can consume all kinds of food, not exceeding the appropriate dose for them. Sufficient amount of vitamin C should be taken in winter and winter fruits should be consumed in abundance. In cold weather, attention should be paid to calorie intake. Instead of a diet rich in carbohydrates; A balanced diet with protein, fat and carbohydrate ratios should be adopted. High alcohol consumption in cold weather is an important cause of heart attack. Alcohol increases the risk of heart attack by causing a sudden change in body temperature. Therefore, alcohol consumption should be limited, especially in winter.
Herbal Medicines Should Be Avoided
Unconscious use of herbal medicine is also one of the factors that trigger a heart attack. It is not known what effects the plants taken from nature will have on the heart. Some herbal remedies can cause narrowing of the blood vessels. It is recommended that people with heart disease do not use drugs except on the advice of a doctor.