Our health status has changed drastically after the pandemic of COVID-19. People tend to develop problems that were not so common before the occurrence of the pandemic.
Amidst that is a heart attack! A heart attack was not a common disease but after the spread of the Coronavirus, the cases of heart attack rose terrifically.
Now you may wonder if Coronavirus is a lung disease and what is the connection between a heart attack and COVID-19! So do not worry! Here in this article, we would clarify the connection between heart attack and coronavirus and the precautions that you can follow to save yourself as well as your loved ones.
Heart Attack or myocardial infarction is a fatal disease where the artery carrying blood and oxygen to the heart cannot function properly because it gets blocked. Therefore, the heart muscles do not receive enough oxygen and blood which may result in permanent heart damage.
Even though there may be various reasons for a heart attack, Covid-19 is a major factor to increase the chances of a heart attack. Any person who has coronavirus is prone to have a heart attack but the possibility increases with the severity of the virus. The fatality chances by heart attack are very high within the first month after covid infection, but according to reports, the chances remain high for quite some time even after that.
Inflammation of the heart- Myocarditis or heart inflammation directly affects the muscle tissues of the heart. Or the immunity response in the fight against the virus may affect the heart. Apart from this, coronavirus causes inflammation of the veins and blood vessels and affects the inner surfaces of veins and arteries. It also harms the lining of the blood vessels. All of these together restrict the flow of blood to the heart which eventually is a reason for heart failure.
Shortage of oxygen supply- When covid affects the lungs, it causes inflammation. The lungs fill up with fluid and due to this, there is not enough oxygen reaching the blood. As a result, the heart has to pump harder. It works twice or thrice than usual. The overwork of the heart along with the shortage of oxygen causes cell damage and heart tissue damage. This may be very critical for people who already have heart disease.
Changes in EKG levels- According to reports, the patients who have had Covid, show high levels of troponin in the bloodstream along with chest pain and changes in EKG. These are the signs of heart tissue damage.
Cardiomyopathy- The body releases chemicals known as catecholamines which affect the heart’s ability to pump blood. This happens when the virus affects the body and the heart is stressed and is not able to function effectively.
Stress and high blood pressure- People are relatively more stressed after the coronavirus. This may be due to financial reasons, the loss of some loved one, unemployment and other such causes. But due to this, there is a rise in patients with high blood pressure. This gradually increases the chances of a heart attack.
The following are the symptoms of a heart attack that patients generally experience before a heart attack-
• Shortness of breath
• Fatigue, feeling weak or light-headed
• Heart palpitations, the fast pounding of the heart
• Feeling dizzy, especially when you stand up
• A cold sweat
• Chest pain that keeps returning and does not go
• Pain or uneasiness in the arms, neck, jaw or the back
• Squeezing sensation or pressure in the chest
• Nausea or vomiting
There may be other symptoms apart from this, but these are the most common symptoms that one experiences before a heart attack and you must immediately go to a heart doctor if you ever experience these.
You need to manage your heart’s health after the coronavirus. You must follow an exercise routine and try yoga and meditation to regulate your system. It is very important for people who are obese to reduce weight. Drinking enough water and eating a balanced diet with less oil and spices will surely help you in the process.
Do not forget to regularly visit your doctor for routine check-ups. It is mandatory for people who already have heart problems or high blood pressure. The doctor can monitor you and prescribe you medicines to keep your heart in check. If you are habitual of smoking, control it immediately. Covid already causes a shortage of breath and cough, and smoking will destroy the case further.
A heart attack after covid-19 is possible in anyone regardless of age and gender. It can even occur in children even though it is not common. Therefore, you must be careful about the symptoms and immediately head to a cardiovascular doctor.