Cold is one of the most common health issues many people encounter in the winter. But, some often view the danger in the extreme, such as hypothermia (prolonged exposure to very cold temperatures) or frostbite (an injury caused due to freezing of the skin and underlying tissues). However, the temperature drop can greatly impact your health, specifically your heart, in many ways you may not expect—incidence of human casualties due to heart problems (heart attack and stroke) during the winter season. The good news is these conditions are also avoidable with a few lifestyle modifications. Research studies have shown that heart attacks are life-threatening in winter as compared to summer. Angina (chest pain), heart attack, and other related problems are common in the winter.
How does cold weather affect heart health?
In winter, the probability of people getting sick with the common cold, fever, and flu increases. In some cases, winter can be more severe for heart patients. Drop in temperature results in many changes in the body, such as:
- The heart has to work twice to maintain blood supply and keep our body warm.
Several theories appeared on why heart attacks increase in cold weather. The primary risk factor is biological; The cold causes the contraction of blood vessels, which can raise blood pressure and increase the risk of heart problems (and stroke). People who already have been suffering from angina due to coronary artery disease (CAD) can also experience worsening of the condition in winter just because coronary arteries constrict in the cold. Furthermore, your heart has to work hard to maintain a healthy body temperature, and cold winds can make this task even tougher because it causes the body to lose heat more rapidly. If your body temperature reduces to 95 degrees, you may develop hypothermia which can damage the heart muscle. Certain lifestyle changes, particularly physical activity, can cause a significant reduction in the risk of developing heart disease. People often find themselves performing more strenuous physical activity than they normally used to, such as walking through heavy snow or shovelling. Emotional stress has also been shown to cause a significant increment in the levels of stress hormones and, simultaneously, the risk of heart diseases, including heart attack and stroke. Practising self-care, especially around the winter, can help reduce stress and minimize your risk. Whether you are impacted by all or just one of these factors, physical activity, temperature, and mental stress can bring an increased risk of heart problems during the winter.
However, you can reduce the risk by taking extra precautions by following a few tips from the experts:
- Appropriate dressing for the season – Wear layers, especially hats, gloves, and heavy socks in winter.
- Come inside often – Give your body a much-needed break to warm up, especially if you spend time outside in the cold.
- Avoid excessive alcohol consumption – Many people drink alcohol to make themselves warmer. Still, alcohol can make you feel warmer than you are and, therefore, can be particularly harmful when you are outside in the cold.
- Do not shovel for longer – You may also want to ask whether it is safe to shovel.
- Wash your hand frequently – Respiratory infections are common in winter and increase the risk of a heart attack.
- Get help – If you develop a new symptom of heart disease, don’t delay getting help, even if you are on vacation.
Signs & Symptoms Of Heart Attack
Acute chest pain is the most reported warning sign of heart attacks. However, symptoms may vary between men and women. While more gents occasionally report dizziness and nausea, women are significantly more likely to develop atypical symptoms, which often lead them to avoid the signs. Always remain vigilant about any signs and immediately seek medical attention. If you are already suffering from a heart condition, taking medications on time is crucial, especially when preventing a serious heart complication. You can buy medications from an online pharmacy in the US that can deliver authentic medications at affordable rates. Reliablerxpharmacy is the best online pharmacy in the US.
Staying heart-healthy can keep you in the best possible shape, especially when the winter is around.
These tips apply to all seasons:
- Eat a heart-healthy diet
- Be sure to exercise regularly
- Be aware of blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure numbers, and work with your doctors to keep them in normal change.
- Take appropriate measures for stress management
- Listen to your body, and consult your doctor if you feel the difference.
The bottom line!
The cold weather can be difficult for your heart. But following a healthy lifestyle can help your heart enjoy this beautiful season. Also, it is important not to ignore any symptoms and immediately fix an appointment with your doctor. Any further delay in diagnosis and treatment of heart symptoms can increase the risk of complications and even be life-threatening.