Even as the mercury continues to rise, it becomes imperative to take extra care of your health. While colds and fever are quite common in this season, doctors warn that adults should be more concerned about life-threatening health issues like heart attacks as its incidence increases in winters as compared to summer season.
Agrees Dr Subhash Chandra, Chairman, Cardiology, BLK Super Specialty Hospital. “Exposure to extreme cold weather brings down the core temperature of human body to less than 95 degree Fahrenheit. This is called hypothermia. Its symptoms include confusion, lack of coordination, drowsiness and shivering.Elderly people, in particular, are more susceptible to hypothermia, as they have less auscultation fat to conserve heat as well as weaker adaptive mechanism of the body in the revert of extreme cold exposure,“ he informs.
Explaining further, Dr Sanjeev Aggarwal, HOD, Center for Cardiac Sciences, Saroj Super Specialty Hospital, says, “Risk of heart diseases and stroke further increases with the level of pollution in Delhi.Flu-like symptoms, respira tory infections and inflammation contribute to the rupture of artery-clogging plaques. So heart patients are advised not to go for early morning walks when particulate matter (PM) levels are significantly higher.“
According to experts, during winters, the heart has to work harder to maintain body heat. “Your arteries tighten which restricts blood flow and oxygen supply to your heart which is already under high demand due to high blood pressure.Elderly and those with underlying heart disease are most prone to suffer from increasing frequency of angina and heart attack.Heart failure and water accumulation in lung (pulmonary edema) are common during hypothermia.Extreme cold weather also leads to changes in blood viscosity leading to clot function, heart attack and brain strokes,“ adds Dr Chandra.
But doctors assure that taking a little bit of extra care can go a long way in avoiding a heart attack.Read on to know more…
CONTROL CHOLESTEROL LEVELS
Cholesterol levels fluctuate significantly with the change in the season. This leaves people with borderline high cholesterol with greater cardiovascular risk during the winter months. So it is imperative to manage your cholesterol levels.
Winter is a season where people gorge on oily food and end up eating more than the normal quantity. A healthy diet, eaten in small quantities at regular intervals, is necessary for lowering the risk of getting heart diseases. Heart patients should avoid alcohol and high calorie food as well as excessive salt and sugar intake.
RESTRICT OUTDOOR EXERCISE
Avoid going for morning walks on extreme chilly days. Instead, reschedule your outdoor exercise in the afternoon when it is still sunny. And make sure you don’t overdo it, exhausting yourself.Don’t forget to take rest to avoid overstressing your heart.
KEEP YOURSELF WARM
Keeping the body warm is the key to keeping the risk of a heart attack at bay. You should wear enough warm clothing, but make sure to wear them in layers. This insulates by trapping air. Wear caps, mufflers, gloves, socks and shoes, whenever outdoors. It’s important to keep your hands and feet warm as they tend to lose heat rapidly.
CONSULT A DOC
Never ever ignore any of these symptoms: discomfort in chest; severe sweating; pain in neck, arms, jaws and shoulders; or shortness of breath. Visit a doctor immediately, if you experience any of these symptoms.