Questions by Heart Patients During Covid-19, Answered!

With worldwide spread of coronavirus people with heart disease need to be extra attentive as they have a greater risk of developing COVID-19.

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Coronavirus affects the respiratory system, mainly the lungs. But it could also affect the heart, especially a diseased heart, that has already been struggling to get the oxygenated blood throughout the body. So, heart patients need to take additional, reasonable precautions to cut down their risk.

WF Team brings you what experts have to say on Questions raised by heart patients.

Alarming symptoms patients with heart disease should be aware of during Covid -19? When should they reach out for medical Support?

Accoding to Dr. Jennifer Haythe, Associate Professor of Medicine in the Center for Advanced Cardiac Care at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, who worked the forntline of COVID-19 “Chest pain, shortness of breath, palpitations and lower extremity swelling are all symptoms that warrant a call to the doctor or a trip to the emergency room.”

Other symptoms as indicated by Dr Jagdish Khubchandani, Professor of Public Health, New Mexico State University may vary from “sensation loss in the body or abnormal sensation in limbs, passing out or having severe giddiness or dizziness, acute headaches and vision problems.”

Precautions heart patients should take during pandemic.

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Dr. Haythe stresses the fact,

  1. Cardiac patients should be vigilant
  2. Maintain physical distancing, keep a small inner circle of friends to social distance with.
  3. Use soap and water regularly to wash hands
  4. Wear glasses, a mask and/or a face shield when out in public.
  5. Continue prescribed medicines and try to live a heart healthy lifestyle, without alcohol and tobacco.
  6. Dr Anna Cabeca, the girlfriend doctor stresses the fact “Focus on following a healthy lifestyle and nutrition plan.” Walking is great, but we need to do high intensity interval exercises on a regular basis to really push and promote healthy cardiac function. For diet, break up with that bad boy sugar. It’s really critical to eliminate the majority of our carbohydrates and allow only complex carbs in our diet; such as dark leafy, green vegetables, cruciferous vegetables like cabbage and cauliflower and broccoli which are all healthy and very good for us.
  7. According Dr Jagdish, keep monitoring heart health parameters & stress properly.
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5 management Tips for patients with cardiovascular conditions to manage workplace exposure to COVID-19?

According to Dr Jagdish,

  1. Share risk profile with employers, no need to hide or hesitate.
  2. Ask for accommodations such as remote work.
  3. Check for flu and Covid-19 symptoms for yourself and be vigilant about such symptoms in co-workers and peers.
  4. Stay at a distance from everyone.
  5. Go to work if you have to and come back as soon as you are done- no workplace lunches or socialization or stopping by in stores and at places while returning from work (avoid as much as you can).

Added tips by Dr Anna,

  • Do not touch your eyes or your face frequently.
  • Keep your workspace well ventilated, having a plant at the workspace can help with air filtration.
  • And probably most importantly, managing stress at work. The more stressed we are, the higher our cortisol, which is the higher our blood sugar will go. And this increases our susceptibility to infections of all kinds.

Dr Haythe adds,

  • Eat lunch alone without other people without masks on close by.
  • Wash your smartphone regularly
  • Carry a tissue or handkerchief in your pocket to press elevator buttons and open doors

Any specific vitamins or other food supplements heart patients should take to protect themselves against the COVID-19?

According to Haythe “There is no evidence that any vitamins or foods protect against COVID-19”. Dr Khubchandani holds similar view “Nothing needed beyond what is prescribed by the healthcare provider. But if people feel they don’t have good diet and would want to take supplements- a multivitamin should help some, try herbs and spices, and complementary and alternative therapies.”

Dr Anna goes on to add “Vitamin D3 and vitamin K2 are quite protective and beneficial and check your vitamin D 25 hydroxy blood levels. I would also add vitamin C 2000 to 4,000 international units, as well as Zinc, 30 milligrams and Magnesium which is important for muscles throughout our body, especially the heart muscle. I prefer a magnesium of three and eight or a magnesium glycinate combination.”

Can heart related symptoms be triggered due to Covid-19 positive in normal people. 

Yes, we have seen patients with COVID-19 develop heart failure syndromes, myocarditis (an inflammation of the heart), as well as cardiac arrhythmias, shares Dr Haythe out of his experience with Covid patients.

Note: Always consult your regular physician before taking any medication.

Credits:

  • Dr. Jennifer Haythe, MD – a critical care Cardiologist and one of the many NY doctors on the frontline of the fight against COVID19. She is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Center for Advanced Cardiac Care at Columbia University Irving Medical Center and the Co-Director of the Columbia Women’s Heart Center and Director of the Cardio-Obstetric Program.
  • Dr Anna Cabeca
  • Dr Jagdish Khubchandani, MBBS, PhD. Professor of Public Health, New Mexico State University

Disclaimer

The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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