Worried about heart problems post Covid-19? Here's what you need to do | Health - Hindustan Times

Worried about heart problems post Covid-19? Here's what you need to do

ByParmita Uniyal
Sep 09, 2021 07:39 PM IST

Experts say you should not take any chances with your heart post Covid-19 recovery and go for cardiac screening every six months.

Recovered from Covid-19 but feel something is not right even after weeks and months of your recovery? Do you often feel exhausted and wonder if your palpitations, dizziness or shortness of breath could be associated with any heart trouble? Experts say you should not take any chances and go for cardiac screening every six months post your Covid recovery.

Cardiac issues are rising in people post their Covid recovery.(Pixabay)
Cardiac issues are rising in people post their Covid recovery.(Pixabay)

It is true that apart from the various complications people may suffer from after Covid-19, cardiac issues are on a rise, showing a worrying trend. Many of these post-Covid patients are experiencing issues such as heart injury, heart failure, stroke, and even heart attack.

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"To take care of your heart, along with a healthy lifestyle consisting of a well-balanced diet and exercise, it is also recommended to go for cardiac screenings after every 6 months to monitor the functioning of your heart. Not doing so will not aid in the timely detection of heart problems. So, get the screening done on a priority basis and keep your heart safe," advises Dr Bipeenchandra Bhamre, Consultant Cardiothoracic surgeon.

ALSO READ: Tips to take care of your heart post Covid-19

Signs of heart trouble in recovered Covid-19 patients

Many of the recovered Covid patients are experiencing cardiac issues. The symptoms can range from chest tightness, breathing difficulties, pain and sudden palpitations, says Dr. Bhamre.

Complications like heart attack, myocarditis, swelling of the heart, low pumping capacity, heart failure, blood clotting, and arrhythmia (abnormal heartbeat) are commonly seen in post-Covid patients, adds the doctor.

Reasons for heart damage

Covid patients with comorbidities like diabetes and high blood pressure and the ones on steroids may also encounter heart problems. Heart damage can be seen due to high levels of inflammation in one’s body. As the body’s immune system tackles the virus, the inflammatory process tends to destroy some healthy tissues, including the heart.

The Covid infection causes inflammation of the blood vessels as it tends to impact the inner surfaces of one’s veins and arteries compromising blood flow to the heart. Once you spot signs like dizziness, light-headedness, sudden palpitation, hypertension, vomiting, sweating, and shortness of breath you must immediately call your doctor.

If there is plaque build-up in the arteries then the virus can even invite a heart attack. That is why people who have recovered from Covid are at a higher risk of a heart attack.

All you want to know about cardiac screening

Dr Bhamre also explains in detail about how a cardiac screening is done.

A cardiac screening is important to detect and treat heart problems. Going for a heart screening after every 6 months will help one with a comprehensive assessment of the heart and ruling out any abnormal changes.

*The screening consists of Electrocardiogram (EKG) to look for risk factors for an enlarged heart such as high blood pressure, or other signs of heart disease that are chest pain, or breathing problems.

*An exercise stress test can help to spot abnormal changes in your heart during exercise.

*Echocardiogram tends to use ultrasound to monitor the size and shape of the heart to check for changes in the heart valves, chambers, walls, and blood vessels.

*Calcium scoring is done by using computed tomography (CT) scan and looks for the build-up of calcium in the plaque on the walls of the arteries. It’s the need of the hour to speak to your doctor to determine when you should have these screenings, and do so without wasting any further time. It is a known fact that timely detection is key to managing any heart condition.

(With inputs from Dr Bipeenchandra Bhamre)

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