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FLU AND THE HEART: What Influenza can do to your heart

Updated: Mar 11, 2022

Influenza can be very dangerous for people with heart disease. It increases stress on the heart through drastic changes in blood pressure and heart rate. This stress can cause a heart attack.

Even a #healthy heart can be affected by the flu virus. The virus can irritate the heart and in some people, can lead to a serious heart infection and heart muscle weakness. When infected, the heart muscle weakness. When infected, the heart #muscle and the heart lining can become inflamed. This is why it is very important not to exercise when you have the flu.

The flu vaccine is not perfect. The good news is there are simple ways for preventing or reducing the severity of the flu.

  • Keep your Vitamin D (25 hydroxy) level in an ideal range (50-80 ng/ml).

  • Wash hands frequently.

  • Stay hydrated and try to eat fresh or minimally processed foods.

  • Try to get enough rest.

Symptoms to watch for that may indicate a heart infection:

  • Chest pain or pressure

  • Shortness of breath or trouble breathing when lying down

  • Swelling of legs or #abdomen

  • Dizziness or feeling like you will pass out

  • Fluttering or racing of the heart

  • Profound #weakness

It's important to discuss any treatment or worrisome symptoms with your primary care provider. If symptoms with your primary care provider. If symptoms are severe you may need to seek emergency help. An ECG, x-ray of the lungs, blood work, and echocardiogram can be helpful depending on your symptoms.

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