Hypertension And Heart Disease in Cold Weather
Damp and cold Alabama winters can be troublesome if you have heart disease or hypertension. Cold weather can worsen symptoms by causing an increase in your heart rate and an increase in blood pressure. Additionally, this can increase your chances of developing a blood clot. It makes sense to take precautions during the winter if you have high blood pressure and/or heart disease. Here are several ways to help manage during the coldest time of the year:
1. Don’t spend too much time in the cold – Be sure to spend most of your time indoors during the winter. And, when you need to go outside you must bundle up with extra layers of clothing, always wear a winter coat, and don’t forget to wear your warm hat and to put on gloves. Always wear warm socks as well. That is especially if you do need to spend more time outdoors due to your job or running errands for your family.
2. Never allow yourself to become overheated – Just like it is very important that you dress warmly for the outdoors during winter, you must be sure to not overdress if you are indoors. Especially if the heat is going. If you are overheated then your blood vessels will dilate which can cause your blood pressure to suddenly drop and that can easily lead to a serious medical situation if you have heart disease. That also means if you are outdoors and you are overly active and becoming hot quite quickly, you must slow down and go back somewhere indoors to remove the extra layers of clothing and rest.
3. Do not overexert yourself – Just like it is crucial that you must not allow yourself to become overheated, you also need to monitor your activity level. That means you will need to hire landscapers to clean up your yard or during the rare times it snows heavily, never attempt to shovel your driveway. Exerting yourself too much during the winter especially, and even during the summer and other warmer times of the year is something that anyone with hypertension and heart disease must never do!
4. Get a flu shot – The chances of you coming down with the flu increases during the winter with the temperatures dipping down and spending more time indoors. If you catch the flu and have these serious conditions, it can be quite dangerous. If you feel yourself coming down with flu symptoms, you must contact your doctor right away.
5. Stay away from alcohol – During the winter festive season, many people will be drinking and you may be tempted. However, if you have high blood pressure and/or heart disease you must not drink especially if you are about to head outside. Alcohol expands your skin’s blood vessels which takes the heat away from your vital organs and can cause you to feel warm.
Managing your hypertension and/or heart disease can be frustrating, especially during the coldest time of the year. However, you must take precautions to minimize any complications.