Tag: Heart Care

23 Dec 2023
Effects of cold weather on heart

Effects of Cold Weather on Heart

As the temperature drops and cold weather sets in, it’s not just our noses that feel the chill. Our hearts also respond to cold weather in ways that might surprise you. Here, we will discuss the close relationship between cold temperatures and heart health and learn some tips to keep the heart in shape during winter. 

Impact of Cold Weather on the Cardiovascular System

Our hearts and blood vessels always adjust and adapt to environmental changes. When our bodies sense the cold, the blood vessels in the skin, fingers, and toes narrow to conserve heat. This narrowing process is called vasoconstriction. It is a natural response to minimize heat loss and maintain core body temperature. 

However, this vasoconstriction can increase blood pressure and heart rate, as there is a requirement for the heart to pump harder to circulate more blood. It leads to additional strain on the cardiovascular system, especially in individuals with pre-existing conditions.

Cold temperatures can affect your cardiovascular system by: 

-By increasing heart rate

-By increasing blood pressure

-Causes blood to thicken, leading to blood clotting. It potentially increases the risk of strokes and heart attacks.

Hypothermia and Its Cardiovascular Consequences:

In extremely cold conditions, the body conserves heat and maintains its core temperature in various ways. Initially, blood vessels constrict to reduce blood flow to the skin, limiting heat loss to the external environment. This vasoconstriction redirects blood to vital organs, including the heart, lungs, and brain. 

However, shivering may occur as hypothermia progresses, which is a physiological response to generate heat through muscle activity. The strain on the cardiovascular system increases as hypothermia advances. With decreased body temperature, the heart must work harder to maintain proper circulation and enough oxygen supply to vital organs. 

Hypothermia can lead to irregular heartbeats called cardiac arrhythmias and make the heart work less effectively. It also increases blood clot formation, raising the risk of cardiovascular problems.

Importance of Winter Heart Health:

Keeping your heart healthy in the winter is important for your overall well-being. Embracing a few key habits can help care for your heart, especially when it is cold outside. The major key factors are 

Don’t let the winter chill freeze your commitment to heart health. Regular exercise, even a brisk walk or indoor activity, can help keep your cardiovascular system in good shape. 

Other alternative indoor activities to keep the heart active include gym workouts or dancing. Exercise makes your heart stronger and helps you stay active, especially when it’s chilly.

Eating a healthy diet is important for your heart all year round, even in winter. Opt for nutrient-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts, help the cardiovascular system function properly. 

Also, limit the intake of saturated and trans fats, as they can contribute to heart-related issues. Salt in your diet should also be under control. 

Staying hydrated is equally important, even when it is not hot outside. You might not feel as thirsty in cold weather, but it’s still really important to keep your heart and overall health in good shape by staying hydrated. Opt for water, herbal teas, and warm broths to stay hydrated.

Additionally, the colder months can bring extra stress. Hence, paying attention to stress management and ensuring sufficient sleep and rest supports the body’s overall resilience.

Preventive Measures:

Taking care of your heart during colder months is essential, and a few simple steps can improve cardiovascular health. Adopting the practices discussed below can contribute to overall cardiovascular well-being and promote a healthier, stronger heart.

Dressing warmly 

Layer your clothing to trap heat close to your body. Remember to wear head gears and gloves because body heat escapes your head and hands. Staying warm helps reduce the strain on your heart in colder temperatures.

Staying active

Regular physical activity helps to maintain a healthy weight and reduces the risk of heart-related issues. Even though it’s tempting to stay indoors during the cold, it’s important to find ways to exercise is vital. Activities like dancing, working out at home, or doing simple stretches can keep your blood flowing and your heart healthy.

Keeping a check on heart symptoms

If you experience any symptoms of heart issues, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, or discomfort in the upper body, it’s crucial to seek medical attention promptly. Pay attention to these signs, as early intervention can help properly treat cardiovascular issues. 

Heart-Healthy Foods

A heart-healthy diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. These foods have essential nutrients to help maintain a healthy weight and heart. Incorporating fish and nuts in your diet helps provide omega-3 fatty acids that help decrease cholesterol levels and lower the likelihood of heart disease.

Staying Hydrated

Ensuring enough hydration is essential for both your heart and overall well-being. Water helps transport nutrients, regulate body temperature, and support the cardiovascular system. Adequate hydration ensures that your heart can efficiently pump blood throughout your body.

Managing Stress

According to studies, severe stress contributes to high blood pressure and other cardiovascular issues. Meditation, deep breathing exercises, or hobbies can positively impact your heart and help reduce stress. 

Adequate Sleep

Poor sleep has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular problems. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night to allow your heart and body to rest and rejuvenate.


Cold weather can adversely affect your heart functioning by causing heart attacks and strokes, especially if you have coronary health problems. The drop in temperature leads to the narrowing of blood vessels, raising blood pressure and requiring the heart to put more effort into pumping blood.

Take precautions in cold weather to ensure the safety of your cardiovascular system. Dress warmly when going out and promptly seek medical attention if heart-related symptoms arise.

Stay active through indoor exercises like dancing or home workouts, and have a heart-healthy diet with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Stay hydrated to ensure proper heart functioning and engage in activities that help reduce stress and promote good sleeping habits.

15 Nov 2023

5 Tips For Understanding Your Heart Failure Medications

The heart is a complex organ that continuously pumps and circulates oxygenated blood throughout the body. The heart’s contractions, such as exercise or rest, adapt to varying demands. It also regulates blood pressure and flow by responding to hormonal and neural signals. This complexity enables the organ to keep us healthy. 

Nonetheless, any form of heart damage or heart disease can be a traumatic experience that threatens our ‘well-being.’There is no cure for heart failure, and the only aim of the various treatment methods available is to alleviate symptoms and impede its progression.

These days, we have numerous medicines to treat and keep a check on heart failure, but they have their pros and cons of side effects. Here, we provide five tips to understand and use safely your prescribed heart failure medications

  1. Know your heart type failure.  

    The type of heart failure determines the medications you receive. Heart failure reduces the heart’s pumping ability and needs to be addressed to restore it to a healthy condition. Hence, knowing the type of heart failure affects the medications you need.

    Left-sided heart failure: This is the most common type of heart failure. The left ventricle pumps oxygen-rich blood to the rest of your body. In left-sided heart failure, the left ventricle cannot pump efficiently, leading to a shortage of oxygen-rich blood. This leads to a collection of blood in the lungs instead. 

    Right-sided heart failure: This heart failure results as a side effect of the inefficient pumping of the left ventricle. The right ventricle’s job is to pump enough blood that needs to be replenished with oxygen to the lungs. However, there is already accumulated blood in the lungs due to left-sided heart failure. The extra blood causes elevated blood pressure in the blood vessels between the heart and lung, ultimately damaging the heart’s right-side parts.  

    Congestive heart failure: This occurs when fluid accumulates in different parts of the body due to fluid retention in the lungs and reduced blood flow through the circulatory system. It results in edema along with shortness of breath.

  2. Know the role of each medication.
    Each medication prescribed to treat your heart failure has a specific purpose in treating your heart failure. Knowing the purpose of each drug can enhance your understanding of how and when to take it, its dosage, expected outcomes, etc. Keeping a list of your medicines can help you and the physician track your medications and health conditions and avoid any problems related to drug interactions.

  3. Follow the prescribed medication regimen.
    This is one of the crucial steps in managing your heart failure treatment. Follow precisely your physician’s instructions in taking the prescribed medications to receive the full benefit of the treatment. Medications help manage the disease, control the symptoms, and improve the patient’s overall health. 

    Not following a consistent medication routine can lead to ineffective treatment or even cause other health issues. Setting reminders on your phone or using pill organizers can help you maintain the correct medication routine.

  4. Look out for medication side effects.

    It is common to have minor side effects with most heart failure medications. Understanding the potential side effects can help your consulting doctor regulate the medication dosages and monitor the functions of the kidneys and other vital organs. 

    Some common side effects of heart failure medications include dizziness, fatigue, and low blood pressure. However, not everyone will experience these side effects. In many cases, these side effects may persist for a while and slowly subside as your body adapts to the medication. 

  5. Manage stress: 

    Doing regular exercise improves cardiovascular health. Routine exercise helps reduce stress by releasing endorphins and also helps maintain a healthy weight. But don’t forget to discuss with your healthcare provider to determine the most suitable exercise routine for your specific condition.

    Having a low-sodium diet can help control fluid retention; hence, reducing salt intake is important. Introduce fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins to your diet while avoiding saturated fats and sugar. 

    Smoking is considered one of the biggest risk factors for heart failure. The components in cigarettes and tobacco can narrow your blood vessels and cause strain on your heart. Quitting smoking can help in normal blood pumping and distribution of oxygen-rich blood throughout the body.

    To Conclude:
    Heart failure is a complex yet manageable disease by taking medications on time and following a healthy lifestyle. Remember, abruptly stopping your medications can cause serious consequences. Hence, do not discontinue your medication without discussing it with your physician. 

03 Nov 2023
who is at risk for heart disease

Who is at risk for heart disease?

Coronary heart disease or simply CAD, popularly known as heart disease causes roughly around 805,000 heart attacks each year in the USA.  Do you know that every year almost 696,000 people die because of heart disease in the United States of America? 

Unhealthy lifestyle habits, lack of physical exercise and early exposure to smoking and tobacco are some of the leading causes of the growing incidences of heart attacks and heart failure cases across the globe. 

While there are certain risk factors such as age and hereditary disorders which cannot be treated completely, there are many others which are directly under your control. 

It is important to identify and eliminate the controllable risk factors of heart disease to stay safe against serious and long-term cardiac issues that include heart failure and heart attack. 

In this blog, we are going to give you an overview of 6 such risk factors which increase your chances of developing a heart disease.

1. High Blood Pressure

The most common and one of the most dangerous risk factors which can result in both heart disease as well as heart stroke is high blood pressure. 

High blood pressure is commonly termed a ‘Silent Killer’ because it usually does not show any clear-cut symptoms that can be detected and prevented at an early stage. The only way to find out if you have high blood pressure is by getting it measured. 

However, most people don’t measure their blood pressure until they have a doctor’s visit or suspect the presence of some other disease that affects blood pressure. 

As a result, in most cases, the condition keeps on getting worse as it does not get detected at the right time finally resulting in heart disease. 

The worst part is that it not only affects your heart but also interferes with the proper functioning of other vital organs such as the kidney and brain.

2. Consumption Of Foods Containing High Quantity Of ‘bad’ Cholesterol

There are two main types of cholesterols—

  • Low-Density Lipoprotein Or LDL Cholesterol: LDL cholesterol is generally called “bad cholesterol” because it accelerates the production of plaque which can build up over time and cause blockages in your arteries. These blockages lead to heart disease.
  • High-Density Lipoprotein Or HDL Cholesterol: High levels of HDL Cholesterol are considered to be effective in preventing the onset of heart disease. That is why it is generally called “good cholesterol.”

3. Diabetes

People who have diabetes are at a higher risk of developing heart disease.

Diabetes can occur because of two reasons—

  • Your pancreas is not producing enough insulin 
  • The body is not able to break down and properly utilize the insulin which it produces

As a result, your body has a high amount of blood sugar levels because the abnormal insulin production is not breaking down the sugar leading to its accumulation in your blood vessels. 

Ultimately sugar accumulation causes blockages in the blood vessels that deliver blood to your brain increasing the risk of stroke. 

Apart from this, high blood sugar also damages the blood vessels of your heart. 

4. Smoking, Tobacco Intake And Extreme Exposure To Secondhand Smoke

Research has shown that one 1 out of every 4 deaths that occur because of heart disease is due to excessive smoking.

Here is a list of ways in which smoking affects your heart health—

  • Smoking increases bad cholesterol
  • It makes the blood sticky increasing the chances of clot formation that ultimately blocks the blood vessels causing heart disease
  • It damages the cells that are present on the lining of the blood vessels
  • It makes the blood thicker and the blood vessels narrower
  • It speeds up the formation of plaque (blockages formed from fat, cholesterol, etc.)

5. Obesity 

Being overweight makes you more susceptible towards developing health issues like—

  • High Blood Pressure
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • High LDL Cholesterol (Bad Cholesterol)
  • Low HDL Cholesterol (Good Cholesterol) 

It is crucial to maintain a healthy body weight and do regular exercise to prevent the risk of heart disease that occurs due to obesity.

6. Absence Of Regular Physical Activity

Being physically inactive is another major cause of heart disease. In fact, it can even cause other related risk factors like high cholesterol, obesity, high blood pressure, and in some cases even type 2 diabetes.

Regular physical activity is therefore crucial for people of all ages and genders as it keeps your cardiovascular system healthy ultimately minimizing the chances of the occurrence of heart diseases.


Heart disease is one of the most prevalent causes of death worldwide. However, certain situations have the potential to increase the possibility of its occurrence. 

Likewise, diabetics, people suffering from unbalanced blood pressure, obese individuals, people who don’t get enough physical activity and people with high cholesterol intake are at a much higher risk of developing heart disease. 

If you are facing any heart conditions, please get in touch with our doctors for appointments.
Call 9000909073 or
visit www.germantenhospitals.com

14 Oct 2023
Heart Screening when why are they necessary

Heart Screenings: When & Why Are They Necessary?

Screening exams aim at detecting the presence of a disease at an early stage and treating it as soon as possible to prevent it from progressing. 

According to various studies and research by the National Institutes of Health, cardiac diseases, generally called heart diseases such as CAD or Coronary Artery Disease that lead to a heart attack are one of the primary causes of death in the United States of America. 

The main risk factors of heart disease include—

  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Cholesterol 
  • Age 
  • Family History Of Heart Disease
  • Tobacco Intake 
  • Smoking
  • Gender
  • Obesity
  • Lack Of Physical Activity
  • Diabetes

Heart screenings are therefore crucial for the timely identification of the risk factors and other causes that may lead to heart disease. 

Who Should Go For Heart Screening?

The American Heart Association says that heart screening tests particularly for coronary artery disease (CAD) must begin at the age of 20 years. 

The best way to find out and prevent the onset of heart disease is to take regular check-up appointments for a thorough examination of your overall health. These can include tests for—

  • BMI: Body Mass Index 
  • Weight 
  • Blood Pressure 
  • Blood Cholesterol Levels 
  • Blood Glucose Levels

Cholesterol tests and blood pressure tests are recommended for all individuals above the age of 20.

Tests for blood pressure are crucial because the risk of developing high blood pressure increases after the age of 65. 

Blood pressure is also one of the leading causes and risk factors of cardiovascular disorders. High blood pressure doesn’t show any symptoms and therefore regularly measuring the blood pressure is a crucial part of heart screening. 

People who are at risk of heart disease must undergo a test for cholesterol screening every 4 to 6 years. Similarly, for people who have a blood pressure level lower than 120/80 mm of Hg frequently, screening is recommended after every 2 years.

Since older individuals are more susceptible to risk factors that are directly related to heart disease, blood glucose screening is essential for people who have crossed the 45-year mark. 

However, obese individuals should start with blood glucose screening as early as 40 years of age. 

More complex and detailed heart screening tests are essential for—

  • Obese individuals
  • People older than 40 years
  • People who are not physically active
  • Chronic smokers
  • Diabetics
  • People who have a history of family suffering from heart disease
  • People with physical disabilities
  • People who were diagnosed with any kind of heart disorders such as those related to high blood pressure, high cholesterol etc. in the past. 

4 Types Of Heart Screening Tests And Their Significance

The most recommended heart screening exams include—

1. EKG or Electrocardiogram 

An electrocardiogram is used to analyze your heart rhythm along with its electrical signaling system. 

It is recommended for people who have structural abnormalities such as an enlarged heart or those with risk factors of heart disease that show symptoms like—

  • Shortness Of Breath
  • Chest Pain
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Irregular Heartbeats
  • Heart Palpitations

It is also beneficial for people with—

  • Diabetes
  • Family history of cardiac disorders

2. Exercise Stress Test

An exercise stress test is used to determine if your heart starts showing abnormal functions or abrupt changes while exercising.

People who are at risk of heart disease including diabetics and those who have symptoms of heart disease can take the test.

3. Echocardiogram

An echocardiogram is used to detect the size as well as the shape of your heart and analyze it for the presence of a structural abnormality associated with important cardiovascular organs such as–

  • Heart Chambers 
  • Heart Walls
  • Blood Vessels
  • Heart Valves

A doctor will recommend you take an echocardiogram test if he suspects that your chest pain and other heart disease-related symptoms are occurring because of your heart’s structural abnormalities.

4. Calcium Scoring 

In a calcium scoring test, a computed tomography or CT scan is used to find out if calcium buildup is present in the plaque that has accumulated on the walls of your arteries. 

The test is highly beneficial for people who are at moderate risk of heart disease as it can accurately help in the early identification of—

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack

Other than these, blood tests to measure the level of cholesterol and triglycerides are also essential because they have a direct impact on your heart health. These tests include measuring your—

  • Total Blood Cholesterol Level 
  • Low-density Lipoprotein Or LDL cholesterol (Bad Cholesterol)
  • High-density Lipoprotein Or HDL Cholesterol (Good Cholesterol) 
  • Triglycerides


While heart screenings are significant to help you stay away, and timely get rid of cardiac diseases, taking the right precautions to keep your cardiovascular health maintained is equally important. 

Regular exercise, eating a balanced diet, avoiding tobacco and cigarettes, limiting alcohol intake and having regular checkups for a comprehensive evaluation of your overall health are some steps you can take to have a healthy cardiovascular system.

For An Appointments :


Visit: www.germantenhospitals.com