Influenza and Heart Disease
According tot he CDC, in the 2015 to 2016 flu season, 41% of all adults who came down with influenza also had heart disease. The relationship works like this: when your body sustains a serious injury like that which comes from heart disease, the immune system is dealt a very strong blow. It is not a killing blow, but it does leave you wide open for additional sickness. Systems of order break down over time; that’s how entropy works, and the second law of thermodynamics is commonly vetted by anyone with eyes. Unfortunately, people age. Like an older car, components break and wear out; they need replacing. There are some replacement options in modernity for organs like the heart, but even the finest have their difficulties. The best case scenario sees those who have been forced into taking an implant come into a doctor as though he were a mechanic on a regular basis. The point is, it doesn’t matter which measures are taken, the body’s system breaks down over time. If you’ve had a stroke or a heart attack, you need to take it easy and be more careful how you conduct yourself. Following are several tips to help you avoid contracting influenza as a result of your previous heart condition.
Eat healthy and drink lots of water. When you do cough, cough into your hand or your sleeve–cover your mouth and nose. Wash your hands regularly with hot soapy water, and try not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth if you can avoid it. If the worse comes to the worst and you do find yourself infected with the flu, stay home from work. When your body is fighting off an infection like influenza, the immune system is weakened further still. Should anyone else where you work have an illness, your likelihood of contracting it dramatically increases with the flu. Other actions you can take to avoid becoming infected include:
- Regular Exercise (break a sweat three times a week if possible)
- Diet Excluding Processed/Synthetic foods (like fast food and artificial sweetener)
- Increase Vitamin Intake (Vitamin C, Magnesium, Zinc, and Vitamin D are particularly helpful here)
- Get More Sun (this is a great natural source of Vitamin D)
- Get The Proper Rest (six to eight hours nightly, depending on your constitution)
The Flu Vaccine
You should consult a physician you trust before taking any vaccine, especially the flu vaccine. Trivalent and quadrivalent options are available, and if you’ve had heart problems, the latter may be prescribed. A quadrivalent vaccine mixes four strains of influenza and injects your body with said antigens to facilitate an immune system response preparing you for when the actual sickness comes. This results in you having what feels like sickness, but what’s really a “pseudo-sickness”, in that you haven’t actually been infected. Dead versions of the pathogen have instead been injected into you. If you’re in good health when this happens, the several hours to several days-long pseudo-sickness shouldn’t compromise you. But if you aren’t in good health, it could be what pushes you over the brink. In general, when you’ve had heart disease of any kind, it makes sense to consult your physician before changing anything up. He may be right, he may be wrong; but you need to take whatever opinion is given into consideration before you act.
Common flu-related heart conditions include:
- Hypertensive Heart Disease
- Heart Failure
- Heart Valve Disorders
- Pulmonary Heart Disease
- Congenital Heart Defects
- Arrhythmias Including Atrial Fibrillation
Should you have any history with these conditions, take additional measures of protection against influenza.