What “triggers” a heart attack?

Dealing with stressful events, eating unhealthy foods, not getting enough exercise? Well, as a cardiologist, there’s no doubt all of these can put a serious strain on your ticker. But a jaw-dropping report from the European Society of Cardiology has identified another hidden heart attack culprit.

Cold weather: A research team led by Dr. David Erlinge from Lund University, studied the link between heart health and climate. The study included more than 280,000 volunteers over a 16 year period. The participants were from various “health backgrounds”, ranging from elite marathon runners, to smokers who hadn’t exercised in 10 years. Dr. Erlinge observed one huge consistency.

Cold weather:  When the temperature dropped below 32 degrees Dr. Erlinge’ team recorded 4 additional heart attacks a day. When you get cold, even just a little, your body “reroutes” extra blood to your major organs to keep them warm. This puts extra pressure on your most important arteries. And as they begin “maxing out” your heart becomes strained.

Here is some help to protect your heart from the cold this winter

Give your sheets a flip. When you climb into bed, those sheets can be downright cold. Instead, try sleeping with the thicker, warmer covers closer to your body. And use the sheets as the outer layer.

Keep your toes extra toasty. Wear a pair of warm and breathable socks. If your feet are cold in the morning it’s because excess blood gets pushed to key arteries which is what you don’t want.

Drink water to your heart health: This is because water naturally holds heat. So when you’re hydrated, your body has a much easier time staying warm. So, before bed try sipping on a glass of room temperature water (not too cold) otherwise it will slow digestion. 8 ounces of water is all you need.

Source: Steven Gundry , MD  newsletter 2-2018