Heat and your heart - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Heat and your heart

We have certainly heard the warnings, and they are worth repeating every winter, shoveling snow, or trying to muscle a big snow blower, can be a heart attack trigger, especially for those with heart problems.

But this summer heat, especially if you are working and out in the heat for long periods of time, can trigger severe heart issues.

As the temperature goes up your body must work harder to stay cool, that's according to Cleveland Clinic Cardiologist Dr. David Frid, who says, "So your blood vessels open peripherally in the outside and you sweat. To be able to get the blood around there your heart works harder and the demands are much greater during the hot weather."

As your body works harder and harder to keep cool, the more you will sweat, and that can lead to dehydration, which not only can cause heat exhaustion but can also, very quickly, raise your heart rate and your blood pressure.

And this can be a problem for people with healthy hearts, let alone those who are dealing with a heart issue.

"You don't want to be out in the hot weather without taking into consideration things like dehydration, and how much time you're spending out in the sun, how high your body temperature is getting," said Dr. Frid.

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