October 25, 2021

Acqua NYC

Fit And Go Forward

Cardiologists busy seeing people with heart problems because of COVID-19

COVID-19 is keeping cardiologists busy. Ten months into the pandemic, doctors are now finding heart problems in those who had already recovered.It’s not just affecting high-risk patients, but young, healthy people, even athletes, who experienced only mild symptoms.People like health care practitioner, Hilary Catron, who used to average 20 miles of running a week.”I felt okay doing things and started returning to my old habits,” Catron said. “It was too much for my body too soon.”Catron, 43, said now recovered from COVID-19, running 3 miles can be a struggle.”I’m very tired. My heart rate is very elevated,” she said. “I need to back off a little bit. My body is telling me it’s too much.”The endurance athlete runs marathons, triathlons and is a tae kwon do instructor.All high impact sports came to a screeching halt when she received positive test results. “I was diagnosed with COVID Nov. 16. It’s weird how you remember those dates so specifically,” Catron said.Catron had mild symptoms of headaches, fatigue, some brain fog and shortness of breath. But after the two-week isolation ended, she said a new symptom surfaced. “My heart rate was really high doing simple things, like going for a one or 2 mile walk. My heart rate was as high as if I had gone for a jog,” she said.”People who are asymptomatic and have a mild infection come in the hospital and die because of cardiac issues,” said Dr. Daniel Anderson, Chief of Cardiology for the University of Nebraska Medical Center and Nebraska Medicine.Anderson said clinics are busy with patients now having after-effects that attack the heart. “The virus can cause damage to the myocardium, to the tissue that is irreversible. that shows up on a cardiac MRI as edema and swelling,” he said. “A lot of the case scenarios were textbook me: healthy 40-year-old triathlete with minimal symptoms, who went out on a run and noticed shortness of breath. One had a heart attack, other patients had blood clots in their legs,” Catron said.Catron experienced some elevated blood pressure, so she had an EKG just in case. Anderson said people who recovered from COVID-19 need to take it slow when returning to exercise. “Back off and come back slowly,” he said. “Don’t go blazing.”The American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology developed a plan for healthy COVID-19 survivors who want to get back to their previous lifestyle.People who were asymptomatic or had mild cold-like symptoms need to wait 10 days to exercise.Those with moderate, fever and flu-like symptoms should wait 14 days and another seven to 10 days after symptoms are gone.All survivors should self-monitor for new symptoms while exercising and see a doctor before returning to your exercise program. “If you notice, ‘I’m able to do things and I don’t have any symptoms,’ then take it easy, and come back slowly. That’s a reasonable approach,” Anderson said. “The first few runs I did with friends because I was always a little nervous to go alone, just in case,” Catron said.Anderson said cardiologists are studying every case they can since the post-symptoms are another added mystery to this insidious virus.Catron said her bout with COVID-19 has left her grateful knowing the outcome could much different.”I’m able to run, maybe a minute per mile slower but at least I can run,” Catron said.

COVID-19 is keeping cardiologists busy. Ten months into the pandemic, doctors are now finding heart problems in those who had already recovered.

It’s not just affecting high-risk patients, but young, healthy people, even athletes, who experienced only mild symptoms.

People like health care practitioner, Hilary Catron, who used to average 20 miles of running a week.

“I felt okay doing things and started returning to my old habits,” Catron said. “It was too much for my body too soon.”

Catron, 43, said now recovered from COVID-19, running 3 miles can be a struggle.

“I’m very tired. My heart rate is very elevated,” she said. “I need to back off a little bit. My body is telling me it’s too much.”

The endurance athlete runs marathons, triathlons and is a tae kwon do instructor.

All high impact sports came to a screeching halt when she received positive test results.

“I was diagnosed with COVID Nov. 16. It’s weird how you remember those dates so specifically,” Catron said.

Catron had mild symptoms of headaches, fatigue, some brain fog and shortness of breath. But after the two-week isolation ended, she said a new symptom surfaced.

“My heart rate was really high doing simple things, like going for a one or 2 mile walk. My heart rate was as high as if I had gone for a jog,” she said.

“People who are asymptomatic and have a mild infection come in the hospital and die because of cardiac issues,” said Dr. Daniel Anderson, Chief of Cardiology for the University of Nebraska Medical Center and Nebraska Medicine.

Anderson said clinics are busy with patients now having after-effects that attack the heart.

“The virus can cause damage to the myocardium, to the tissue that is irreversible. that shows up on a cardiac MRI as edema and swelling,” he said.

“A lot of the case scenarios were textbook me: healthy 40-year-old triathlete with minimal symptoms, who went out on a run and noticed shortness of breath. One had a heart attack, other patients had blood clots in their legs,” Catron said.

Catron experienced some elevated blood pressure, so she had an EKG just in case.

Anderson said people who recovered from COVID-19 need to take it slow when returning to exercise.

“Back off and come back slowly,” he said. “Don’t go blazing.”

The American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology developed a plan for healthy COVID-19 survivors who want to get back to their previous lifestyle.

People who were asymptomatic or had mild cold-like symptoms need to wait 10 days to exercise.

Those with moderate, fever and flu-like symptoms should wait 14 days and another seven to 10 days after symptoms are gone.

All survivors should self-monitor for new symptoms while exercising and see a doctor before returning to your exercise program.

Return to Play

“If you notice, ‘I’m able to do things and I don’t have any symptoms,’ then take it easy, and come back slowly. That’s a reasonable approach,” Anderson said.

“The first few runs I did with friends because I was always a little nervous to go alone, just in case,” Catron said.

Anderson said cardiologists are studying every case they can since the post-symptoms are another added mystery to this insidious virus.

Catron said her bout with COVID-19 has left her grateful knowing the outcome could much different.

“I’m able to run, maybe a minute per mile slower but at least I can run,” Catron said.

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