In summer heat, take care of your heart

Local health care providers want to remind you that heat related illnesses are extremely prevalent this time of year.

If you are heading outdoors to exercise, mow the lawn or do other gardening outside, there’s a word of caution from heart experts at St. Elizabeth Healthcare:  These are the kinds of temperatures that bring people in to area emergency rooms with heart events.

Dr. Christian Hays is a heart specialist who said that those with existing heart conditions need to be especially careful not to over-exert in the heat.

He says even your usual activity can lead to stress on your heart, that might really be avoided with plenty to drink, frequent breaks and minimizing activity at the hottest times of the day.

“We see a lots of chest pain, lots of MI’s, a lot of that is dehydration, and so when you are dehydrated, your blood doesn’t thicken but the hematocrit goes up, sort of the viscosity goes up, and that can create a lot of problems, that can lend itself to clotting and acute MI,” Dr. Hays tells Liz Bonis in a segment with Local 12.

An MI is a “myocardial infarction,” which is a dangerous heart event. Often these happen with other early warning signs such as sudden shortness of breath, chest pain and fatigue. Seek medical attention immediately if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.

Click here to watch Dr. Hays talk with Liz Bonis on Local 12.