Flu Season And Blood Pressure
As the colder weather approaches and the weather begins to change, catching a cold or the flu is much more likely. Be sure to continue to monitor your blood pressure throughout the change of season and while taking any type of medication to combat the sickness. Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before beginning any type of medication to prevent any unwanted medication interactions.
You should know: The answer above provides general health information that is not intended to replace medical advice or treatment recommendations from a qualified healthcare professional.
Talk To Your Healthcare Provider About Options
Its best to start by asking your healthcare provider for their recommendations so you can be prepared before you are sick with a cold or the flu. They can give you a list of medications that are safe to address various symptoms, such as nasal or sinus congestion, fever, aches, or cough.
Your healthcare provider can also tell you which medications to avoid and may suggest several ways you can deal with these symptoms without medications.
How Does Illness Cause Blood Pressure To Rise
There are a number of ways in which a severe cold or flu, particularly if you are running a fever, can cause a higher blood pressure reading. Anytime you get a fever, your body is working to fight off an infection. Fever raises your temperature, speeds up your heart rate and raises your blood pressure levels. This increased blood pressure is due to “vasoconstriction” a narrowing of blood vessels. If you have a fever, a blood pressure exam is likely to show that your blood pressure is elevated.
An increase in your heart rate can also occur during other kinds of bacterial or viral infection, including bronchitis, pneumonia and strep throat. This happens in response to your heart’s extra oxygen demands, so your system can fight off the infection. A heart-rate increase can also raise your blood pressure. Dehydration from fever or infection can raise your blood pressure, too.
- There are a number of ways in which a severe cold or flu, particularly if you are running a fever, can cause a higher blood pressure reading.
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How Your Flu Medicine Can Affect Your Heart
Over-the-counter drugs are most peoples go-to solution for the relief of aches, mild fever, a blocked nose, and other symptoms of the flu or a seasonal cold.
Such medicines include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as ibuprofen, and decongestants that include pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine.
While these drugs are typically safe to take as long as you follow the recommended dosages, specialists from the American Heart Association and other institutions warn that they could worsen the cardiovascular health of certain at-risk individuals.
People with uncontrolled high blood pressure or heart disease should avoid taking oral decongestants, cautions Sondra DePalma, who is a physician assistant at the PinnacleHealth CardioVascular Institute at UPMC Pinnacle in Harrisburg, PA, and one of the specialists behind the AHAs and American College of Cardiologys guidelines for the management of high blood pressure.
And for the general population or someone with low cardiovascular risk, they should use them with the guidance of a healthcare provider, DePalma also advises.
Redness Or Swelling At The Injection Site
Anytime you pierce the skin and put something into the body it can cause a topical reaction, says Dr. Adalja. This is just a sign that your immune system is activating.
But this redness and swelling where you get your shot is a common side effect that only typically lasts a few days. Itll go away on its own, but if its really bugging you, you can take ibuprofen or acetominophen .
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What Are The Best Ways To Control Your Blood Pressure If You Get Covid
Monitor your blood pressure if you are at home, but make sure you are using a monitor thats validated. This just means the monitor has been verified to be clinically accurate. The website validatebp.org is a great resource, as well as your local pharmacist. Second, continue to take your blood pressure medications as prescribed unless your doctor says otherwise. Lastly, stay well hydrated and follow a heart-healthy diet.
The Protective Effect Of Flu Vaccination
Because influenza viruses are constantly mutating, scientists alter the vaccine each year to match the likely prevalent strands. On average, it’s effective at preventing infection 40% of the time. While that might not sound great especially in comparison to the highly effective mRNA COVID-19 vaccines it’s enough to significantly lower the risk of severe illness in most people.
Lately, studies have been able to show that not only is the vaccine effective at protecting the general population and the most vulnerable age groups from severe cases of the flu, but it’s also protective against cardiovascular mortality as well, especially among the high-risk population.
Some of the recent findings:
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/6can Vaccines Impact Your Blood Pressure Readings
To date, hypertension or an apparent change in blood pressure readings is not a mentioned side-effect of any of the COVID-19 vaccines.
Rising blood pressure levels haven’t also been mentioned as an explicit adverse reaction in either of the safety or clinical trials conducted so far.
However, emerging data present hypertension to be a strange side-effect many may experience after getting a jab of the vaccine.
People who underwent hypertension also recorded symptoms like a headache, chest pain, anxiety and sweating, all associated with a rise in blood pressure levels.
While it is being considered as a ‘rare’ side-effect, experts suggest that hypertension may not be a symptomatic side-effect in itself, but one which may be resulting from stress associated with vaccination.
Another reason fueling the apparent rise in blood pressure levels has also been linked to the ‘white-coat effect, which causes blood pressure readings to be relatively high in diagnostic settings, in comparison to other places.
While inconclusive, risk factors for hypertension may also be determined by one’s apparent risk for cardiac complications, age and other preconditions which may go unnoticed.
New Study Shows Hypertensive Adults Can Face Six Times Higher Heart Attack Risk After A Bout With The Seasonal Flu
LAKE FOREST, IL, November 23, 2021 As cold and flu season intensifies across the U.S., global heart health leader OMRON Healthcare, Inc., is issuing a national health alert to the increased risk that a bout with the seasonal flu can have for adults with high blood pressure and other health conditions with increased heart disease risk. New research by Houston Methodist1, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, shows adults with hypertension and other heart disease factors are six times more likely to experience a heart attack the week after the flu than they are at any point during the year.
As part of its mission of Going for Zero heart attacks and strokes, OMRON Healthcare is recommending preventive steps for those with hypertension to manage increased risk during cold and flu season.
Its important to monitor your heart health regularly, especially at times of increased risk such as during the COVID-19 pandemic and cold and flu season, said OMRON President and CEO Ranndy Kellogg. Seasonal flu is common, and it presents a significant risk to those who have high blood pressure. Know your blood pressure, understand your risk level, take action if youre hypertensive, and please be especially vigilant if you have a bout with the flu.
OMRON Healthcare is offering these tips to manage cardiac event risk during cold and flu season:
About OMRON Healthcare, Inc.
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Does Your Blood Pressure Elevate When You Are Sick
**High blood pressure, or hypertension, is diagnosed when the pressure of blood through your arteries is higher than normal 1.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
** Your doctor checks two types of pressure simultaneouslysystolic and diastolic. A reading of 120 over 80 is normal 140 over 90 is considered high. Multiple readings must be taken to determine true hypertension 1. If you have hypertension, illness, as well as certain medications that you might take for illness, can cause your high blood pressure to rise even higher 1.
/6what Should You Do If You Observe Any Flare
If you have a prior history of cardiovascular complications or have been taking medications for a while, do not attempt to curtail off your medications in lieu of vaccination. Keep taking all medications, maintain proper records and most of all, be aware of the side effects beforehand. Consult a doctor before getting vaccinated, if you are someone who may be more at risk right now.
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Can Illness Also Lower Blood Pressure
As well as contributing to a rise in high blood pressure, illness and severe infections can also result in a quick drop in your blood pressure, known as hypotension. During any serious illness or infection, your doctor will want to monitor your blood pressure regularly. This will help monitor the severity of your illness or infection, as well as the current status of your hypertension 1.
How The Flu Affects Your Heart
Bad news: Flu season isn’t over yet, according to recent reports from the CDC. Infection rates have increased in many areas of the country, and this is especially dangerous for people with heart disease.
“Flu can make a cholesterol filled plaque vulnerable to rupture, form a blood clot and cause heart attacks and sudden death,” according to Saint John board-certified cardiologist Venkat Pasnoori, MD, MPH, FACC FSCAI.
Having any kind of viral infection, such as the flu, makes the heart work harder. In an effort to fight off the infection, the body releases chemicals that often cause inflammation, blood clotting and elevated blood pressure. This added stress on the cardiovascular system could be overwhelming to an already weakened heart muscle, which may explain why the incidence of heart attacks consistently rises during flu season. New studies indicate that the risk of heart attack doubles in the week following a flu-like infection.
When combined with existing heart problems, the flu virus can also increase the risk of other serious complications, such as pneumonia and stroke. Among those hospitalized for flu complications last year, heart disease was named as a frequent factor and the most recurring chronic condition reported in cases of adult flu hospitalizations.
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What Nasal Spray Can You Use With High Blood Pressure
If you have high blood pressure, a saline nasal spray is recommended. This product does not contain any medication that may interfere with or cause your blood pressure to rise. Use a saline nasal spray to moisten the nasal passages and relieve congestion as recommended on the manufacturer’s packaging. You can also try a neti pot to irrigate the nasal passages and remove excess mucus to help you breathe easier. Always use clean, sterile water when using a neti pot, and clean it thoroughly after each use to prevent infection.
Tips For Managing High Blood Pressure During Cold And Flu Season
– Although COVID-19 continues to dominate health news, don’t discount the impact of seasonal colds and flu on health, especially for individuals with high blood pressure.
According to the American Heart Association, heart attacks and strokes increase during the winter months along with the arrival of colds and flu, so it is important for anyone with high blood pressure to treat cold and flu symptoms safely and to take steps to avoid getting sick.
The American Heart Association offers several safety tips for managing high blood pressure, especially for those taking blood pressure medications:
– Check labels. Many over-the-counter decongestant medications, as well as some pain relievers, contain ingredients that are known to raise blood pressure and may make your prescription medication less effective. If you are taking blood pressure medication or have a history of a heart attack or stroke, ask your doctor or pharmacist which options are safe for you before you choose an over-the-counter medication for cold or flu relief. If you must use a decongestant, use it for the shortest time possible.
– Know triggers. Beware of other factors that can raise blood pressure and that may be part of your activities during the long, cold winter, notably alcohol consumption, salt consumption, and the use of hot tubs and saunas.
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What Causes High Blood Pressure To Rise Higher
Many things can cause a temporary spike in blood pressure. It can be as simple as a visit to your doctor’s office. This type of blood pressure rise is called “white-coat hypertension. “
Another contributory factor to a temporary rise in blood pressure is weather. Blood pressure is naturally higher in winter and lower in summer.
Cold weather causes blood vessels to narrow, constricting blood flow and increasing blood pressure. And illness, particularly illness that is accompanied by fever and infection, can also contribute to a sudden rise in blood pressure.
- Many things can cause a temporary spike in blood pressure.
- Cold weather causes blood vessels to narrow, constricting blood flow and increasing blood pressure.
Learn What Works For You
If you have high blood pressure, educate yourself before you decide to take over-the-counter medication:
- Read labels
Many over-the-counter medicines are labeled safe for people with high blood pressurekeep a watchful eye out for these labels. Also be sure to look out for medications that having a warning label such as Do not use this product if you have heart disease, high blood pressure, etc.
- Avoid excess salt
One reason many over-the-counter meds increase blood pressure is due to large amounts of salt . If you have high blood pressure, aim for 1,500 mg of sodium or less per day, including sodium found in many over-the-counter medicines.
- Keep an eye on your blood pressure
When you begin taking an over-the-counter medication, make sure to monitor your blood pressure if you have or are at risk for high blood pressure.
- Play it safe
Talk with your doctor about any over-the-counter medications you take or plan to take if you have high blood pressure.
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Reasons Your Blood Pressure Fluctuates
If you are seeing regular fluctuations in your blood pressure readings, youre not alone. Some variation in your blood pressure throughout the day is normal. In fact, there are a number of reasons for this including small changes in daily life, such as stress, exercise or even how well you slept the night before.
According to the American Heart Association , there are more than 116 million adults in the U.S. with high blood pressure. Recently, the U.S. Surgeon General, VADM Jerome Adams, released a for hypertension control to make it a national public health priority. Experts have called for monitoring your blood pressure at home because it is a great way to gain a better understanding of your numbers.
Knowing and regularly measuring your can help you see irregularities that you want to call to your doctors attention. Keeping track of your numbers may help your doctor determine a course of action or treatment. If variances in your blood pressure readings exist, it is important to know that there are some factors you can controlbut some you cant. Lets look at some of the reasons that may cause your blood pressure to fluctuate.
Choose A Safe Medication
When youâre shopping for an over-the-counter medication, check the label. Look for a product thatâs decongestant-free or made just for people with high blood pressure. can raise your blood pressure and interfere with other medications.
Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before you try any OTC treatment. Make sure you tell each of your doctors about all of the medicines you’re taking — prescription and over the counter.
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Cold Medicine To Avoid With Hypertension
There are lots of different types of cold and flu medications. Many of them combine decongestants, cough suppressants, and pain relievers . Although these ingredients can help you feel better, they might make heart disease and high blood pressure worse.
If you have high blood pressure, you should always talk to your healthcare provider before using OTC medications. There are two common ingredients that you should be particularly mindful of.
How Do Cold And Flu Meds Affect Diabetes
How to determine if the medications you use to ease your cold or flu have other side effects.
Choosing cold and flu medication can be a little challenging when you have diabetes. Some medications may raise your blood sugar, while others can worsen the symptoms of related conditions, such as high blood pressure.
Do you know how to pick the safest cold and flu medications? Read on to see which of these statements is true and which ones may make you rethink how you take medication when you have diabetes or other chronic health conditions.
A medication is safe if youve taken it in the past.
False: The medications you took before you were diagnosed with diabetes may no longer be safe for you. Pseudoephedrine, an ingredient found in many decongestants, could raise your blood pressure and blood sugar. Blood sugar spikes may be more likely to occur if youve been using the medication for a while but can happen at any time. Antihistamines may cause the opposite problem. Your blood sugar may drop dangerously low while you take them. A steroid medication may be prescribed to decrease swelling in your nose or throat if you have a viral infection. While the drug can help you breathe easier, it may also send your blood sugar level soaring.
You need to consider the combined side effects of all medications you are taking.
You dont need to take your diabetes medication if you have a cold or the flu.
Cold and flu medications dont contain sugar.
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