By Tom ReillyCrossFit Minnesota | October 1, 2018 www.crossfitminnesota.com
Summer is here, and quickly, we will start getting ready for outdoor family activities. Expect signs of summer soon in your kitchen from this growing rush of activity. Other signs? Your pulse is high, and it will likely continue to be high even as fall progresses. Do you feel like your heart is racing? Are you having trouble breathing? You might have the “Summer Virus” that’s causing you so much discomfort. It’s not fun feeling that way. It’s not fun feeling poorly, nor being hospitalized.
So how does it manifest itself? The Summer Virus is a variety of factors that affect your heart. The results of your heart being chronically infected can start with the most obvious symptoms: shortness of breath, chest pain, and feeling lightheaded. If the Summer Virus is causing you these symptoms, it could also be causing a rapid rise in your blood pressure. Your heart is pumping extra hard to get blood to your lungs when it can’t get enough oxygen to keep you alive, which can lead to an increase in your blood pressure. The summer virus can also reduce the amount of oxygen your heart pumps through the body. Because your body is struggling to break down the food it consumes, your body doesn’t have the energy to power through the increased work that has to be done to keep you alive. The body’s stress hormones will be released into your blood stream, resulting in another increase in your blood pressure. One extreme end result can be heart failure. More subtle symptoms can lead to a heart attack. If you notice any of these symptoms, call 911 for immediate medical care.
Let’s be clear about what it means to be seriously ill when you start getting symptoms of the Summer Virus. That means you are not just feeling a little bit under the weather, but you might not have the normal signs of a heart attack or heart failure. Why is it hard to tell which are the symptoms of the Summer Virus? Because they can be so different. Some symptoms might include problems with your heart, but others might include trouble breathing, dizziness, weakness, rapid heart beat, severe fatigue, nausea, lightheadedness, severe headache, and nausea. The symptoms you might feel of the Summer Virus could cause problems that aren’t thought of as heart related. By looking at the symptoms of heart attacks, heart failure, or any other type of heart issue, you can identify the areas of your body that may be struggling.
What can you do if you notice you have the Summer Virus? There are two things you can do:
Focus on eating healthy. Many of the symptoms of the Summer Virus come from an increased amount of sugar and other “bad” carbohydrate sources. Not only do you want to eat more fruits and vegetables, you also want to drink more water than normal. Eat enough protein. Heart failure, heart attack, and stroke are serious concerns. Keep your plate full of enough protein and veggies. Ideally you would want to eat more than one portion of protein on a regular basis. If you can, eat plant based foods and avoid animal products. Eliminate processed foods. Having the Summer Virus increases the risk of developing cardiac events. Avoid eating too many processed foods, eating high fructose corn syrup, drinking a lot of sweet drinks, and limiting your intake of processed meats.
Being sick doesn’t have to be miserable. By being mentally aware of what’s going on with your heart, you can take steps to alleviate your symptoms, and improve your health. You can reduce the odds of developing heart failure, heart attack, or stroke.
The Summer Virus is about 80% the same as a sinus infection, so it doesn’t require special drug therapy.