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According to the British Heart Foundation (Ref. Link), long Covid is a term people use to describe when the symptoms of Covid-19 continue for weeks and months after the patient recovers from Covid. These symptoms may include fatigue, shortness of breath, coughing, body aches, and brain fog. Long COVID can occur in individuals of all ages, including those who were previously healthy and had mild cases of COVID-19

 

The exact prevalence of long COVID is not known, as research on the topic is ongoing. However, some studies suggest that a significant proportion of individuals who have had COVID-19 may experience long-term symptoms. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) labels this condition as various names, including long COVID, long-haul COVID, post-acute COVID-19, post-acute sequelae of SARS CoV-2 infection (PASC), long-term effects of COVID, and chronic COVID. According to the CDC, long COVID conditions may be more common in individuals who had severe infections with the virus, but even those who have had mild COVID-19 may experience long COVID conditions. The below diagram shows the survival function, probability of symptom severity over time, and average number of reported symptoms over time based on a research. 

 

Symptoms Of Long Covid That Are Hard To Explain or Manage

People who have ongoing symptoms after COVID-19 infection may have difficulty managing and explaining their symptoms. Even though routine medical tests such as blood tests, chest x-rays, and electrocardiograms may be normal, these individuals may still experience symptoms similar to those reported by people with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) and other chronic illnesses that can occur after certain types of infections. As a result, these patients may be misunderstood by their healthcare providers, and may take a long time to receive a proper diagnosis and appropriate care.

 

How To Prevent Long Covid? 

There are currently no specific recommendations for preventing long COVID. That being said, there are several steps that individuals can take to both reduce their risk of getting COVID-19 and to prevent the spread of the virus:

  1. Get vaccinated: The COVID-19 vaccine is an effective way to prevent infection with the virus.
  2. Follow public health guidelines: This includes wearing a mask in public, maintaining social distance, washing your hands frequently, and avoiding large gatherings.
  3. Practice good hygiene: This includes washing your hands with soap and water frequently, avoiding close contact with people who are sick, and covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  4. Stay informed: Keep up to date with the latest information and recommendations from public health agencies and follow their guidance.

What Are The Treatment Options For Long Covid?

There is no specific treatment for long COVID-19. Treatment for long COVID is generally focused on managing symptoms and may include:

  1. Medication: Medication may be prescribed to manage specific symptoms. Examples include pain relievers, sleep aids, and medication to treat anxiety or depression.
  2. Lifestyle modifications: Making changes to your daily routine, such as getting enough rest, staying hydrated, and engaging in gentle physical activity may help to manage long COVID symptoms.
  3. Rehabilitation: Physical therapy, occupational therapy, and other rehabilitation therapies may be recommended to help individuals with long COVID regain strength and function.
  4. Supportive care: This may include counseling, support groups, and other types of social support to help individuals with long COVID cope with the emotional impact of the condition.

Few Tips On Managing Long Covid Symptoms 

Here are a few tips to help you manage long-COVID symptoms that you might be experiencing. 

  1. Get enough rest: Getting enough sleep and allowing your body to rest helps manage long COVID symptoms.
  2. Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of fluids, especially water, can help to manage symptoms such as fatigue and shortness of breath.
  3. Engage in physical activity: Gentle exercises, such as walking or stretching, can help to improve your overall physical and mental well-being.
  4. Eat a healthy diet: A healthy diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, and protein, can help to boost your immune system and manage long COVID symptoms.
  5. Practice stress management techniques: Long COVID can be a stressful experience, and managing stress can help to improve symptoms. Techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, and yoga may be helpful.

When To Seek Help?

Long covid can be dangerous and one must seek help if their breathlessness worsens, if there’s immense weakness, or if they experience changes in vision, hearing, or speech. Such symptoms shouldn’t be ignored by any means. It could take weeks or even months to recover, but one has to be patient and work on their mind and body to deal with the symptoms of long covid. It is important to note that the specific management strategies for long COVID will depend on the individual’s specific circumstances and symptoms. It is important to consult with your healthcare provider to get a personalized treatment plan for long COVID.

In conclusion, although the Covid-19 pandemic is slowly becoming a thing of the past, we must recognise that we do not know the exact manner in which it will impact us over time. Covid impacts a variety of bodily systems, and its effect on your cardiovascular system is imperative to understand. Using a smart heart monitor like the Frontier X2 allows you to keep track of a number of important heart health metrics, so that you can always stay heart healthy. Purchase the Frontier X2, and get ready for a healthier tomorrow!

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is the post COVID-19 condition?

The term “long COVID,” or “post-COVID-19 condition,” refers to the group of long-term symptoms that some people may experience after they have had COVID-19. These individuals may refer to themselves as “long-haulers.”

How long are you contagious with covid?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most individuals with COVID-19 are no longer contagious 10 days after the onset of symptoms. However, in some cases, individuals may continue to shed the virus for longer periods of time, and it is possible to transmit the virus to others even after the symptoms have resolved.

How long do covid antibodies last?

Studies have shown that individuals who recovered from COVID-19 had levels of antibodies in the blood that peaked at around 28 days after the onset of symptoms and then declined over time. However, it was also found that the levels of antibodies remained elevated for at least three months after the onset of symptoms, and it is not yet known how long they may persist beyond this time frame.

How long are you protected from Covid once vaccinated?

It is not yet known how long the protection from the COVID-19 vaccine will last. Some vaccines may provide protection for a longer period of time than others, and it is possible that booster doses may be needed to maintain protection. It should be understood that one can still contract Covid-19 once vaccinated.

How long does it take to recover from covid? 

In general, individuals with mild cases of COVID-19 may recover within a few weeks, while those with more severe cases may take longer to recover. Some individuals may continue to experience ongoing symptoms, known as long COVID or post-COVID conditions, even after their initial illness has resolved.

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Approximately 300,000 sudden cardiac deaths occur in the United States each year, with ventricular tachycardia (VT) and ventricular fibrillation (VF) being the most common causes (Ref. Link). Ventricular tachycardia (VT) is a type of abnormal heart rhythm characterized by rapid and irregular contractions of the ventricles (the lower chambers of the heart). VT can cause the heart to pump less efficiently, leading to reduced blood flow to the body’s organs and tissues. If left untreated, VT can progress to ventricular fibrillation, a potentially life-threatening condition that can cause sudden cardiac arrest.

What Are The Types of Ventricular Tachycardia?

There are several types of VT, including Monomorphic VT, which is characterized by uniform and regular ventricular contractions, and Polymorphic VT, which is characterized by irregular and variable ventricular contractions. Research on ventricular tachycardia has focused on identifying risk factors for the development of VT, as well as developing new treatments and improving outcomes for individuals with this condition. One area of research has focused on the use of implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) to prevent sudden cardiac arrest in individuals at high risk for ventricular tachycardia. Other research has examined the use of pharmacological therapies and ablation techniques to treat ventricular tachycardia.

Electrograms showing 3 different types of ventricular tachycardia. Ref. Link.

What Are The Causes Of Ventricular Tachycardia?

It can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  1. Structural heart disease: VT can be caused by conditions that damage or weaken the heart muscle, such as coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathy, and heart valve problems.
  2. Myocardial infarction (heart attack): VT can occur as a result of damage to the heart muscle caused by a heart attack.
  3. Congenital heart defects: VT can be present at birth or develop later in life in individuals with congenital heart defects.
  4. Electrolyte imbalances: Abnormal levels of electrolytes, such as potassium, sodium, and calcium can disrupt the normal electrical activity of the heart and cause VT.
  5. Drug or alcohol abuse: Substance abuse can increase the risk of VT.
  6. Medication: VT can be a side effect of certain medicine, such as antiarrhythmic drugs, antidepressants, and antipsychotics.

What Are The Signs Of Ventricular Tachycardia?

Some common signs and symptoms of VT may include:

  1. Palpitations: The sensation of a rapid, pounding, or fluttering heartbeat.
  2. Chest pain: A feeling of pressure, tightness, or discomfort in the chest.
  3. Shortness of breath: Difficulty breathing or feeling out of breath.
  4. Dizziness or lightheadedness: A sensation of feeling faint or unsteady.
  5. Fatigue: Feeling tired or weak.
  6. Syncope: Fainting or losing consciousness.

It is important to note that some individuals with VT may not experience any symptoms, or may only have mild symptoms. Seek medical attention if you experience any unusual heart symptoms, or if you are at high risk for VT. Experiencing symptoms of VT can be a medical emergency, and prompt treatment is important to prevent complications. It is important to note that the specific trigger for VT can vary from person to person, and VT may occur without any identifiable trigger. It is important to consult with a healthcare provider for a proper evaluation and treatment plan.
Finally, pair your new understanding of Ventricular Tachycardia with the use of a smart heart monitoring device to be aware of your cardiac functioning at all times. Purchase the revolutionary Frontier X2 and be on your way to a healthier tomorrow.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is supraventricular tachycardia?

Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) is a type of abnormal heart rhythm that originates from the upper chambers of the heart, known as the atria. SVT is characterized by a rapid heart rate, usually over 100 beats per minute, and is often caused by abnormal electrical signals in the heart.

What is the first-line treatment for ventricular tachycardia?

The first-line treatment for ventricular tachycardia (VT) depends on the severity of the condition and the presence of any underlying conditions. Cardioversion is a procedure that uses electricity to restore a normal heart rhythm. Medications called antiarrhythmics can be used to control the heart rate and rhythm. If VT progresses to ventricular fibrillation, a potentially life-threatening condition, defibrillation may be necessary.

What triggers ventricular tachycardia?

It can be caused by a variety of factors, including structural heart disease, myocardial infarction (heart attack), congenital heart defects, and electrolyte imbalances. It can also occur in individuals with a history of drug or alcohol abuse, or as a side effect of certain medications.

What is the most common cause of ventricular tachycardia?

The most common cause of ventricular tachycardia (VT) is structural heart disease. These are conditions that damage or weaken the heart muscle, such as coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathy, and heart valve problems. These conditions can lead to scarring or abnormal electrical activity in the heart, which can cause VT.

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A number of studies have found that meditation may help reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and improve heart rate variability, all of which are factors that can contribute to the development of heart disease. According to a statement from the American Heart Association, studies on meditation suggest it has many possible benefits in reducing the risk of cardiovascular problems. 

Meditation is an ancient practice with a long history of providing mental and physical benefits. Meditation has been widely embraced in the past few years as an effective way to reduce stress and improve overall well-being. Additionally, in spite of advances in the prevention and treatment Heart disease it continues to be the leading cause of mortality globally. This emphasises the importance of many new, low-cost methods for primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease. With research showing that there is a positive link between meditation and heart health, this practice has emerged as an inexpensive and widely accessible tool for reducing cardiovascular risk.  

What Is Meditation and How Does It Work?

Meditation is an age-old practice but has gained massive popularity in recent years. The earliest records of meditation date back to 1500 BCE. Meditation is a mindfulness practice that helps practitioners achieve mental focus, a sense of calm, and a mind-body connection. Meditation is typically practised in a seated, comfortable position, with your eyes closed. There are many ways in which one can practice meditation, the most popular being to focus on your every breath, a mental image, or the repetition of a word or phrase (mantra). This attempts to quiet the mind and thoughts and relax the body. Below are some of the meditation style examples for your reference. 

Benefits of meditation for heart disease risk reduction

The American Journal of Cardiology (Ref. Link) found that meditation is associated with a lower prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors and disease. The table below (Ref. Link) details the meditation name and findings on previous meditation studies involving autonomic nervous responses.

Meditation decreases the risk of Heart attack and stroke

In a five-year study, 201 patients with coronary heart disease were advised to practice transcendental meditation (a meditation technique where you chant a mantra in your head) for 5 days. According to the researchers this reduced the risk of death, heart attack, and stroke by 48%. Regular practice of meditation improves Heart Rate Variability (HRV) and increases vagal tone. HRV is a measurement of the heart’s ability to adapt between beats and a higher HRV is associated with a healthier heart, whereas a low HRV is associated with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Meditation activates our bodies’ parasympathetic nervous system (“rest-and-digest” functions), which counteracts our sympathetic nervous system (“flight-or-fight” responses). Meditation reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke by activating the parasympathetic system, increasing HRV, vagal tone, and reducing blood pressure. 

The British Heart Foundation (Ref. Link) has shared a simple, six minute meditation guide to help you get you started. The audio will guide you through some easy breathing techniques, helping you relax and focus on the present moment. You will need to find a quiet room where you won’t be interrupted, sit comfortably on a chair or on the floor, and play the audio that you can access here.

Regular practice of meditation reduces stress

A Lancet study revealed a correlation between stress and heart attacks. Chronic stress leads to high blood pressure which is a major risk factor for heart disease. Stress may also contribute to other cardiovascular risk factors like smoking, overeating, and a lack of physical activity. Meditation helps lower your cortisol levels (stress hormones) and reduces blood pressure. It restores the body to a state of calm, allowing the body to repair itself and prevent further physical damage caused by stress.

Meditation helps in healing anxiety and depression

Anxiety puts more strain on your heart, and the physical symptoms of anxiety are worse in individuals with existing cardiac disease. Anxiety causes Cardiac arrhythmias like Tachycardia (rapid heart rate) or Bradycardia (slow heart rate). Meditating by focusing on breathing and bringing attention to the present moment reduces anxiety. All these findings were corroborated by a recent study conducted at Yale University.

Meditation has many physical and mental benefits.

  • Meditation is easily accessible and requires no special equipment.
  • Unlike medication, meditation has almost no side effects.
  • Meditation can be done at any place and anywhere.
  • Even just one session of meditation can make you feel its positive effects.

Although meditation is a great tool for many, there are few things to consider before starting meditation:

  • It takes discipline and commitment to make meditation a habit. Finding a meditation group may be motivating.
  • Some individuals may be unable to meditate due to health conditions. They can instead attempt brief meditations.

Finally, pair your practice of meditation with the use of a heart monitoring device to know exactly how you’re impacting your heart. Purchase the revolutionary Frontier X2 and be on your way to a healthier tomorrow.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of meditation for cardiovascular health?

Meditation reduces stress and anxiety, decreases the risk of heart attack and stroke by lowering HRV, and lowers blood pressure, thereby promoting a healthy heart.

What are some of the best meditation techniques for cardiovascular risk reduction?

Mindfulness meditation (which involves paying attention to one’s thoughts) and transcendental meditation (mantra chanting) have been shown to be the most effective forms of meditation for reducing cardiovascular risk.

How can I get started with meditation for cardiovascular risk reduction?

Meditation requires neither expensive equipment nor formal instruction. You can begin by sitting comfortably at home and focusing on your breathing, a mental image, or the repetition of a mantra ( a word or a phrase).

Can meditation replace traditional medical treatment for heart conditions? 

While meditation can be a helpful complement to traditional medical treatment, it should not be used as a replacement for medical care. It’s important to follow the recommendations of your healthcare provider and to seek medical attention if you are experiencing any symptoms of a heart condition.

How often should I meditate to improve my heart health?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Some people find that daily meditation is most beneficial, while others may find that meditating a few times a week is enough. It’s important to listen to your body and find a schedule that works for you.

Are there any risks associated with meditation? 

Meditation is generally considered to be safe, but it’s important to be mindful of any physical discomfort or emotional distress that may arise during or after a meditation session. If you experience any unusual symptoms or distress, it’s important to speak with your healthcare provider or mental health professional.

 

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Low heart rate variability (HRV) is a condition in which the time interval between heartbeats is relatively consistent, rather than fluctuating as is typically seen in healthy individuals. It has been linked to a number of health conditions, including heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes, as well as an increased risk of death. Research has also suggested that low HRV may be associated with high stress levels and reduced emotional well-being. One area of research on low HRV has focused on its potential role in the development and progression of cardiovascular disease. Some studies have found that low HRV is associated with an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and death in individuals with established cardiovascular disease. Other research also suggests that low HRV may be a predictor of future cardiovascular events in healthy individuals. Essentially, HRV is related to a broad spectrum of disease and symptoms as shown in the figure below. 

 

 

Other studies have examined the relationship between low HRV and other health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, and obesity. Some research has found that low HRV is more common in individuals with these conditions, and that improving HRV may be beneficial in managing these conditions.

There is also evidence to suggest that low heart rate variability may be linked to psychological factors, such as stress, anxiety, and depression. Some studies have found that individuals with low HRV tend to have higher levels of stress and poorer emotional well-being compared to those with higher HRV.

Overall, research suggests that low HRV is a marker of poor physical and psychological health, and that interventions aimed at improving HRV may have a range of health benefits. However, more research is needed to fully understand the relationship between HRV and health outcomes.

 

What Does Low Heart Rate Variability Mean?

Low HRV means that your body’s fight-or-flight response is dominating, leading to fewer variations than usual. Low HRV might be triggered due to a poor lifestyle, stress, and a lack of sleep. Low HRV is generally considered to be a marker of poor health, and has been linked to a number of health conditions as detailed above. There are several methods for measuring HRV, including electrocardiography (ECG), photoplethysmography (PPG), and impedance cardiography (ICG). HRV can be measured over different time periods, allowing the calculation of short-term HRV (beat-to-beat) or long-term HRV (day-to-day). Some research suggests that short-term HRV may be more sensitive to changes in the body’s physiological state, while long-term HRV may be more reflective of overall health and well-being.

 

How To Deal With Low Heart Rate Variability? 

There are a number of approaches that may be helpful for managing low heart rate variability. Some strategies that have been suggested include:

  1. Exercise: Regular physical activity has been shown to improve HRV and overall health. It is recommended to engage in moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking, cycling, or jogging, for at least 150 minutes per week.
  2. Stress management: Chronic stress can contribute to low HRV. Practicing stress-reducing activities, such as mindfulness meditation, yoga, or deep breathing may be helpful.
  3. Sleep: Getting sufficient, high-quality sleep is important for maintaining good HRV. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night and establish a consistent sleep schedule.
  4. Diet: A healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and low in processed foods and saturated fats, may help improve HRV.
  5. Smoking cessation: Smoking has been linked to low HRV. Quitting smoking may help improve HRV and overall health.
  6. Medical treatment: In some cases, low HRV may be caused by a medical condition, such as anemia or an overactive thyroid. Treatment of the underlying condition may help improve your HRV.

It is important to note that HRV is just one marker of health, and it should not be used in isolation to determine overall health status. It is always important to consult with a healthcare provider for a proper evaluation and diagnosis.

Your HRV is just one of many important heart health metrics that a smart heart monitor can help you keep tabs on. Purchase the revolutionary Frontier X2 to always stay on top of your heart health!

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What Causes Low Heart Rate Variability? 

There are many factors that can contribute to low heart rate variability (HRV). Some common causes of low HRV include:

  1. Cardiovascular disease: Conditions such as heart attack, heart failure, and hypertension have been linked to low HRV.
  2. Chronic stress: Chronic stress can disrupt the balance of the autonomic nervous system and lead to low HRV.
  3. Sleep disorders: Poor sleep quality or insufficient sleep has been associated with low HRV.

Which Type Of Heart Rate Variability Is Good? 

In general, higher HRV is thought to be a marker of good physical and mental health, while low HRV is associated with poor health outcomes.

Is low HRV reversible?

In some cases, low HRV may be reversible with lifestyle changes or medical treatment. It is important to consult with a healthcare provider for individualized recommendations for managing low HRV.

Can HRV be improved?

There are a number of strategies that may be helpful for improving HRV, including regular physical activity, stress management, sufficient sleep, a healthy diet, smoking cessation, and medical treatment of any underlying conditions.

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Heart Rate Variability (HRV) is influenced by a variety of factors, including age, gender, fitness level, and overall health. For example, HRV is typically lower in older individuals and in those who are less physically fit. HRV can be affected by lifestyle factors such as diet, sleep, and stress management techniques. Engaging in regular physical activity, eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and managing stress through techniques such as meditation or yoga can all help improve your HRV.

Heart Rate Variability: All You Need to Know

HRV has been shown to be a useful predictor of mortality in a variety of populations, including those with heart disease. It can also be used to monitor the effects of various interventions, such as exercise and stress management techniques, on the body’s regulatory systems. HRV can be measured using a variety of techniques, including electrocardiography (ECG) and photoplethysmography (PPG). Some devices, such as fitness trackers and smartwatches, can also measure HRV using sensors that detect changes in blood flow or pulse. HRV can be affected by medication like beta blockers and other drugs that affect the cardiovascular system. It is important to discuss any concerns about HRV with a healthcare provider who can take your medication into account when interpreting HRV values.

Heart Rate Variability: What Are the Controlling Factors?

There has been a considerable amount of research on the factors that impact heart rate variability (HRV). There are several factors that can influence heart rate variability (HRV), including:

  1. Age: HRV tends to decrease with age, particularly after the age of 50. A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that HRV was significantly lower in older individuals compared to younger individuals.
  2. Gender: HRV tends to be higher in women than in men, although this may vary depending on the specific population being studied.  
  3. Fitness level: HRV is generally higher in individuals who are more physically fit, as regular physical activity can improve the balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches of the autonomic nervous system. A study published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine found that HRV was significantly higher in endurance athletes compared to sedentary individuals.
  4. Overall health: HRV can be affected by various health conditions, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, as well as lifestyle factors such as diet, sleep, and stress management techniques.
  5. Medication: Certain medication, such as beta blockers and other drugs that affect the cardiovascular system, can influence HRV. A study published in the journal Heart found that HRV was lower in individuals taking beta blockers compared to those not taking these medications.
  6. Environmental factors: HRV can be affected by various environmental factors, such as altitude, temperature, and humidity.

It is important to note that HRV should not be interpreted in isolation, but rather as part of a larger picture of overall health. Factors such as age, gender, and fitness level should be taken into account when interpreting HRV values, and any concerns about HRV should be discussed with a healthcare provider.

Finally, using a smart heart monitor like the Frontier X2, which gives you both a continuous ECG and data on important metrics like HRV, is a great way to stay on top of your heart health.

Purchase the device now and get ready for a healthier tomorrow!

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Is there a “normal” range for HRV? 

The normal range for HRV is generally considered to be between 10 and 50 milliseconds. However, this can vary widely depending on the specific population being studied and the measurement technique being used. Factors such as age, gender, and fitness level can also influence HRV values.

How is HRV measured? 

There are several ways in which HRV can be measured, including electrocardiography (ECG) and photoplethysmography (PPG). Some devices, such as fitness trackers and smartwatches, can also measure HRV using sensors that detect changes in blood flow or pulse.

Can HRV be improved? 

There are several factors that can influence HRV, including exercise, diet, sleep, and stress management techniques. Engaging in regular physical activity, eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and managing stress through techniques such as meditation or yoga can all help to improve HRV.

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Stress can have a significant impact on heart rate variability (HRV), which is a measure of the fluctuation in time intervals between heartbeats. HRV is influenced by the activity of the sympathetic (fight or flight) and parasympathetic (rest and digest) branches of the autonomic nervous system. During times of stress, the sympathetic nervous system becomes more active, which can lead to an increase in heart rate and a decrease in HRV. Conversely, during times of relaxation and low stress, the parasympathetic nervous system becomes more active, which can lead to a decrease in heart rate and an increase in HRV. Managing stress and maintaining a healthy emotional state can help improve HRV and reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems.

COVID, Lockdowns, Stress, and Their Impact on HRV

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, loneliness was considered a major problem in the United Kingdom, with some experts even suggesting that it was as harmful to one’s health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. However, as the pandemic spread social isolation became increasingly common, and as per the Office of National Statistics, over 7.4 million people in the UK experienced “lockdown loneliness” during the first half of 2020. Prolonged stress and loneliness can disrupt the balance of the autonomic nervous system (ANS), causing an overactive “fight or flight” response. While this response can be helpful in emergency situations, it is not meant to be sustained for long periods of time, and can have negative effects on the mind and body. Chronic stress and loneliness can lead to decreased heart rate variability (HRV) as the body spends less time in a restful and recovery state. 

How does stress affect HRV?

Stress is a major issue in modern society. Therefore, the ability to measure stress may aid in addressing this issue. Despite having a psychological cause, stress has a number of physiological effects on the body, including increased neck tension, altered hormone concentrations, altered heart rate (HR), and altered heart rate variability (HRV). As such, studies have identified that HRV is a reliable indicator of stress. HRV is a measure of expressing the activity of the ANS and therefore works as a measure for stress. HRV measures your body’s capacity to self-regulate and adapt to alterations in your internal and external environments. HRV is related to the body’s ability to respond to stress.

Is HRV an indicator of stress?

Researchers have used HRV as a measure for mental stress during the last decade. HRV serves as an  important parameter that allows us to observe the heart’s ability to respond to impulses or stressors. During stress, HRV  determines how quickly the body can transition from fight-or-flight to rest.

  • High HRV – when your ANS is well-balanced and, as a result, you can adapt to stressors effectively.
  • Low HRV – when your body is working harder to adapt to a stressor or recover from it.

HRV is derived from the tachogram, also known as RR intervals (distance between two consecutive RR peaks) from the electrocardiogram (ECG). The variation between two consecutive R-peaks reflects the status of the autonomic nervous system (ANS). 

Can anxiety affect heart rate variability?

Anxiety disorders tend to be characterised by a chronically reduced heart rate variability (HRV) compared to healthy individuals during resting state conditions. Anxiety disorders are a significant risk factor for heart disease and mortality. Impaired vagal function with reduced heart rate variability (HRV) links anxiety disorders to Cardiovascular disease (CVD).

How Can I Manage My Stress Levels Using My HRV? 

One way to better manage your stress levels is by monitoring your heart rate variability (HRV) on a daily basis. Keeping track of your HRV can help you identify patterns in your body’s reaction to stressful events or situations so you can better anticipate them and manage them more effectively. Additionally, engaging in activities such as yoga, deep breathing exercises, mindfulness meditation, or even just getting enough sleep can help improve your overall level of relaxation, and can consequently raise your heart rate variability over time.

Understanding the connection between stress and heart rate variability can help us become more aware of how our bodies respond under different conditions so that we are better equipped to manage them effectively when needed. Monitoring your heart rate variability regularly may provide insight into your body’s reaction to stressful situations so that you can more easily implement strategies for coping and relaxation when necessary.

Stress is one of many factors that influences your HRV and, subsequently, your overall cardiac health. As mentioned above, monitoring such metrics is a great way of appraising your cardiac functioning. Do so with the utmost accuracy by using the Frontier X2 smart heart monitor, which gives you access to all the most important heart health data so that you can stay on top of your heart health!

Frequently Asked Questions :

 

Do emotions affect HRV?

Yes, emotions affect HRV. Negative emotions like anger and sadness are linked with a decreased HRV, indicating that the body cannot cope with the stressors effectively.

Does heart rate variability indicate stress?

Decreased HRV is related to stress. When experiencing stress,  low HRV indicates that the body cannot transition from a fight or flight response to a rest stage.

Does cortisol lower HRV?

During stressful conditions, cortisol levels increase and HRV decreases. However, in low stress conditions, there is not much connection between cortisol and HRV.

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Frontier X2:

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There is increasing evidence that emotional stress can contribute to the development of heart disease. Women may be particularly vulnerable to the negative effects of stress on heart health due to having higher levels of psychological risk factors such as early life adversity, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression. Stress can affect heart disease risk factors, contribute to the development of atherosclerosis, and even trigger heart attacks. It can also negatively impact both the quality of life and recovery of individuals with existing heart disease. Emerging research also suggests that young women may be especially susceptible to the harmful effects of stress on the heart.

Men and women may have different responses to stress. Several studies (ref. link) suggest that the association between psychosocial stress and Coronary heart disease (CHD) may be stronger in women than in men. According to a new study (ref. link), women who experience stress in multiple areas of their lives may be more susceptible to heart attacks. According to one study, the combination of work stress and relationship stress may put women at a higher risk of heart disease. This study, conducted at Drexel University (ref. link), discovered a 21% increased risk of coronary heart disease in women who experience high levels of stress from both their job and their social relationships.

This article provides an overview of why stress can increase the risk of heart disease in women, as well as what women can do to reduce their stress levels.

What Are Common Symptoms of Stress Observed In Women

According to the American Psychological Association’s “Stress in America” survey (ref. link), women are likely to report higher levels of stress than men. Published in Circulation (ref. link), a statement from the American Heart Association (AHA) states that when women are exposed to stressors, their risk of heart attack is significantly higher than that of men in similar situations. Stress symptoms in women can be physical, emotional, or behavioural. Some common stress symptoms in women include:

  • Physical symptoms: These may include headaches, muscle tension/pain, fatigue, stomach upsets, sleep problems, and changes in sex drive.
  • Emotional symptoms: Women experiencing stress may feel anxious, irritable, sad, overwhelmed, or guilty. They may also have difficulty concentrating or making decisions.
  • Behavioural symptoms: Stress may cause women to turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms such as overeating, under-eating, or relying on alcohol or drugs. They may also withdraw from social activities, have difficulty finding time for self-care, or have increased difficulty with work or relationships.

4 Ways Women Can Reduce Stress Levels

  • Exercise: Physical activity can help reduce stress by releasing endorphins, which are chemicals that improve mood and reduce feelings of stress.
  • Connect with others: Spending time with friends and loved ones, or even just talking to someone about your feelings, can help alleviate stress.
  • Take time for yourself: Make sure to set aside time for activities that you enjoy, such as hobbies or self-care practices.
  • Seek professional help: If your experience of stress is overwhelming or is causing problems in your life, consider seeking help from a mental health professional such as a therapist or a counsellor.

It’s important to know how stress impacts heart disease, especially in women. Stress can also make you tempted to indulge in unhealthy habits like binge eating or excessive alcohol/tobacco consumption. This may lead to obesity, high blood pressure, or increased cholesterol levels, all of which are risk factors for heart disease. 

In conclusion, the increased presence of stress in today’s world means we have to be cognizant of its impact on our health. Using a smart heart monitor like the Frontier X2, that gives you all the necessary data to assess your cardiac health, is a great way to ensure you are dealing with external factors in ways that keep your heart healthy!

Frequently Asked Questions:

How does stress affect women’s heart health?

Stress can have a negative impact on heart health in a variety of ways. For example, stress can cause a rise in blood pressure and heart rate, which can increase the risk of heart disease. Stress can also cause changes in the way blood clots, which increases the risk of heart disease.

Are women more susceptible to the negative effects of stress on heart health?

Some research suggests that women may be more susceptible to the negative effects of stress on heart health than men. For example, one study found that women who reported high levels of stress were more likely to have a heart attack or other cardiovascular event than men who reported similarly high levels of stress. Additionally, women who experience a lot of stress in their lives may be more likely to experience depression, which has also been linked to an increased risk of heart disease.

Are there any natural remedies for managing stress?

There are several natural remedies that may help to reduce stress and promote overall well-being, these include:

  • Herbal supplements like chamomile, valerian, lavender, or passionflower are known to be helpful to manage stress.
  • Aromatherapy with essential oils might alleviate symptoms of stress.
  • Exercise, such as yoga or tai chi.
  • Acupuncture is also known to be a natural remedy to manage stress.
  • Nature exposure, such as going for a walk in a park or spending time near bodies of water.

Other Heart Health Topics To Explore :

Covid-19 and Heart Health | Endurance Training for Heart Health | Best Heart Health Monitors | Runner’s Guide To Heart Health | Stress Effect on Heart Health | Cardio For Heart Health | Heart Healthy Diet | Heart Health Tips | Impact of Fried Food On Heart Health | Diabetes and Heart Health

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Atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter are heart rhythm disorders that can occur in individuals of all ages, including middle-aged and younger individuals who are physically fit and do not have underlying heart disease or medical conditions. However, these conditions are most common in older adults who have or have had coronary artery disease, valvular disease, or other heart disease.

For every 10 years of regular endurance exercise (defined as 30 minutes or more of exercise, three or more times per week) the risk of atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter increases by about 16% and 42%, respectively, Famous athletes such as Billie Jean King and Larry Bird have also developed atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter, with some athlete’s developing the disorder as young as 30 to 40 years old.

Can arrhythmia be caused by exercise?

The link between exercise and arrhythmias was first noted in 1927, when Bourne observed frequent premature ventricular beats in patients with suspected coronary artery disease as they exercised. In 1932, Wilson et al reported the first case of ventricular tachycardia initiated during exercise. Since then, multiple studies have documented the occurrence of exercise-induced arrhythmias, including both supraventricular and ventricular tachyarrhythmias and bradyarrhythmias. Endurance athletes, such as runners, bicyclists, and cross-country skiers, are at an increased risk for exercise-induced arrhythmias. The risk of arrhythmia increases with the intensity and duration of exercise, as well as with the frequency of exercise.

All About Exercise-induced Right Ventricular Arrhythmias

The right ventricle (RV) may be both acutely and chronically stressed during prolonged, intense exercise. Intense exercise can cause right ventricular arrhythmias. In addition to physical activity, genetic and physical factors play a major role in the development of Ventricular Arrhythmias. Like musculoskeletal sports injuries, excessive sporting activity can result in cardiac sports injuries in some people.

All About Exercise-induced Ventricular Tachycardia (VT):

Exercise-induced Ventricular Tachycardia(VT) is a potentially lethal arrhythmia that often occurs in individuals with an underlying cardiovascular disease. ECG’s (Electrocardiogram), exercise stress testing, and MRI’s are used in the diagnosis process. VT can be initiated by exercise and emotional stress in patients with structural heart disease or underlying ischemia. Exercise-induced VTs are uncommon in patients without structural heart disease. In patients with structural heart disease, VT can cause dizziness, shortness of breath, chest pain, and even fainting. It is important to recognize the signs of VT and seek medical attention if it occurs while exercising.

All About Exercise-induced Supraventricular Tachycardia:

Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia is a regular, rapid (160 to 220 beats per minute) heart rate that starts and stops abruptly, originating in heart tissue that is not the ventricles. The majority of individuals afflicted with the condition experience palpitations, shortness of breath, and chest pain. Generally, A doctor diagnoses the condition using an ECG. Options for treatment involve the use of drugs and medical procedures to lower heart rate and restore the normal rhythm of the heart.

What Is Exercise-induced Bradycardia?

Bradycardia is when your heart beats lower than 60 beats/min. Athletes usually have slower heart rates (20- 40 beats/minute). For most individuals this “training bradycardia” is asymptomatic. That being said, you may develop symptoms like dizziness or syncope later in life. The only treatment for symptomatic bradycardia is the insertion of a pacemaker.                                       

Exercise is essential for physical and mental health but it’s important to be aware of potential risks associated with intense and strenuous exercises. Being aware of the different types of arrhythmias that may occur during exercise — such as atrial fibrillation (AFib), ventricular tachycardia (VT), supraventricular tachycardia (SVT), and Bradycardia — as well as knowing how to recognize their signs and symptoms can help keep you safe while exercising. If you experience any concerning symptoms while exercising, seek medical attention right away.

In conclusion, though exercise is one of the best ways to improve your overall health, there are ways to do it that damage your cardiac functioning. Using a smart heart monitor like the Frontier X2, which is able to give you detailed, accurate data as you workout, will help you ensure that your physical training is indeed improving your heart health!

Frequently Asked Questions:

 

Is it OK to exercise with an irregular heartbeat?

Whether or not it is safe to exercise with an irregular heartbeat depends on the specific type and severity of the arrhythmia, as well as any underlying health conditions you may have. If you have an irregular heartbeat it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting or continuing an exercise program.

What are the symptoms of exercise induced arrhythmias?

Exercise-induced arrhythmias are abnormal heart rhythms that occur during or shortly after physical activity. The symptoms of exercise-induced arrhythmias can vary depending on the type and severity of the arrhythmia. Some common symptoms of exercise-induced arrhythmias may include: rapid or irregular heartbeat, chest pain or discomfort, shortness of breath, and lightheadedness or dizziness.

Who is at risk for developing an exercise-induced arrhythmia?

There are several factors that can increase the risk of developing an exercise-induced arrhythmia. These include: age, underlying health conditions, family history, and frequency of exercise. Older adults are at an increased risk of developing exercise-induced arrhythmias. Certain medical conditions, such as coronary artery disease, heart failure, and high blood pressure, can increase the risk of exercise-induced arrhythmias.

Can exercise-induced arrhythmias be serious?

In most cases, exercise-induced arrhythmias are benign and do not indicate a serious underlying health problem. These arrhythmias can often be managed with lifestyle modifications and may resolve on their own over time. However, in some cases, exercise-induced arrhythmias can be serious and may require medical attention. For example, certain types of arrhythmias, such as atrial fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia, can increase the risk of stroke or other cardiovascular events if not properly managed. If you experience any unusual heart rhythms or symptoms during or after exercise, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

How is an exercise-induced arrhythmia diagnosed and treated?

Exercise-induced arrhythmias are usually diagnosed through a combination of medical history, physical examination, and diagnostic testing. Some common tests used to diagnose exercise-induced arrhythmias include: Electrocardiogram (ECG), Holter monitor and exercise stress test.

Can I use a heart rate monitor or other fitness tracker to monitor my heart rhythm during exercise?

Some heart rate monitors and fitness trackers are equipped with sensors that can monitor your heart rhythm during exercise. These devices can be useful for tracking your heart rate and helping you to gauge the intensity of your workout. 

Other Heart Health Topics To Explore:

Exercise for Heart Health | Cycling for Healthy Heart | Normal Resting Heart Rate | Devices to Monitor Heart Rate | Irregular Heartbeat | AFib and Heart | Post Covid 19 Symptoms | Benefits of Endurance Training | Heart Rate Monitor Device

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