Don't overlook fatigue and weakness after a cold
German heart experts warn that if you do not return to your normal capacity soon after a cold (medical: flu infection), you may suffer from a heart disease.
"I have been suffering from tiredness and constant weakness since a flu infection." With these complaints, Sabine L. from Bad Bertrich turned to the experts at the German Heart Foundation. "If you do not return to your normal performance soon after a flu-like infection, this can have serious causes and make a visit to the doctor soon advisable," advises Cardiology Dr. med. Vinzenz von Kageneck from the German Heart Foundation.
Symptoms after a flu infection
In the heart foundation consultation, experts answer questions about common symptoms related to the heart. The 77-year-old pensioner Sabine L. recently turned to the experts. She had a severe flu infection two weeks ago and was being treated with antibiotics. Since then she has had low blood pressure and has been feeling tired and weak. When going for walks and doing housework, she always has to take breaks to regain her strength. The pensioner was fit before the cold: she played tennis and attended a yoga class.
Persistent weakness can indicate cardiac inflammation
The specialist in internal medicine Dr. Vinzenz von Kageneck answers the case. "It is quite possible that you are still weakened by the virus infection and that these are the usual after-effects," said the heart expert. In this case, however, a visit to the doctor is advisable. The doctor should be advised of a possible involvement of the heart, because it must be examined whether there is an inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis). As a rule, an ECG, ultrasound, a laboratory examination and, if necessary, an MRI of the heart are used for the diagnosis.
Pay special attention to these complaints
The doctor recommends: People who have clinical evidence of heart involvement should pay particular attention to increased exhaustion after influenza infections. This includes, for example, people with
- Water in the legs (edema),
- a pressure on the chest,
- an irregular pulse,
- Difficulty breathing at low loads.
Don't go full throttle again!
"You should also know that the risk of myocarditis is particularly high if you are not spared from a virus infection, be it a flu or an intestinal infection, until you feel completely healthy again," said the doctor in the heart foundation consultation hour. (vb)