Inflammatory bowel disease increases the risk of a heart attack. Here's how to take care of your heart if you have IBD

Did you know there is an association between inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and heart attack? Having ulcerative colitis (UC) or Crohn’s disease can be a higher risk of suffering from heart disease. Doctor shares health tips to take care of your heart if you have IBD
Inflammatory bowel disease increases the risk of a heart attack. Here's how to take care of your heart if you have IBD (Image by Christian Dorn from Pixabay )
Inflammatory bowel disease increases the risk of a heart attack. Here's how to take care of your heart if you have IBD (Image by Christian Dorn from Pixabay )
Updated on May 27, 2022 01:05 PM IST
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ByZarafshan Shiraz, Delhi

There are certain health conditions that trigger heart problems and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is one of them. Did you know there is an association between inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and heart attack? You will be shocked to know that 2 types of IBD, such as ulcerative colitis (UC) which impacts the colon or large intestine and Crohn’s disease which can affect any part of the GI between the mouth and the anus, can take a toll on your heart.

While chronic inflammation in the body has been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, the potential for conditions like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis can make you susceptible to heart attacks. Yes, you have heard that right! According to research, those having ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease can be at a higher risk of suffering from heart disease hence health experts suggest taking good care of yourself. It is a matter of your heart so, don’t take it lightly at all.

Decoding the link between inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and heart disease

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Roy Patankar, Director and Gastroenterologist at Zen Multispeciality Hospital, revealed, “Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) involves chronic or recurring inflammation of one’s gastrointestinal tract. IBD is one of the risk factors for heart problems. If you have been detected with ulcerative colitis (UC) or Crohn’s disease then you will have a higher chance of having a heart attack and stroke.”

He added, “Severe diarrhoea, a symptom of UC leads to dehydration, which interferes with blood vessel function and can cause low blood pressure. This, in turn, can harm your heart. Not only this, people with IBD are at risk of having atherosclerosis ( thickening or hardening of the arteries due to the buildup of plaque in the inner lining of an artery) due to long-term inflammation. This can also cause a heart attack or a stroke.”

Pointing at various studies that have confirmed that people with IBD are twice as likely to have experienced a heart attack as people without IBD, Dr Roy Patankar said, “One can also be hospitalized for heart failure if he/she has UC. Unfortunately, UC and Crohn’s disease lead to inflammation in the body and invite pulmonary embolism. Prolonged use of steroids to reduce inflammation and treat UC flares, can increase your risk of heart problems.”

How to take care of your heart, if you have IBD?

Dr Roy Patankar advised:

1. If you are having IBD then just consult the doctor about your risk for heart disease. You may get certain tests done to see if you’re likely to have clogged arteries. Look for damage in your blood vessels and heart.

2. To avoid heart problems, keep your disease under control by preventing flare-ups.

3. If your doctor detects any problem then he/she may prescribe heart medicine. Avoid over-the-counter medication. Take the medication prescribed by the doctor only. Self-medication is harmful to health.

4. Stress can flare-up the symptoms like abdominal pain, cramping, fatigue, and poor appetite. So, do yoga or meditation.

5. Eat foods rich in fiber, exercise daily, monitor your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and avoid smoking and alcohol.

6. If you’re experiencing symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath, and swollen ankles and feet then consult the doctor on an immediate basis.

 

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Friday, July 01, 2022