Covid-19 is a respiratory infection, which means that it primarily affects the airways and lungs. However, it can also impact other organs and systems in the body including the cardiovascular system. Some people experience heart problems while suffering from Covid-19, and some are noticing symptoms such as palpitations and chest pain, long after recovering from the infection.
Heart palpitations are the sensation of your heart skipping a beat, fluttering, or beating too hard. Many people experience heart palpitations while fighting a Covid-19 infection, but some also experience them long after the infection has resolved. Could Covid-19 do lasting damage to the heart, and could it be to blame for your heart palpitations? Let’s take a look at the evidence.
Effects of Covid-19 on the heart
There is evidence to suggest that Covid-19 could cause heart damage as well as damage to the lungs. The damage could be temporary or lasting, and it could be caused by several different things.
First, if the Covid-19 infection led to insufficient oxygen reaching the tissues of the heart, these tissues could become permanently damaged. Second, inflammation caused by the body’s immune response to Covid-19 could have occurred within the heart in a condition called myocarditis, which can cause lasting heart damage.
Finally, stress cardiomyopathy could have affected the heart’s ability to pump blood, which is a risk when the body is attacked by a virus and releases a surge of stress hormones. However, stress cardiomyopathy resolves once a viral infection resolves, so this is unlikely to cause long-term heart damage.
Signs that Covid-19 could have caused long-term heart damage
Long Covid is the term frequently being used to describe symptoms of Covid-19 that last for many weeks or months after the infection has gone. There is a wide range of symptoms, including:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain and tightness
- Brain fog and mood changes
- Joint pain
- Heart palpitations
Chest pain, dizziness, and heart palpitations are all potential symptoms of heart problems, but they could also be symptoms of other conditions affecting the respiratory system, or of something relatively simple such as dehydration. If the symptoms are persistent, it might be wise to consult a cardiologist to check whether the heart has sustained any lasting damage after a Covid-19 infection.
Book a heart check-up if you’re worried
If you’re concerned that Covid-19 could have affected your heart health long after recovery, don’t hesitate to book an appointment for a heart check-up with private cardiologist Dr. Georgios Karagiannis.
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