This shower habit could trigger heart attack even in young and healthy, deets inside
A heart attack happens when the blood supply to your heart becomes completely blocked – The NHS
Studies have shown that several habits can cause heart disease, which is one of the UK’s biggest killers. But did you know that there is one shower habit that could trigger a heart attack?
According to a report in the Express, cold showers may have a negative effect on people with heart disease “as it could precipitate a heart attack or heart rhythm irregularities.”
The American Heart Association also cites research showing that “plunging into cold water during hot weather can cause heart attacks even in young, fit and healthy individuals”.
A heart attack (myocardial infarction) according to the NHS, happens when the blood supply to your heart becomes completely blocked, either by the formation of a blood clot or by a loose piece of atheroma (small fatty lumps that develop inside the blood vessels or arteries).
The discovery that the sudden submersion in cold water was harmful to the body was discovered in a study published in the journal of Physiology.
Cold temperatures can cause your arteries to narrow, affirms WebMD. This makes it harder for blood to reach your heart. Also, your heart has to work harder to keep your body warm.
When heart rate increases, it is harder for the heart to pump blood around your body.
Cold water shocks cause blood vessels in the skin to contract, which increases the resistance of blood flow inside your body, reports the Express. Therefore, according to certain experts, exposure to sudden spurts of water could be risky for individuals with heart disease.
In an earlier report by Times Now, exercise physiologist Zach Carter, a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) is reported to have said (in a Cleveland Clinic report) that when your body is hit by a blast of cold water, your first response is to move away from it.
The shock brought by cold water puts your circulatory system into overdrive. Also, blood starts flowing faster to retain the warmth at the core where most of your vital organs are located. The body’s natural reaction is meant to protect the vital organs. At the same time, it constricts circulation near your skin.
Therefore, cold water is also reported to cause vasoconstriction, which is decreased blood flow to the skin.
Carter added that there are risks to taking a cold shower if you have heart disease. Your body’s reaction to cold water puts added stress on your heart and this could lead to an irregular heartbeat, or arrhythmia, reported Times Now.
Entering cold water should be done with caution, explained professor Mike Tipton, who runs the Extreme Environments Laboratory at the University of Portsmouth.
He added: “Individuals should also realise the water they felt comfortable in at the end of last year is colder, and they are less prepared for it at the start of the summer.
“The prevalence of heart problems on immersion in water tends to be underestimated because electrical disturbances are undetectable post-mortem.”