Do you know that Ulcerative Colitis and Heart disease are co-related? Here is what you should know about the connection.
Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a form of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) that causes long-lasting inflammation and ulcers in your digestive tract. While chronic inflammation is linked to increased heart diseases, research studies have explored cardiovascular risk associated with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s diseases. Other researchers have found that people with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s diseases are more likely to be hospitalized (particularly women) during colitis flare-ups.
If you have ulcerative colitis, maybe you are familiar with the immediate effects of flare-ups. However, the less commonly you know is that ulcerative colitis flare-ups can cause damage to your heart.
SMILES outlined some of the reasons why people with ulcerative colitis are at risk of heart diseases.
How Ulcerative Colitis can harm your heart?
Most severe ulcerative colitis symptoms suggest increased levels of inflammation, which could contribute to increased risk of a heart attack. Here are the reasons how ulcerative colitis can enhance your risk of heart problems.
- ● The inflammation from ulcerative colitis is not limited to your colon, it also causes damage to the blood vessels: The chronic inflammation from ulcerative colitis results in the release of specific cells called cytokines, small proteins that regulate the body’s response to disease and infection says Dr. Prasad, the best gastroenterologist. The release of these cytokines eventually leads to the hardening and narrowing of the arteries, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke, he says.
- ● Ulcerative colitis symptoms can harm your heart: Severe diarrhea and bloody stools, symptoms of ulcerative colitis can lead to dehydration. The experts of gastroenterology explain that when you are dehydrated you have less blood volume and, as a consequence, less blood flows to your heart which can lead to a heart attack.
- ● Certain medications: Specifically, the long term consumption of steroids, which are used to reduce inflammation and treat ulcerative colitis flares can increase your risk of heart trouble.
6 ways to keep your heart healthy if you have Ulcerative Colitis
We at SMILES offer you some steps to lower your risk of heart disease and ease your ulcerative colitis flares.
1. Take proper medications
According to ulcerative colitis treatment doctors sticking to a treatment plan helps you stay in remission which in turn helps protect your heart. Always take the medicines as directed by the doctor, even if you feel better, skipping your treatment may result in another flare.
2. Control your stress
Stress actually doesn’t cause ulcerative colitis, but it can worsen your symptoms, trigger a flare, strain your blood vessels and cause heart problems. Find stress-relieving strategies such as meditation, yoga, and exercise to stay relax and manage Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.
3. Eat a heart-healthy diet
Plan to eat plenty of nutrient-rich foods- fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean poultry, and fish but they may also trigger your digestive system. Consider a nutritionist to create an ulcerative colitis diet plan that eliminates food triggers. Your doctor may also recommend vitamin supplements since you may not absorb enough vitamins from the food during flares.
4. Regular Exercise
Research studies explain that exercise not only helps in lowering the stress levels it also helps your heart pump blood, increase the blow flow and improve your digestive system functioning.
5. Quit smoking
You may have heard that if you quit smoking, the risk of getting ulcerative colitis increases. So, the doctors recommend nicotine that helps you prevent ulcerative colitis from flaring. However, the health risks associated with smoking include the damage to the heart and blood vessels, which can lead to heart attack and dying from it.
6. Consult a doctor at the early signs of heart failure
In severe cases, people with ulcerative colitis can suffer irregular heartbeat, high temperature, and blood in the stools. Therefore, during colitis flares, if you are experiencing symptoms like shortness of breath, fatigue, swelling in the legs, ankles, and feet, seek medical help immediately.
The experts of gastroenterology at SMILES explained that the chances of heart attack are higher during colitis flare-ups. Do not ignore when the ulcerative colitis symptoms are troubling you. Consult the best ulcerative colitis treatment doctors in Bangalore to eliminate heart diseases during flares.