Everyone will tell you to get a flu shot, eat healthy and wholesome foods, wash your hands, and bundle up to prevent the spread of germs.
Let's say you do fall victim to a cold or flu... you know all too well those symptoms can be miserable. Your nose is runs and runs but then becomes clogged, your body is hot but you are freezing, your head feels like it weighs a ton, and your body feels like you've been hit by a bus.
You may think to treat these awful symptoms with over-the-counter or prescription medications; but did you know there are hidden heart risks associated with these medications?
For example, you may not be aware that common OTC medicines, like decongestants, can increase blood pressure or put you at risk for other health conditions.
This is especially concerning considering that one in three people in the U.S. have high blood pressure, and those rates are higher in minority groups. Depending on the ingredients used in medications, you may be increasing your blood pressure even more.
What types of medications should you be staying away from?
- Products with caffeine
If you're unsure about the labeling on the medication you're looking at, or if you're not sure which medications you should be taking, don't hesitate to ask your pharmacist. It's important to know that while a certain medication might work for people in your family, it may not work for YOU. In another words, don't share medications!
What else do you need to know about hidden heart risks from the flu and cold medications?
From the American Heart Association, Rani G. Whitfield, MD, shares how to be heart healthy and prevent complications by reading labels, talking to your doctor, and making good health choices during flu season.