MSNBC anchor talks heart inflammation scare – NBC Chicago

MSNBC anchor Yasmin Vossoughian is urging others to listen to their bodies after her battle with a cold caused heart inflammation that urgent care initially described as ‘reflux’.

She had to be hospitalized twice before her cardiologist got the situation under control.

“The only person who knows what you’re feeling or what you’re feeling or when you need help is you,” Vossoughian said in a Jan. 28 TV segment about his health scare.

“Take nothing for granted. You may be doing everything right in life, like I felt like you were, and a cold bug can become so much more through no fault of your own.

Heart attack concerns

The ordeal began on Dec. 20, 2022, when Vossoughian said she began experiencing chest pains that increased and decreased over the next 10 days.

As a healthy person who doesn’t smoke or eat meat, runs several times a week, and practices yoga, the reporter didn’t know what to make of that.

But as the chest pains continued to worsen, she began to think something was wrong and sought medical help on December 30.

“I finally went to the emergency room and was told I had reflux. I didn’t actually buy it, but I was relieved it wasn’t my heart. My body, however, was pretty sure it didn’t believe the reflux,” recalls Vossoughian, 44.

The next day, she woke up with severe pain in her chest and left shoulder. It felt like a crunch when she breathed deeply, which got worse when she was lying down. She was worried about having a heart attack so her husband drove her to the emergency room where “the nightmare that was my month of January began”, said the journalist.

Vossoughian was diagnosed with pericarditis – inflammation of the sac-like structure that surrounds the heart. According to the American Heart Association, it can be caused by viral, bacterial, fungal, and other infections, and can feel like the pain of a heart attack.

Vossoughian also had fluid around his heart that needed to be drained to prevent it from hampering his heartbeat. She was hospitalized for four nights and transferred from a local hospital to NYU Langone in New York.

She was released on January 4 with the hope that she was better, but that was not the end of the ordeal.

“I wonder: is that it? »

Vossoughian had to be readmitted to hospital three days later when she felt her heart racing, a feeling she compared to having a butterfly in her chest.

The diagnosis: myocarditis – inflammation of the heart muscle that can weaken the heart, impacting its ability to pump blood, according to the American Heart Association. This can cause a fast or irregular heartbeat. The serious condition is rare and can be caused by a viral infection such as a cold or the flu, although the cause is often a mystery, the organization notes.

“I remember being guided through the emergency room and wondering: is this it?” Recall of Vossoughian.

She spent five more days in hospital where doctors determined it was still the cold that had caused all the inflammation in and around her heart, she said.

it can happen to anyone

It’s not so much the cold itself that goes to the heart — it’s how the body responds to the cold, said Dr. Gregory Katz, a cardiologist at NYU Langone who treated Vossoughian.

“Your immune system, for most of us, only takes a few days to clear the virus. We get runny noses, sore throats, that kind of stuff, and it just limits itself and it goes away,” Katz noted in the MSNBC clip.

“But for a small proportion of people, they get an overactive immune response and they can have inflammation in many different areas.”

The overactive immune response to a virus is very unpredictable — it can happen to anyone, Katz said. It can also be caused by autoimmune diseases.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is monitoring reports of myocarditis and pericarditis following COVID-19 mRNA vaccination. The rare cases have most often involved teenagers and young adult men within a week of receiving the second dose, the agency noted.

Katz said she’s recently seen an increase in cases of pericarditis, although it’s unclear why. Maybe because the season is a little more virus-laden than usual or maybe because people’s immune systems are a little different than they were due to masking and social distancing for a few years, he noted.

Symptoms and prevention:

That’s why it’s important to be on the lookout for symptoms and warning signs:

  • The classic symptom of pericarditis is chest pain that gets worse when you lie down, Katz said. It can also be worse when you inhale deeply.
  • Myocarditis doesn’t always produce symptoms, but warning signs can include fatigue, shortness of breath, chest pain, and rapid heartbeat.
  • Watch for a feeling that something is wrong – fevers, chills and a feeling that something is wrong. “Listening to your body and paying attention to what it’s telling you is really, really important,” Katz said.

Heart inflammation is idiopathic, meaning the cause is often unknown, he noted. If there was a way to prevent it, doctors would be “shouting it from the rooftops,” but since there isn’t, it’s a good idea to take common precautions: wash your hands, don’t touch your face and stay home when you’re sick, Katz advised.

Vossoughian said she is now on the mend and will be on medication for some time. She called the experience a teaching moment.

“The best lawyer you have in your life is yourself,” she said. “Recognize your limits and your worth because your health, family and friends are #1. Be kind to yourself.”

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