Hi! I'm Stelios Pantazis. I'm a doctor and I specialize in medical nutrition and metabolic disorders. Today, I'm talking about weight increase after a heart attack. I'll tell you what this is caused by and what you can do to deal with it. If you've been through the unpleasant experience of a heart attack, or someone you love or know has been through this experience, you may have noticed or heard that their weight has increased significantly after this. In the two medical nutrition centres that I've been leading, I have often been asked to explain why this happens. Today, we're answering this question. There are three main reasons why this happens, although not all three of them apply in all cases, but some of them surely apply in every case. First, smoking cessation. We know that most people suffering a heart attack are smokers. The experience of a heart attack is a dramatic one, and the pain is often described as the worst pain anyone has ever experienced in their lives. This is the strongest motive for someone to quit smoking. But, as we know, smoking cessation leads to weight increase. Therefore, one of the main reasons why someone gains weight after a heart attack is smoking cessation, if they had been smoking before the heart attack and they decided to quit it after this unpleasant experience. Second, decreased movement and activity. The second reason why someone may gain weight after a heart attack is decreased movement and activity. Cardiologists usually recommend that patients after a heart attack limit their activity for a few weeks. When the patient has stabilised, they can resume their activity and movement or even increase them ideally. However, after a heart attack, many patients stop moving, as the doctor has recommended, but they never go back to the previous levels of activity. They may be afraid or they may think that their doctor hasn't allowed them to resume their activity yet, or they may even take on the role of the patient, believing that they have to rest all day, because they're sick. In reality, after the patient has stabilised, usually a few weeks after the heart attack, they should resume or even increase their level of activity, until they exercise even more than they used to, or at least as much as their cardiologist recommends, which is usually a lot. As you understand, this decreased movement is the second main factor that leads to weight increase after a heart attack. Third, medication. Another factor that plays an important role in weight increase after a heart attack is the medication. The drugs that are typically administered after a heart attack include some drugs that have been proven to lead to weight increase. The most common drugs that are administered almost always after a heart attack and lead to weight increase are beta blockers. These drugs reduce the heart rate, so that the heart can function consuming less oxygen. But they act in the same way on the muscle cells that make our body move, namely our muscles, which makes the muscle cells that make our body move consume less oxygen, therefore less energy, which leads to decreased metabolism. Another problem also caused by these drugs as a side-effect is that they cause insulin resistance. Studies have shown that these drugs make the metabolism of carbohydrates harder, which leads to a condition called hyperinsulinemia. Hyperinsulinemia means that more insulin has to be produced for the proper management of the energy in our body. But, unfortunately, this leads to fat storage and fluid retention. The same side-effect is caused by statins, the drugs administered to reduce cholesterol in patients having suffered a heart attack. Therefore, two drugs that are administered almost always after a heart attack partly lead to the weight increase occurring after it. These are the main reasons why someone may gain weight after a heart attack, which will unfortunately worsen their health a lot and will dramatically increase the chances of further heart problems in the future. Of course, the solution is neither to continue smoking, if you smoke, nor to stop taking the drugs that increase your chances to get better in the future. The solution is a healthy diet that will protect you from weight increase or even lead to weight loss, if you are overweight. If you thought this was interesting, please give us a thumbs up. Share it with people who you think might find it interesting and subscribe to our channel in order to get notified when we upload a video. You can also suggest subjects in the comment section. Thank you very much!

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