Heart health with viruses


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — After falling ill about two years ago, a KELOLAND woman tells us why listening to your body is so important.

It’s been two years since Lori Hoehne found herself in the Sanford Health emergency room.
She says what started as a cold later turned into something more serious.

“I went to the doctor and was prescribed an antibiotic. The antibiotic did not work. And other symptoms appeared shortness of breath and fluid retention,” Hoehne said.

After various tests, she was diagnosed with viral cardiomyopathy, which led to congestive heart failure.

Sanford Health cardiologist Dr. Richard Clark says all of this stemmed from a virus.

“Viruses can affect us all differently, whether it’s that new COVID virus, the coronavirus, or whether it’s other viruses, they have the ability to weaken the heart muscle,” Dr. Richard Clark said.

He says while some viral infections will get better on their own, shortness of breath is a telltale sign that something more serious may be going on.

“That’s oftentimes a sign of, of fluid retention in the lung circulation, swelling in the lower extremities, edema, it can be a sign of, swelling, or fluid retention from the heart not pumping correctly,” Clark said.

Which is why both Clark and Hoehne want to remind people just how important it is to pay attention to your body.

“It goes right with the times today, with the COVID times and along with my heart condition,” Hoehne said.

Today she’s doing well, and hopes others will take their symptoms seriously too.

“I think that just being aware that if you don’t feel well, go to the doctor,” Hoehne said.

For more information on how a virus can impact your heart health, click here.

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