Holiday Heart Syndrome: What You Need To Know

Though the holidays are a joyful time for many, it’s also a time when emergency room visits for acute illnesses tend to spike. The time is filled with decadent food, and typically stress– both of which can have profound effects on the cardiovascular system. “Holiday heart syndrome” was first named by physicians in 1978 to describe irregular heart rhythms that seemed to occur during the holiday season after periods of heavy alcohol consumption. It’s usually not seen in patients without underlying heart disease, and the most common heart rhythm disorder seen with holiday heart is artrial fibrillation, or AF. The condition can cause palpitations, lightheadedness, shortness of breath, fatigue, and even chest pain. Other people with underlying heart disease may experience congestive heart failure around the holidays, as stress can cause a flare up. To avoid holiday heart issues you should avoid overeating, limit alcohol and caffeine intake, exercise, and take timeouts to breath and calm down. (Yahoo