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From Medicineworld.org: tips to avoid "Holiday Heart Syndrome"

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tips to avoid "Holiday Heart Syndrome"


tips to avoid
Thanksgiving--the official start of the holiday season, is over.

And the parties, the official way to celebrate the holidays, have begun.

Be careful, though, warns Marc Tecce, M.D., a cardiologist at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. Watch what you eat, and particularly what you drink. After all, he points out, more and more people today are living with some form of heart disease. The only caveat is to be smart--don't let having a "good time" ruin your good health.

"Prolonged alcohol consumption over the period between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day can bring on what is usually known as Holiday Heart Syndrome. This is a period where partaking in too much holiday cheer can cause cardiac rhythm abnormalities," he says.

Dr. Tecce recommends that people take special note of their holiday patterns. "Even if you are not a heavy drinker, if you go to even three parties a week--and partake of anything more than soda, juice or sparkling water, your alcohol consumption will be higher than normal," he says. "Those extra flutes of champagne or glasses of wine can affect more than just your waistline."

"You want to avoid several episodes of drinking more than what you consider to be normal for you. Never binge--which means having six or more alcoholic drinks in one afternoon or evening," warns Dr. Tecce, who is also clinical assistant professor of Medicine at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University.

Particularly during the holiday season, Dr. Tecce says, people should be aware of how they feel. One potential indication of a problem is when the heart beats too slow, too fast or has extra or skipped beats. This condition is known as arrhythmia.

"Arrhythmia is a serious condition that can be treated, so you should be sure to consult a clinician if your heart is beating irregularly. Better still," he suggests, "don't put yourself in a position where you have to learn about arrhythmias."

"People who already suffer from coronary artery disease are at a higher risk if they develop an irregular heartbeat," Dr. Tecce says.

He has a special caution for people who drink while they are taking medicine for a specific condition or disease. "Be aware that a number of drugs can affect a person's liver, and alcohol can add to any negative effects these medications may have. This warning especially affects people with heart conditions who are taking blood thinners. These individuals should be extremely careful since medicine such as aspirin, Coumadin and Plavix cause alcohol to be absorbed into the bloodstream even more rapidly than normal."

Dr. Tecce notes that a special danger during this time of year is attributing the warning signs of a heart attack to indigestion. "Use common sense," he says.

For information about therapy for cardiac disease including irregular heart beats, or to make an appointment with a Jefferson cardiologist, call 1-800-JEFF-NOW.


Source: Thomas Jefferson University Hospital


Did you know?
Thanksgiving--the official start of the holiday season, is over. And the parties, the official way to celebrate the holidays, have begun. Be careful, though, warns Marc Tecce, M.D., a cardiologist at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. Watch what you eat, and particularly what you drink. After all, he points out, more and more people today are living with some form of heart disease. The only caveat is to be smart--don't let having a "good time" ruin your good health.

Medicineworld.org: tips to avoid "Holiday Heart Syndrome"

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