What Is Holiday Heart Syndrome? – WebMD

What Is Holiday Heart Syndrome? – WebMD

This time of year is full of friends, family, traditions, and of course, food. While it’s perfectly fine to indulge a bit, be careful not to go too far and end up with holiday heart syndrome. That’s a heart condition that happens when you drink too much, particularly binge drinking. Here’s what you need to know.

What is holiday heart syndrome?

It’s atrial fibrillation (AFib), or an irregular heartbeat, that’s associated with binge drinking. While It can happen any time of year, it’s most common around end-of-year holidays when festivities are at an all-time high.

Your risk is higher if you already have heart issues. But anyone can get it. Over time, it can lead to more serious complications like heart failure and stroke.



What does holiday heart syndrome feel like?

Holiday heart syndrome symptoms are the same as those for AFib. You might notice:

A lack of energy. You might feel very tired. More so than usual during the holidays.

Discomfort in your chest. It may feel painful or like there’s pressure in your chest.

Dizziness. You could become light-headed or feel like you’re going to faint.

Heart palpitations. You’ll feel a fluttering, racing, or pounding in your chest.

Trouble breathing. You might notice it’s harder to breathe as you go about your daily routine. But it’s also possible when you’re resting.

How is holiday heart syndrome treated?

It depends on your overall health. If your health already isn’t the best or unstable, your doctor will likely do cardioversion. This is when they use quick, low-energy shocks to reset your heart rhythm. They’ll also suggest you stop drinking altogether. Even if you can’t stop completely, studies show drinking less than 80 milligrams of alcohol per day may lower your risk of holiday heart.

If your overall health is good, the doctor will treat your arrhythmia and suggest you stop drinking.

Can I avoid holiday heart syndrome?

Yes. You don’t have to sit in the corner with a glass of water while everyone else lives it up. Here are a few tips:

Eat and drink in moderation. If you’re going to a big …….

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