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Holiday Heart Syndrome: Check That Binge This Diwali

Heart problems include unstable angina, heart attacks, and heart beating irregularly, and a condition known as atrial fibrillation (AFib) which can lead to heart attack or stroke.

Holiday Heart Syndrome: Check That Binge This Diwali

Holiday Heart Syndrome: Even during the celebrations, take out time for physical activities

The card parties have begun. The alcohol consumption is more during the week than your regular sober levels. Add to this, the mithais, fried savories, and late nights deprived of sleep, along with smoking. Plus the break in your exercise routine. An ideal recipe for chaos in your health.

“The opportunities that test your willpower around food and alcohol are plentiful during Diwali. While it's fine to indulge a little bit, all that excess can have an effect on your health. Overeating of oily, salty, and fried food along with late night sleep, and active or passive smoking during festivals can lead to multiple Heart problems including unstable angina, heart attacks and heart to beat irregularly, and a condition known as atrial fibrillation (AFib) which can lead to heart attack or stroke,” says famed cardiac surgeon and head of Asian Heart Institute, Dr. Ramakanta Panda.

He advises looking for the following symptoms-

  1. Sudden sensation, fluttering, and discomfort in the chest
  2. Dizziness or feeling tired
  3. Chest discomfort 
  4. Shortness of breath
  5. Anxiety
  6. Blurred vision

Naturally, a few people are required to be more cautious; especially those with pre-existing conditions such as

  1. High Blood Pressure - Consult your doctor beforehand to maintain electrolyte balance in your body. Too much sugar and salt can lead to high blood sugar and blood pressure levels which can lead to heart attacks and strokes. Instead of high-calorie and processed food prefer fruits and whole grains. 
  2. Diabetes and Heart health- Aerated drinks and fruit juice contain high amounts of sugar leading to high heart risks. Substitute sugar with artificial sweeteners to reduce the risk.
  3. Stress- Disturbed sleep patterns can increase stress levels. It is important to take 6-8 hours of sleep even during celebrations and sleep early. 

Here are a few important tips to keep your heart healthy during festivities-

  • Be active- Even during the celebrations, take out time for physical activities.
  • Stay hydrated- Do not consume too many processed juices and aerated drinks and keep drinking water.
  • Medications- Take prescribed medicines on time to avoid blood pressure, sugar, and heart issues.
  • Do not overeat- Eat salad before savories to avoid overeating.
  • Avoid stress- Take adequate sleep and stay away from loud noises.
  • No smoking and drinking- Avoid alcohol and smoking consumption as it can raise your blood pressure, and diabetes to unhealthy levels.

“Researchers have known about holiday heart syndrome since the late 1970s. Consumerism and the easy availability of harmful foods and alcohol have only made things worse. ‘Everything in moderation' is a good rule to follow. The holiday heart syndrome is completely preventable and in your hands. So take care of your body and be disciplined,” Dr. Panda adds.

Asian Heart Institute, Mumbai

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Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.


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