Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Taking Care of the Holiday Heart

18.11.2004


During the holidays most people worry about putting on a couple of pounds, but in addition they should be concerned about what they’re doing to their hearts. Every year during the holidays, emergency rooms like those at UCSD Medical Center see patients with symptoms of palpitations and light-headedness. Further evaluation usually confirms the patient has an abnormal heart rhythm, often atrial fibrillation, says Ajit Raisinghani, M.D., Director of the UCSD Non-Invasive Cardiac Lab. This condition, called “Holiday Heart”, is a result from over-indulgence of alcohol.

“Alcohol consumption can cause significant cardiac toxicity,” says Dr. Raisinghani. “Usually the patient experiences palpitations accompanied with a sensation of light-headedness. When these patients come into the ER we learn they’ve usually spent the weekend drinking. Most often they’re college kids who are otherwise healthy.”

Fortunately the condition resolves itself within 24 hours. But if not, the doctor will admit the patient to the hospital, administer medication to slow down the heart rate and keep watch until the heart rate returns to a normal sinus rhythm. It’s a heck of a way to spend the holidays.



Raisinghani has a number of suggestions for people who want to care for their hearts, and limiting alcohol to a reasonable amount is just one of them. Here are a few other suggestions Raisinghani offers to keep the heart in good condition this holiday season:

  • Exercise regularly. Besides being a great stress reducer, 30 minutes of aerobic exercise three days a week can significantly reduce the risk of developing heart disease.
  • Minimize salt intake. Too much sodium contributes to high blood pressure, also called “the silent killer,” a leading cause of heart failure and stroke. This is especially important for people who already have heart disease. Raisinghani said he often sees a lot of admissions during the holidays specifically because heart patients threw caution to the wind and ate a high salt meal at a party or a relative’s home.
  • Although the holidays are probably not the ideal time of year to start a diet, make a concerted effort not to gain weight. And don’t let the holidays be an excuse not to diet or watch what you eat if you do need to lose weight.
  • It’s not necessary to cut out fat completely. Research has found that a moderate amount of unsaturated fat, such as that found in olive oil, canola oil, avocadoes and nuts is good for the heart. Avoid saturated fats because they stimulate the production of LDL cholesterol ("bad" cholesterol), increase blood cholesterol levels and the risk of heart disease. All animal fats, such as those in meat, poultry, and dairy products are saturated as are those used in processed and fast foods.
  • Vegetable oils, such as palm, palm kernel and coconut oils, are also saturated.
  • Be aware of heart attack symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain or pressure, lightheadness, and nausea. Women often experience atypical symptoms such as heartburn, upset stomach, nausea, vomiting and arm discomfort. If you or anyone around you experiences these symptoms, get to a doctor right away.
  • Always have aspirin handy. Its anti-clogging ability prevents blood clots and with physician approval should be taken by individuals at risk of a heart attack as well as those experiencing signs of a heart attack.
  • Learn new ways to cope effectively with stress (such as exercising) often brought on by too much to do during the holidays. Tension, frustration and sadness can trigger or worsen heart irregularities.
  • Schedule time for rest and relaxation. “Down time” can help reduce stress and increase overall well being.
  • Nurture friendly, caring relationships. Loneliness has been shown to have negative effects on the heart.
  • Take time to savor activities that make you happy and those that make you laugh. Happiness and laughter have been shown to be some of life’s best medicine.

| newswise
Further information:
http://www.ucsd.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht A promising target for kidney fibrosis
21.04.2017 | Brigham and Women's Hospital

nachricht Stem cell transplants: activating signal paths may protect from graft-versus-host disease
20.04.2017 | Technische Universität München

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

DGIST develops 20 times faster biosensor

24.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Nanoimprinted hyperlens array: Paving the way for practical super-resolution imaging

24.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Atomic-level motion may drive bacteria's ability to evade immune system defenses

24.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>