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 Penn vet research identifies new target for taming Ebola
12.01.2017 | University of Pennsylvania

nachricht The strange double life of Dab2
10.01.2017 | University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

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: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

Im Focus: Newly proposed reference datasets improve weather satellite data quality

UMD, NOAA collaboration demonstrates suitability of in-orbit datasets for weather satellite calibration

"Traffic and weather, together on the hour!" blasts your local radio station, while your smartphone knows the weather halfway across the world. A network of...

Im Focus: Repairing defects in fiber-reinforced plastics more efficiently

Fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) are frequently used in the aeronautic and automobile industry. However, the repair of workpieces made of these composite materials is often less profitable than exchanging the part. In order to increase the lifetime of FRP parts and to make them more eco-efficient, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) and the Apodius GmbH want to combine a new measuring device for fiber layer orientation with an innovative laser-based repair process.

Defects in FRP pieces may be production or operation-related. Whether or not repair is cost-effective depends on the geometry of the defective area, the tools...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Multiregional brain on a chip

16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

New technology enables 5-D imaging in live animals, humans

16.01.2017 | Information Technology

Researchers develop environmentally friendly soy air filter

16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>