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Holiday Heart Syndrome Risks

From time to time, your heart may flutter when you’re excited, nervous or exercising. This irregular heartbeat, also called arrhythmia, tends to go away as quickly as it started and may seem like no cause for concern. But Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) heart specialists want you to know the whole picture is a little more complicated – especially during the holiday season.

Drink responsibly

A heartbeat is produced when an electrical signal travels through the four chambers of the heart. If something goes wrong with this signal, your heartbeat may speed up, slow down or seem out of sync. While arrhythmia can happen to anyone at any age, experts have found that heavy drinking can trigger this heart irregularity.

According to the Electrophysiology team from LVHN Heart Institute, if you drink to excess, even if only on occasion, you increase your chances for arrhythmia.

Monitor your heart

People who don’t typically drink a lot may have more alcohol than usual at parties during the holiday season and experience these heartbeat abnormalities. This condition is nicknamed “holiday heart syndrome.”

While an irregular heartbeat is often harmless, sometimes it signals a larger problem that can be dangerous to ignore. It’s important to talk with your doctor if you have a history of heart disease. And don’t wait to get help if your irregular heartbeat occurs with any of the following:

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fainting
  • Light-headedness
  • Fatigue

If you experience arrhythmia or have concerns about your heart, call 888-402-LVHN to reach out to the specialists at LVHN Heart Institute.