Don’t Take the Holidays Too Much to Heart
Do the holidays stress you out? Watch out that you don’t put extra stress on your heart. Our expert explains.
We tend to overdo it during the holidays, and for some of us it may cause extra stress on the heart.
Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy
There’s even a name for this phenomenon: “holiday heart.”
Cardiologist Richard Krasuski, MD, is says he sees an increase in cardiovascular events this time of year for a number of reasons.
Other heart attack symptoms to watch for along with chest pain, shortness of breath and irregular heartbeat include:
Symptoms for women may be different: they may notice a symptom a month or more before a heart attack along with other differences.
Beyond being on the alert for symptoms, Dr. Krasuski says you should know how to take your own pulse.
“Take two fingers, put them over your radial artery, which is by your thumb, and press gently,” says Dr. Krasuski. “Count the number of beats for 15 seconds and then multiply by 4. If you feel your rate racing significantly (well over 100 beats a minute) and you’re at rest — obviously that’s not such a good thing.”
The problem is that many times people put off seeing the doctor until after the holidays, not wanting to put a damper on the festivities.
But if you start to experience the symptoms listed above, especially if you have cardiovascular disease — see a doctor right away.