With the arrival of Thanksgiving quickly followed by Christmas and New Years, there is one topic that is a bit more serious and one difficult to discuss during such a festive time … illness and in particular a holiday heart attack.
Thanksgiving often increases the risk for a holiday heart attack as a result of a cholesterol-filled dinner, calorically dense snacks and desserts, sitting around watching TV, consuming alcoholic beverages and in some cases engaging in exercise that can be strenuous for someone which does not normally exercise the remainder of the year.
If you think a single meal cannot harm you, thing again. According to a report, “A Thanksgiving feast can easily lead you to eat in excess of 4,000 calories — about double the amount of calories you should usually eat in a day.” Add to this the high fat, excess salt, refined sugars and alcohol, and you have a “recipe” for disaster.
So what happens in the body? In part, as outlined in a heartland.time.com article:
• blood is diverted from other organs to the intestines to aid in digestion – the heart has to pump harder
• the metabolic effect of the meal can lead to “lead to inflammation in coronary arteries, impairing their function and elasticity”
• blood pressure can increase and this can dislodge plagues causing a blood clot .
The effects on the body of overeating include:
1. Cognitive: decreased attention and concentration
2. Constitutional: fatigue, weakness, overstuffed, muscle aches and thirst
3. Gastrointestinal: nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain
4. Mental symptoms: dizziness; vertigo a sense of the room spinning (i.e., vertigo);
5. Mood: depression, anxiety, and irritability
6. Pain: headache and muscle aches
7. Sensory: sensitivity to light and sound
8. Sleep and biological rhythms: decreased sleep, decreased REM (rapid eye movements), and increased slow-wave sleep
9. Sympathetic hyperactivity: tremor, sweating, and increased pulse and systolic blood pressure, and rapid heartbeat (tachycardia).
10. Metabolic effects: low blood sugar, elevated blood sugar, elevated blood lipid levels, disruption of metabolism, obesity and Diabetes.
Scientific studies have concluded that, in short, some people may be at a higher risk of both having a heart attack and not surviving one on during the holiday season. Although there tends to be more holidays as the colder weather arises, scientists have rather ruled out the colder temperature factor.
Their conclusion leads them to precisely looking at the holidays as the reason more people have fatal heart attacks. WebMD points out that “According to a Circulation study, “The number of cardiac deaths is higher on Dec. 25 than on any other day of the year, second highest on Dec. 26, and third highest on Jan. 1.” According to a heartland.time.com, article heart-related deaths rise 5% around the holidays.
One specific factor of focus is Triglycerides
A steadyhealth.com article points to the creation of “triglycerides (a type of fat) are particularly problematic because they are really good at penetrating arterial walls.”
This information is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical/nutritional/fitness advice. Information presented is subject to change as additional discoveries are made or additional research is published. Links to various sites within blogs are provided for your convenience only and we are not responsible or liable for the content, accuracy of information provided or privacy practices of linked sites or for products or services described on these sites.
Sources: http://www.steadyhealth.com/articles/4_Steps_To_Prevent_A_Heart_Attack_On_Thanksgiving_Day_a2469.html , http://www.webmd.com/heart/features/the-truth-behind-more-holiday-heart-attacks, www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/11/001120072759.htm, circ.ahajournals.org/content/110/25/3744.full, online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204517204577046772508688922.html, https://www.cafewell.com/blog_posts/what-is-metabolic-syndrome-and-why-test, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=reNMSURfZmg and one consuming the entire pound, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CtM6gnNRPuo, http://healthland.time.com/2011/11/24/3-heart-risks-to-watch-for-on-thanksgiving-day/, http://circ.ahajournals.org/, https://www.cafewell.com/blog_posts/food-hangover-effect-of-the-assault-of-overeating, https://www.cafewell.com/blog_posts/8-strategies-to-manage-holiday-alcohol-and-weight-gain