Doctors warn of 'holiday heart' - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Doctors warn of 'holiday heart'

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La Crosse, WI (WXOW) -

When enjoying Christmas dinner and time with family, doctors remind people to pay attention to their heart health.

The stress of too much alcohol or too much salt can raise blood pressure and lead to a condition called 'holiday heart.' The stress can cause an irregular heart known as atrial fibrillation. The signs can vary from a racing heart to feeling tired and having shortness of breath

"Because people are with family and they are enjoying the holidays, there's a delay in seeking attention," said Dr. Yader Sandoval, Cardiovascular Diseases at Mayo Clinic Health System. "And, that does not happen in other regular days. So, that's probably one of the most important factors."

Sandoval says if you feel any chest pains or pressure, seek attention immediately. He recommends avoiding excess salt and alcohol to prevent 'holiday heart' altogether.

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