Do not succumb to Holiday Heart Syndrome during the holidays

Professor of Cardiovascular Surgery Specialist Prof. Dr. Barış Çaynak warned the vacationers. Prof. Dr. “Holiday Heart Syndrome, which can cause serious rhythm disturbances even in people who have never had heart complaints before, gives symptoms that mimic a heart attack. “If precautions are not taken, it can cause problems such as heart failure or stroke and pose a life-threatening risk.”

Holiday Heart Syndrome, a disease whose name is hardly heard in Turkey, especially in life can take a long vacation period. Noting that this syndrome, which is referred to as “Holiday Heart Syndrome” in English, actually entered the literature 40 years ago, Altınbaş University Hospital Medical Park Bahçelievler Cardiovascular Surgery Specialist Prof. Dr. Barış Çaynak said that a serious rhythm disorder is seen in the heart of a person who has never had a heart complaint due to excessive consumption of food and alcohol during vacation, which is called “Holiday Heart Syndrome”.

It is more common between the ages of 30-50

Stating that the number of heart-related applications to emergency services increased by 15 percent during holidays, Prof. Dr. Çaynak stated that the number of people who came with the complaint of Holiday Heart Syndrome is considerable among this group. Underlining that Holiday Heart Syndrome, which is common in the 30-50 age group, may also cause complaints such as fainting and loss of consciousness, apart from rhythm disorder. Dr. Çaynak said, “Holiday Heart Syndrome alone is not a fatal syndrome. However, accompanying dizziness, difficulty in breathing, feeling of pressure in the chest, fainting, loss of consciousness, palpitations can be dangerous. “The situation can lead to heart failure or stroke,” he said.



Heart atria losing rhythm

Cardiovascular Surgery Specialist Prof. Dr. Çaynak said, “Our diet is disrupted on vacation. ‘I eat on vacation, I lose the weight I gain when I get home. I take a vacation once a year, I should eat and drink to your heart’s content, “the thought harms our health. Uncontrolled consumption of fast food, the desire to taste a little bit of everything in open buffets are written to our household as plus kilos. Eating more food than we always eat, consuming excessive alcohol causes an increase in free fatty acids in the blood, causing a sudden and unreasonable rhythm disturbance in the heart. The rhythm disorder experienced is mostly the loss of rhythm of the auricles of the heart (atrial fibrillation). The effects of Holiday Heart Syndrome are seen within the first 48 hours after consuming alcohol. However, the situation improves after it is released. “The reason why the disease is called” Holiday Heart “is that people consume more food and drink than normal while on vacation,” he said.

Emphasizing that excessive alcohol consumption causes liver diseases, heart failure, oral and esophageal cancer, it also increases blood pressure. Dr. Çaynak said that this situation is also a trigger for hypertension, and it may cause temporary and permanent strokes, especially by affecting the blood flow locally in the brain.


Imitating a heart attack

Noting that Holiday Heart Syndrome has been known for 40 years, but its mechanism has not been understood until today, Prof. Dr. Çaynak continued as follows: “Because when searching for a mechanism, there is no finding about the heart. The vasculature is not blocked, the heart valve is not damaged, there is no heart failure, but it shows symptoms that mimic a heart attack. The rhythm cells of the heart work like a power line. A number of elements such as sodium, potassium and calcium provide the functioning of the rhythm cells’ mechanism. Excessive alcohol consumption changes the balance of these elements and disrupts the rhythm of the heart. Arrhythmia in the heart is an important symptom. These types of palpitations are not always benign ones. If the rhythm disorder continues, it causes clot formation in the heart. That clot also throws into the brain and there is a stroke. For this reason, we use very strong blood thinners in the treatment of these ongoing rhythm disorders. Therefore, it is necessary to determine whether the rhythm disorder is temporary or permanent. ”



Warning that psychological problems can affect the heart on vacation, Prof. Dr. Çaynak said that financial difficulties that may be experienced, the rush of hosting guests, disruption of sleep patterns and not doing regular daily exercises also increase the risk of Holiday Heart Syndrome.

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