Christmas is one of the most awaited festivals of the year. Come December and cities and homes light up, in anticipation of the season of joy. But month-long festivities, feasting and drinking can sometimes spell bad news for your health. An observational study from Lund University in Sweden just confirmed that. It says that the risk of heart attack was 37 percent higher around 10 pm on Christmas eve. And the risk is greatest in people above 75 who have diabetes and heart diseases. The paper published in The BMJ says that awareness about heart attack in this vulnerable age group should be driven during the Xmas time. It also adds that the New Years’, midsummer holidays, early mornings (8 am) and Monday mornings are dangerous times for heart attacks. But that’s not the only health scare seen during the holiday season. Christmas can also coincide with other health risks.
1 Holiday Depression
Christmas is particularly bad for your mental health because it can trigger what’s called “holiday blues.” People experience increased anxiety, stress and depression around the time for many reasons. But one of the prominent causes of a crabby mood during Christmas is Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD, a type of depression that sets in during the winters. Christmas Depression: How to Beat Stress, Anxiety and Blues This Holiday Season.
2 Weight Gain
Christmas causes a big change in your dietary patterns. A study says that you put on an average of 2.3kg or more during the holidays. And who wouldn’t? It’s difficult to refuse food and stick to your diet during the Christmas holidays with all the pigging and binge drinking. The same study also says that holiday weight gains are generally not reversed. Don’t Let Your Favourite Sweets and Savouries Cause Holiday Weight Gain This Festive Season.
Chances for injuries go up during the holidays due to all the home-decorating activities. Stepping on nails and falling off the step ladder is quite common during the snowy months. Handling fireworks and candles also increase incidences of burn injuries.
4 Gastric Trouble
A big part of Christmas is all about feasting. Roast meats, fruit cakes, eggnog, mulled wines, you name it! Overeating can trigger GERD, acidity, indigestion, and flatulence. If meat isn’t cooked or processed properly, there is a high chance for salmonella and E.coli infections. Cross contamination is also possible since a large amount of food is kept near each other. If food-safety steps aren’t followed, you can end up stomach cramps, making multiple trips to the toilet during Christmas. Home Remedies For Acidity and Gas: Symptoms and Causes + Tips To Cure Acid Reflux Naturally.
5 Blood Sugar Levels
What’s Christmas without the sweets? Healthy eating during the holiday month can be a monumental challenge. If you are weak-willed, you will succumb to puddings, cakes and marzipans that are waved continuously under your nose. Following portion size and sticking to your diet, for the most part, can help you minimise the risk of shooting blood sugar levels to a great extent.
6 Stress and Hypertension
Christmas can also be a source of great stress, especially if you are planning a party or shopping for the family. The American Psychological Association found that 44 percent of women and 31 percent of men reported increased stress during the holidays. Increasing stress levels can affect any underlying health problem like hypertension. So make it a point to manage your stress levels and take your BP medication on time.
Sticking to a schedule, eating and sleeping on time, managing stress levels, eating a balanced diet and exercising can help keep your health in good condition. Holidays are a great time to enjoy with family and friends, but don’t forget your well-being as you do.