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Holiday heart risk and prevention

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The holiday season pressure is on to eat, drink and be merry.

But all this overindulging may lead to holiday heart.

Dr. Albert Avila of the Center for Urgent Care in Lakewood Ranch explained that holiday heart is a term that's used to describe patients this time of the year.

Dr. Avila said, "people tend to drink too much, eat too much, and have a sudden change in their level of activity."

In some patients symptoms can almost mimic that of a heart attack warned Dr. Avila.  "They may experience a fast heart beat,  a hard time catching their breath, even pressure on their chest." Dr Avila explained that holiday heart can be two different kinds of irregular heart activity, SVT, or Super Ventricular Tachycardia, which is a little different than atrial fibrillation.     

Usually those symptoms can just go away as long as people catch it early before it gets any worse said Dr. Avila.

Dr. Avila cautions that it's very difficult for patients to be able to tell the difference between holiday heart and a bigger problem

"That's why it is important, that if they have these symptoms to seek medical attention as soon as possible," said Dr. Avila.

The Center for Urgent Care provides urgent as well as non urgent care to patients. There is also CAT scan, X-ray and ultrasound, as well as lab capability. It's more than just a walk in clinic.