Doctors Urge Moderation During Holiday Season | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Doctors Urge Moderation During Holiday Season

Play associated audio
Local hospitals tend to see an influx of patients the day after Christmas because people will wait until after the holiday to come in.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/andrewbain/521869846/
Local hospitals tend to see an influx of patients the day after Christmas because people will wait until after the holiday to come in.

This time of year, many people take breaks from work and try to get some rest and relaxation. But emergency room doctors and nurses in our area say it's one of their busiest seasons.

Dr. Geoffry Mount Varner, chief of Howard University Hospital's emergency department, says the most common condition he treats during the holidays is gastric distress, and he says leaving food out is often to blame.

"They bring the holiday food and they don't store it correctly, or the holiday party is postponed a few hours," says Varner.

Dr. Allen Taylor, chief of cardiology at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, says changes in diet can also affect cardiac conditions. "Cured meats, soups, sauces, a lot of things that have a lot of hidden salt in them, and can trigger problems if patients have salt-sensitive conditions like high blood pressure."

Varner says hospitals actually tend to see an influx of patients the day after Christmas. "People who are sick will wait until after the holiday to come in, which means that they often present sicker than what they would have, which actually makes their morbidity and mortality go up."

Taylor says there is also an increase in heart attacks through the holiday season. He says changes in diet can exacerbate some heart conditions and prompt something called holiday heart syndrome. "[It] is a common heart arrhythmia that comes from excessive alcohol intake and particularly binge alcohol intake."

Doctors encourage moderation and urge patients not to delay if they begin showing signs of distress.

NPR

The Exquisite Dissonance Of Kehinde Wiley

The Brooklyn Museum's mid-career Wiley retrospective wraps up this week; his large, elaborate works depict black men and women in traditional forms like oil, bronze sculture and even stained glass.
NPR

In New Jersey, A Beef Over Pork Roll Sparks Rival Festivals

What is pork roll? As one fan puts it, "It's like Spam meets bacon." And this Saturday, Trenton, N.J., will host not one, but two competing festivals devoted to this Garden State meat delicacy.
WAMU 88.5

Former Maryland Gov. O'Malley Expected To Announce Candidacy For President

More signs are pointing to O'Malley running for the nation's top office. He'll announce his decision at an event in Baltimore May 30.
NPR

The Future Of Cardiology Will Be Shown In 3-D

The Living Heart Project aims to create a detailed simulation of the human heart that doctors and engineers can use to test experimental treatments and interventions.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.