The holidays are a great excuse for a party. But overindulging in holiday cheer could lead to heart trouble. Ice cream, liquor, and shaved chocolate. That's certainly enough to get some people in the holiday spirit.
But over-do the spirits and you might end up in the hospital. "It comes not necessarily from binge drinking, but just from going out and partying a little too much," said Dr. Tom Tallman, with the Cleveland Clinic.
Dr. Tallman estimates about a third of patients who come into his emergency room between Thanksgiving and New Year's have something called "holiday heart syndrome." It affects those who aren't used to drinking very much, who then over-indulge in alcohol during holiday get-togethers.
Their heart rate speeds up and becomes irregular. According to Dr. Tallman, "blood pressure can drop, and you can get lightheaded, as well as having the chest pain or shortness of breath." Feeling like they're having a heart attack, they head to the e-r only to discover, it was the alcohol that caused the problem.