The candles have been lit; the wine poured and the meal prepared. It is, once again, Valentine’s Day. Those of you with significant others or, at the very least, dates will commemorate this holiday with an evening of romance. You will indulge in the delicacies that you have been shunning since New Year’s: excess food, alcohol and sweets. You will spend hours fixated on the person beside you – the person who, hopefully, makes your palms sweat, your head spin and your heart race. But if you notice that your racing heart lasts a bit longer than romantic thoughts dictate, you may want to cut your celebrations short and see the doctor instead, for you may be experiencing Holiday Heart.
Holiday Heart or officially atrial fibrillation (Afib) is a condition in which the heart beats erratically and fails to fully contract. The rate is so heightened that the heart may beat 300 to 400 times in one minute. Sufferers generally experience heart palpitations, dizziness, faintness, chest discomfort and fatigue. If left untreated, it could lead to chronic fatigue, congestive heart failure and even stroke. In fact, Afib puts the individual at a five to seven times greater risk of stroke. It is a very serious condition, heightened by the very things that define this evening.
Too much caffeine, food and/or alcohol can trigger Afib. If you find yourself enjoying your fifth glass of wine or second piece of chocolate sin after having consumed a monstrous meal, you may also find yourself suffering from Afib. Should that happen, see a doctor immediately. As sweet as it is to attribute your racing heart to the guy or girl with you, it’s not safe. Protect your heart by staying smart this Valentine’s Day and keep your indulgences moderate.