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Medwatch-Holiday heart syndrome

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

(CNN) -The holidays can often lead to overindulgence. We eat more, we drink more and we run on less sleep. For some, it can lead to excess strain on the heart.

‘Holiday heart syndrome’ is real, and can be caused by several factors.

“We’re often surrounded by lots of food during this time, so whether you’re in the office or whether you’re with your family, you tend to eat foods that are very different than your normal diet,” said Dr. Leslie Cho, Cleveland Clinic cardiologist.

Overeating and over indulging in alcohol can actually lead to an irregular heartbeat, known as holiday heart syndrome. Dr. Cho advises people to be on the lookout for foods that are heavy in cream, sugar or salt, and to avoid drinking alcohol in excess. And while she doesn’t recommend that you avoid all holiday treats at all costs, Dr. Cho emphasizes that being mindful of what you eat and how much you eat can go a long way.

“Often times, people are like, ‘Oh my gosh, you know I can’t have anything.’ No, you can have everything you want, except you have to have it in moderation and be mindful about what you’re eating,” Dr. Cho said.

Dr. Cho suggests that if you’re going to a gathering where you know that you will be surrounded by food, try not to show up hungry.

Copyright 2015 CNN. All rights reserved.

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