FARGO — This holiday season, doctors are reminding people to take it easy to make sure everyone makes it through the holidays with a healthy heart.
Binge drinking and overeating could lead to heart problems, which some doctors call "holiday heart syndrome," a term first used in 1978 to describe an irregular heartbeat in normally healthy people.
Doctors say it can be brought on by overindulgence or by holiday stress — like shopping and entertaining family and friends.
"Holidays are for fun, so you don't want to end up in the hospital, and plus you don't want to cause stress for the family and have them in the hospital taking care of you," said Dr. Sunita Sharma, a cardiologist at Sanford Health in Fargo.
Doctors said the best way to prevent Holiday Heart Syndrome is to celebrate in moderation.
"I never tell patients, 'Oh, you can't have any alcohol at all,' but I think it would be good if it's taken with food and done in moderation," she said.
Sharma said this can happen to both those who have a history of heart disease and those who have kept their heart healthy.