Holiday heart syndrome is an irregular heartbeat pattern presented in individuals who are otherwise healthy. The term is defined as “abnormal heart rhythms sometimes following excessive alcohol consumption; usually temporary”.
Holiday heart syndrome can be the result of stress, dehydration, and drinking alcohol. It is sometimes associated with binge drinking common during the holiday season. The condition can also occur when individuals consume only moderate amounts of alcohol. While nobody should binge drink during the holidays, people with a history of atrial
fibrillation should be especially vigilant about avoiding or limiting alcohol. Mechanisms responsible for irregular heart
beats may include direct toxicity and alcohol’s contribution to obesity, sleep-disordered breathing and hypertension.
The concept of 1 drink per day being healthy is now outdated by research. Alcohol even in the tiniest amount is damaging.
Drinking responsibly: Certainly drinking with protein rich food or nuts, interspersing with water, spacing drinks at 1 small unit per hour and keeping the total dose of alcohol low (not more than 2) are recommended.