By Dr. Brian McDonough

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Medical experts warn this holiday season can land you in the emergency room if you are not careful, even people who are otherwise healthy.

It is called the “holiday heart syndrome” and, unfortunately, we see it far too often this time of year.

It’s the result of a combination of stress, lack of sleep, perhaps too much alcohol and poor diet. All of these things contribute to add stress to the heart and people have irregular heart beats. They have reactions which lead to heart attacks.

It is very important that you keep things in perspective and you relax. Don’t get too high or too low. Stay balanced. Eat healthy, try to reduce the stress, don’t smoke cigarettes, don’t be drinking too much caffeine and avoid excess alcohol.

These are all simple warnings, but everything seems to get maximized around the holidays.

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