When winter months begin, so do the challenges for maintaining optimal health. The holiday season can exacerbate some of these issues. For most the doldrums of the cold and the feeling of isolation give way to the spring months that lie just ahead. Many have help from their loved ones, but that is not possible for everyone. It never hurts to check in on someone who might be vulnerable or require a little help from time to time.
Here are some of the top healthcare-related issues to watch out for during the holiday season:
Increased risk of cardiovascular events - Research has shown that there is an elevated rate of cardiovascular-based mortality over the late-December holiday period in the U.S., known as the "Christmas Holiday Effect". This effect is thought to be due to a combination of factors, including cold weather, irregular sleep patterns, and overindulgence in food and alcohol.
Stress and mental health issues - The holiday season can be a stressful time for many people, and this stress can lead to a range of mental health issues, including anxiety and depression. It's important to watch out for your loved one’s mental health during this time by making sure they get enough rest, stay active, and seek support if needed.
Increased risk of illness - The winter months are known for bringing forth illness. When frigid temperatures combine with irregular sleep cycles, along with changes in diet (especially the lack of fruits and vitamin enriched foods, can be a perfect recipe for a Christmas common cold. Don’t let these colds manifest into something more serious.
Overindulgence in food and alcohol - The holiday season is often associated with overindulgence. Whether in food and alcohol, both can lead to a range of health issues: weight gain, high blood pressure, and liver damage.
Travel-related health issues - Many people travel during the holiday season, which can increase the risk of travel-related health issues such as thrombosis (DVT) and jet lag.
The holiday season is supposed to be joyful and fulfilling for everyone and the St. Louis Care Alliance wants you to be informed. Don’t let things go unnoticed when it comes to you or your loved one’s health. Enjoy moderation and take precautions that keep everyone safe, healthy, and sociable! (STLCA)