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Did you know there are more heart attacks during the holidays than any other time of year?  Read on to learn what gives...
I was excited to present what some of my colleagues were telling me is a morose topic for Christmas Day.  I thought I would try to save a few lives by educating on the cardiovascular risks this merry season brings. The title of my show would have been "A Cardiovascular Christmas". Alas, the radio station is only playing Christmas Music tomorrow, but I thought this can't stop me from educating the people!  So you can educate your people's people.

I am talking about the "Merry Christmas Coronary" and the "Happy New Year Heart Attack". It is documented in the literature by researchers such as Dr. Robert Kloner  MD, PhD that more than 30% more ischemic events (blocked blood flow to the heart and brain) occur in December and January than in the summer months. While it had been previously surmised that the extreme cold could be a cause of yearly major cardiac incidences around the holidays, this has been disproven as Dr Kloner determined there are as many heart attacks in Los Angeles at Christmas as in Boston. Why then? He summed it up to stress and overindulgence by food and alcohol cheer. Possibly with some heavy snow-shoveling and extra dose viagra thrown in there for bad measure in high risk people. Down boy.
Here are my top 10 for literally SURVIVING the Holidays, as one fatty meal can do you right in. 
 

1. If you experience heart symptoms go to the doctor without delay: Pain, tingling or numbness in the left arm, neck, jaw, face, back shoulder. Gripping pain in chest. Pain in right arm. An unfamiliar sharp pain in the head.

2. Avoid the following lifestyle factors that lead to acute myocardial infarction, heart attack: For instance more than 1 alcoholic drink per hour and more than 4 drinks total can bring on "holiday heart syndrome", when your heart skips beats and has a fast heart rate. In people who already have heart disease this can predict a heart attack.  In addition to alcohol AVOID these risk factors, if you are not in tip top shape :  

  • Excess physical exertion (especially shoveling show if it's the only exercise you do all year) but do go for a walk to calm down, breathe fresh air and unwind.
  • Overeating- double helpings, eating or snacking within two hours of the last meal, starving then binging are all considered NONOs. Avoid egg, bacon, white bread, butter, mayo, french fries with gravy for instance. This is a heart attack in a meal.
  • Lack of sleep. If you went to the party last night, go to bed early tonight. 
  • Emotional stress Talk it out rather than bottling it up. Get a meditation tape and relax daily. even 15 minutes will do you good to lower pulse rate. Go for a massage, or let your kid give you one. 
  • Illegal drugs- yes, hard drugs can give you a hard attack, as well as steroids, viagra and hormone medications
  • Anger- shake it out. literally. Dance, shake. Throw your hands off your arms to release emotional tension. and do some neck rolls. If you can't roll your head around and around, you are mad as hell and need to heel that. 
  • Excess Salt- do not add extra salt. Switch to Celtic Sea salt. You don't need as much and it's much healthier for you. Use seaweeds, spices and herbs for flavoring.
  • The flu- the virus can attack a weak heart valve, congestion that reduce airflow and oxygen to the heart. So wash your hands, eat lots of clear soups and avoid people who are sick, wear a mask when visiting hospitals. See my favorite no-sick tea, called "Some Spicy Lovin" 
3. Quit Smoking- go for it. Once and for all. Or if it's your 6th time trying to quit, don't quit quitting. Give it up again.  In fact avoid inhaling smoke from a wood burning fireplace, avoid pot smoking and avoid smog. Polluted lungs can cause a heart attack.

4. Do something about high blood pressure. It's not safe to be walking around that way.  Medication might be necessary but daily bowel movements are just as important. If you are constipated you are AT RISK and daily need fiber.

5. Do Include foods that lower cholesterol and reduce inflammation: Avoidance is not the only cure. Inclusion of the good things is just as, if not even more important: a  glass of red wine per day, pure cocoa, hot lemon water, salads, beets, raw olive oil, olives, coconut oil, raw sunflower seeds, flax seed powder and chia.  


Another goal I have is to live disease-free until 120 years old!  Join me!

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE! Wishing you the biggest blessings. 2014 is going to be a humdinger! I can feel it.


xox Dr Millie ND oxo


PS: Oh yes, and for more fantastic HOLIDAY ADVICE  go ahead and click

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The Dr Millie Hour is changing time slots and stations. Please stay tuned for further updates.  Until then I will be on repeat broadcast discussing weightloss tomorrow at 9am EST.

The show is also available on podcast at
 http://www.invitehealth.com/Radio-Shows-and-Studies.html and 
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