Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

What are the Reasons behind Holiday Medical Illnesses?

The Holiday Season is a time to make merry and have fun with family and friends but this is the time when the hospitals and emergency rooms have their busiest times due to a flurry of illnesses that tend to spike up during the holiday season. Some of the health concerns arise due to common injuries in traffic accidents of which some may be serious accidents due to drunken driving, and some of the health concerns are due to poor dietary and drinking habits, and all dietary protocols that were being followed on a daily basis before gets thrown out of the window during the holiday season.

What are the Reasons behind Holiday Medical Illnesses?

This article gives an idea as to what are some of the illnesses that are common during the holiday season, as understanding these illnesses and causes of it may help an individual enjoy the holidays rather than spending time in the emergency room or in a hospital due to holiday season illnesses. Some of the common reasons for holiday season illnesses are:

  • Binge drinking and recreational drug use which is mostly seen in young adults and teenagers
  • Lack of adequate sleep and exhaustion
  • Undue stress due to financial or emotional reasons
  • Severe alteration in dietary habits like eating something that an individual is not supposed to
  • Missing medications
  • Physical strain
  • Drunken driving
  • Traveling either local or international.

While these can occur at any time of the year but are more rampant during the holiday season.

What are the Different Types of Holiday Medical Illnesses?

Some of the common holiday season medical illnesses are:

Diarrhea: This is one of the most common holiday season illness. This is usually caused by a medical condition called gastroenteritis which can be viral or bacterial. Viral gastroenteritis is also known by the name of stomach flu and is basically caused by viral infections. Food poisoning is yet another cause for diarrhea and is rampant during the holiday season as one does not really care for what food is being eaten and whether it is good for the stomach or not.

Diarrhea is also common among travelers who travel to some other country during the holidays and eat at a place which may not be hygienically appropriate and result in having diarrhea. This condition is often referred to as Traveler's Diarrhea.

Acid Reflux, Gastritis and Peptic Ulcer Disease: These conditions are again quite common during the holiday season. These are basically caused due to excessive alcohol intake and inappropriate eating habits. GERD or acid reflux causes severe heartburn whereas gastritis and peptic ulcer disease tends to cause severe vomiting and diarrheal episodes

Pancreatitis: This is yet another Holiday Season Illness. Pancreatitis is a condition in which there is inflammation of the pancreas. This condition can be acute or chronic. Acute pancreatitis is mainly caused due to excessive alcohol intake during the holiday season. Apart from this, road traffic accidents which are quite common in the holiday season with injury to the pancreas may also cause pancreatitis.

Hyper/Hypothermia: Fluctuations in body temperature with the temperature either being too high or being too low is yet another holiday season illness, although this may occur at any time of the year. This is most likely as a result of the drinking and other dietary and poor sleep habits during the holiday season.

Dehydration: This is a condition with which many people present to the emergency room throughout the United States especially during the holiday season. Dehydration results from excessive loss of bodily fluids. This may be as a result of binge drinking, poor dietary habits, or eating contaminated food while traveling outside the country resulting in severe diarrhea and vomiting causing excessive loss of fluids and the body to get dehydrated.

Drug Overdose and Alcohol Poisoning: This is perhaps one of the most dangerous holiday season illnesses. Excessive alcohol intake mixed with recreational drugs may cause an individual to get too intoxicated resulting in the inability of the body to appropriately function causing some severe complications if not treated on time.

Colds and Flu: These medical conditions are common in the winter months when the holidays start and hence are quite common holiday season illness. These infections are extremely contagious and can spread within the home, community, or even office environment if an individual comes in contact with an infected person resulting in the individual contracting cold and flu.

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: April 30, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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