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Patients suffering from lifestyle diseases must be careful to ensure a healthy Diwali
With festivities right around the corner people with existing lifestyle diseases must take necessary precautions to ensure a healthy and prosperous Diwali. As one eagerly awaits the festivals of lights, they often forget the health risks that come with it.

An increased consumption of sweets and fried delicacies, late night celebrations with family and friends, and the pollution and noise caused by firecrackers can prove to be life-threatening for patients with existing lifestyle diseases. It is crucial to raise awareness and implement preventive measures to ensure that Diwali only spreads happiness and joy.

Talking about the excessive unhealthy food consumption during Diwali Dr. Santosh Kumar Agarwal, Senior Interventional Cardiologist, Kailash Hospital & Heart Institute, Noidasaid in a press release, "Mithai and sweets consumed during Diwali are usually made of Vanaspati Ghee which is very high in trans fats and reduces the good cholesterol in the body and increases the bad cholesterol. It's high sugar content causes obesity and even in small amounts can be harmful for diabetics. People also tend to eat out often, and the choice of food is mostly deep-fried and high in sodium content. This can cause an increase in one's blood pressure and subsequently stress out their heart. All these can lead to an added risk of heart attacks, heart failures and sudden cardiac arrests in people with existing heart ailments and blockages. While celebrations are good, over-indulgence can ruin the festivities and caution must be maintaining to consume a healthy and balanced diet."

Adding to this Dr. Manoj Kumar, Associate Director & Head - Cardiac Cath Lab, Max Super Specialty Hospital, Patparganj said, "Firecrackers not just cause pollution, subsequent allergies and respiratory complications but can also be life-threatening for those with a weak heart. For instance, the loud noise of bombs can increase the heart rate and blood pressure of heart failure patients, forcing their heart to pump faster and harder. This increases the load on the already weakened organ leading to symptoms like shortness of breath, chest pain, palpitation, accumulation of fluid in the body, etc. and can lead to a heart attack. The risk increases when there are repeated bursts of loud crackers in the same vicinity. Heart patients thus must ensure that they stay indoors during the evening hours when the number of firecrackers being lit is the maximum. They can also use earplugs to protect themselves from sudden shocks due to the loud noise of crackers. Prevention is key to a healthy and prosperous Diwali!"

Another major health hazard during the festival season is the increased consumption of alcohol. People tend to drink in excess quantities on a daily basis increasing the number of road accidents and blood pressure levels and risk of heart disease.

People often take to the wheel when under the influence of alcohol and often end up risking their lives and that of others due to decisions made under an impaired judgment. Alcohol puts additional pressure on the heart and cause a spike in blood pressure. A few moments of fun can turn to be fatal if adequate precautions are not taken.

During this festival season it is advisable to limit use of firecrackers and abstain from using loud explosives, wear face masks to prevent inhaling the poisonous mix of gases, insert ear plugs if you are a cardiac or hypertension patient to minimize the impact of high decibel explosions, reduce the consumption of high-calorie laden sweets offered and devour alcohol within reasonable amounts.

One must celebrate Diwali and yet make the required efforts to be healthy and not hamper ones' system especially those who are at risk of heart disease, asthma, hypertension, obesity and diabetes.

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