The 12 health hazards of Christmas - and how to prevent them

PUBLISHED: 15:00 23 December 2016

Christmas is a time of fun and celebration, but all the excitement coupled with overindulgence on food, drink and partying can sometimes have an impact on your health over the festive period. The experts at new healthcare clinic One Stop Doctors have some tips and advice on how to avoid the 12 health hazards of Christmas.

1. Overeating

It’s impossible not to overeat at Christmas. There are some easy steps you can take to reduce over-eating, including drinking water before you eat – this curbs your appetite – and eating slowly to allow the messages about feeling full to get to your brain.

2. Drinking too much

If you are inclined to drink more during the festive period, try to drink water before you start drinking alcohol, and then match a glass of alcohol with a glass of water and drink more water at the end of the evening.

3. Hangover

And the OSD top tip for the inevitable next day’s hangover? Well there are hundreds of theories out there about what can help prevent or cure a hangover, from eggs to asparagus (both contain amino acids that help fight the toxins). But scientists agree that there is only one thing proven to lessen the hangover: drink less alcohol.

4. Food poisoning

The risk of food poisoning does increase over Christmas because people are cooking for much bigger numbers than they are used to, and they are cooking foods they are not used to cooking. So make sure all raw meats are at the bottom of the fridge so that juices with potential food-poisoning bacteria don’t contaminate other foods, and wash your hands after handling raw meat.

5. Stress

The three Fs of family, finances and food to prepare, combine to create a pressure-cooker of stress. Stress is often the result of feeling out of control, so try to control everything you can by planning the practical things you have to do in advance.

6. Lack of sleep

Tiredness can lower immune systems and increase feelings of stress, so try to bank some sleep leading up to Christmas. Sleep is a great stress buster.

7. Worrying about the young and the old

It’s always a worry that your children or elderly relatives will be sick on Christmas Day. But worry no more – One Stop Doctors is open over the festive period!

8. Household accidents

There are many more hazards around than usual over Christmas that can lead to accidents, with lights dangling, hot food constantly cooking in the kitchen, lots of people around and kids getting under your feet. Slow down, take care, and make sure you have a first aid kit at the ready!

9. Colds, sniffles and the flu

Stress, alcohol and late nights are all perfect conditions for catching colds and viruses. Taking vitamin C, drinking a lot of water, getting a good night’s sleep and washing your hands regularly can all help ward off colds and the dreaded flu.

10. Asthma attack

According to Asthma UK, someone will have an asthma attack every 10 seconds on Christmas Day. This is because December is full of asthma triggers, from the Christmas tree itself to smoke from open fires, the cold and more scented products around. Reduce the risk by making sure you take your preventer medicine.

11. Medications running out

Don’t forget to stock up on your meds – as many pharmacies are closed over the Christmas period.

12. Diabetes

The indulgence of Christmas can be a struggle if you have diabetes, and at some point you might find that your blood glucose levels rise. Make sure you regularly check your levels, don’t drink on an empty stomach, try to go for brisk walks and know what to do in an emergency.

One Stop Doctors is located just off J8 of the M1 and is open over the festive period. Call 0800 852 1234 for details.

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