article_holiday-health-hazards.jpgChristmas means holiday shopping, party-hopping, and entertaining. But often, the festivities come with budget concerns, heavy traffic, and weight gain. Rumalie Corvera, M.D., a family medicine specialist who holds clinic at the Asian Hospital and Medical Center, says that, on a general scale, complications of lifestyle illnesses like hypertension, diabetes, stroke, and even arthritis and migraines are more likely to occur during the holiday season. “These are based on experience and the volume I see in practice,” she explains.

The majority of health-related problems that crop up during the holidays all seem to stem from stress. Genevieve Pacheco, M.D., an internal medicine specialist, and Dr. Corvera explain that if a body can’t control stress, the stress hormone called cortisol increases, which in turn, weakens the immune system and makes the body more prone to infection. The two experts note that cortisol affects the blood pressure and boosts the body’s blood sugar, and may cause complications such as hypertension in some people and hyperglycemia in diabetics.

Browse through the gallery for 6 common health hazards to watch out for.

(First published as “Holiday Health Hazards” in the “Good Health” section of Good Housekeeping Philippines’ December 2011 issue. Adapted for use in Female Network. Photo by Bugeater via Flickr Creative Commons.)

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