Doctors warn against holiday overindulgence

HANGOVER::A medical expert said that attending parties is physically draining and often involves alcohol and tobacco, which can exacerbate health problems

By Wu Chung-feng and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with Staff writer

Sun, Dec 30, 2012 - Page 3

Doctors have warned against all-night parties during the four-day New Year’s break that started yesterday, particularly for those who have hepatitis B or C, as exhaustion may lead to a worsening of existing medical conditions.

The head of Tainan Hospital’s branch in Hsinhua District (新化), Liu Ming-tao (劉明道), said that after the recent hype surrounding a purported Mayan prophecy about the world ending on Dec. 21, he treated a young man with a severe case of jaundice and fever.

The young man was diagnosed with acute hepatitis, which was likely caused by pulling several all-nighters, attending multiple parties and then having to work as well, Liu said, adding that severe sleep deprivation had caused the man’s health to deteriorate further.

In view of the four-day holiday, and New Year’s celebrations Liu expressed concern that people might disregard their health and go to parties, adding that parties are not only physically draining, but are usually accompanied by alcohol and tobacco.

Alcohol and tobacco both cause health deterioration, Liu said.

Liu also pointed out that as most people do not undergo regular health checks, they might not be aware that they have contracted either hepatitis B or C.

He added that patients with chronic hepatitis often exhibited little or no symptoms, but may experience acute liver failure due to over exhaustion.

According to Gastroenterology Department visiting staff doctor Chang Yao-jen (張耀仁), more than 60 percent of hepatitis C cases can be cured with the use of correct medication.

He added that the National Health Insurance program currently covers all medical expenses involved in curing the disease.