Santa Claus may have Lyme disease, gout, alcoholism, diagnoses top GP

Father Christmas 'almost certainly living with multiple morbidities which, if left untreated, can become increasingly distressing and debilitating'

Alex Matthews-King
Saturday 23 December 2017 01:38
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Santa needs a 'vastly healthier diet' and to get a grip of his binge drinking
Santa needs a 'vastly healthier diet' and to get a grip of his binge drinking

Father Christmas is likely to need a health check after centuries of mince pie and sherry binging, according to a festive prescription from the chair of the Royal College of GPs.

Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard said Lyme disease, from tick-infested reindeer, as well as gout and alcoholism from his sedentary seasonal indulgence are just some of the serious ailments St Nick could be afflicted with.

In a Christmas intervention worthy of a Dr Seuss character, the Lichfield GP said drinking too much this winter could lead to present mix-ups and mental health problems in the longer-term.

While leaving out mince pies could be fuelling the obesity epidemic, she joked.

Professor Stokes-Lampard told the Press Association: “He’s overweight and all of us do our bit to add to his obesity by leaving mince pies and cookies for him and milk or alcohol.

“He may have gout, he may have alcoholism – there’s a real bit of binge drinking going on.

“There are also issues with sleep deprivation, work stress, his mental health.

“Lyme disease is another potential one as reindeer can carry ticks.”

Centuries of sherry-drinking, munching on mince pies and gruelling night shifts will mean he could be overdue a health check.

Professor Stokes-Lampard offered advice on how Father Christmas could shed pounds by running between houses rather than taking a ride on his sleigh.

She added: “Although he sets a brilliant example of good behaviour and teaches the importance of giving rather than receiving, he could probably do more to encourage healthy lifestyles – something youngsters and adults alike can benefit from.

“Santa is almost certainly living with multiple morbidities which, if left untreated, can become increasingly distressing and debilitating.

“If Mr Claus was a patient at my practice, I would be encouraging him to adopt a vastly healthier diet and take more exercise in the new year.

“I’d also be keen to address his binge drinking, something which many people – perhaps even unknowingly – tend to do while celebrating Christmas.

“The human body can only process one unit of alcohol per hour, which means excessive consumption could make Santa drunk very quickly. This not only increases the likelihood of him slipping in the snow or mixing up important presents, but could also lead to long-term issues affecting his mood and mental health.

“In the meantime, I would recommend that Santa gives the sherry a miss this year – and maybe asks Rudolph if he can share his carrots.”

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