The Effects Of Alcohol On The Heart
Excess alcohol consumption is one of the leading substance abuse disorders around the world.
Alcohol is a depressant and it affects a persons mood, emotions, and behaviors. Most people know that drinking alcohol has a significant impact on the brain, triggering the reward system which creates feelings of pleasure and euphoria. However, fewer people know that alcohol also affects the heart, and can cause severe damage to the cardiovascular system.
Is Red Wine Healthy
Small amounts of alcohol may have a protective effect on your heart health, according to some research.
Of all the alcoholic drinks, red wine is considered the most healthy. Red wine contains antioxidants which may help to protect the lining of blood vessels in your heart.
A 2019 research review links drinking red wine with a lower risk of coronary heart disease. However, research to date does not prove a cause-effect relationship.
People who drink red wine may have other healthy habits, for example eating healthily and not smoking.
So, we cant say conclusively whether it is red wine itself that reduces heart disease risk, or other related factors. More research is needed.
The best we can say is that, as part of a mediterranean diet, red wine may have some heart health benefits. It is a healthier choice than other alcohol.
Alcohol And Heart Attacks: Know The Symptoms
With every alcoholic drink increasing your risk of irregular heartbeat , dismissing chest pain can have severe health implications; alcohol can trigger a heart attack or a stroke, so it is crucial that you know the signs. It is important to note that symptoms vary from person to person depending on factors such as gender and age. However, if any of the following major symptoms last for more than 15 minutes, get medical help immediately.;
- Chest pain this is the most common symptom, described as a crushing, tight pain that may then move to the jaw or left side of the body;
- Upper jaw, neck, back or arm pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Feeling anxious or very afraid
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Get Help For Alcohol Addiction
Maybe you have chest pain after drinking alcohol but you still cant seem to moderate your drinking or stop altogether. If this sounds like you, you may have alcohol use disorder . Alcohol addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease that requires more than just your willpower to overcome it. Youll likely need professional detox to stop drinking and residential or outpatient rehab to make positive behavioral changes that will help you stay sober.
Quitting alcohol and staying sober isnt easy, but its a life-changing decision that you surely wont regret. A medically-assisted alcohol detox program can ensure that you get sober safely and comfortably with professional support.
Start your new sober life today by calling 857-0557. A Briarwood admissions representative is waiting to take your call and answer any questions you have about alcohol detox treatment.
What Happens To Your Heart When You Drink Alcohol
You’ve certainly heard that red wine is good for your heartbut is that the case with all types of alcohol? Here’s a look at what happens to your heart when you consume beer, liquor, or wine.
Before we get into what science says about how your heart is affected by drinking too much alcohol, let’s first define what “too much” is: According to the 2020-2025 dietary guidelines for Americans, alcohol is a beverage to limit in your diet. If you choose to drink, moderate drinking is defined as a limit of 2 drinks per day for men and 1 drink per day for women.
A drink is defined as 12 fluid ounces of beer at 5% alcohol by volume , 5 fluid ounces of wine at 12% alcohol by volume, and 1.5 fluid ounces 80-proof distilled spirits 40% alcohol by volume. This means that if you are taking in “craft” alcoholic beverages and the percent alcohol by volume is higher, you could be taking in more than 1 serving. Some craft beers can have so much alcohol by volume that it equates to three servings of alcohol! Drinking too much alcohol certainly can have some serious health consequencesespecially on your heart. Read on, and for more on how to eat healthy, don’t miss 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.
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What To Do If Alcohol Is Causing Chest Pain
If you experience mild or severe heart pain after drinking, you should see a doctor. Doing so will ensure that you can identify any possible health problems or conditions as early as possible and get proper treatment. Ignoring the problem or delaying a visit to a medical health professional may result in serious health problems or more discomfort due to other physical symptoms.
Alcohol abuse can also trigger a heart attack, so if you experience any severe chest pain that radiates to other parts of your body , you have difficulty breathing, and the symptoms last for longer than 15 minutes, you should go to the hospital.8;
Excessive Alcohol Consumption Harms Your Heart
Most of the negative effects of alcohol on your heart come with heavy drinking or binge drinking, which is defined by the National Institutes of Health as more than four standard drinks per day, or five drinks in one setting.;
Heavy drinking can raise blood pressure and heart rate. One 2018 study found that women who drink heavily are three times more likely to have hypertension, while binge drinkers of both sexes are 70% more likely to have high blood pressure.;
In addition, the more you drink, the higher your heart rate will get. This increased heart rate may contribute to atrial fibrillation , an irregular heartbeat that increases risk for stroke and heart failure. Alcohol consumption is linked with increased risk for AFib, even at moderate levels. Heavy drinking can also lead to a condition called Holiday Heart Syndrome, where people experience AFib without having any history of the condition.;
Finally, heavy drinkers are also 1.5 times more likely than non-drinkers to experience a stroke, according to a 2017 review by the National Institutes of Health.;
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It Boosts Your Good Hdl Cholesterol Levels
One of the ways low to moderate wine drinking heart health is by boosting HDL cholesterol levels. Light to moderate drinking can raise good HDL cholesterol. Red wine is thought to be particularly beneficial as it can boost HDL while its polyphenols have been linked in some studies to help lower harmful, small dense LDL particles that are known to be drivers of coronary artery disease. In one study reported in the journal Circulation, 14 subjects participated in an alcohol trial, keeping all other dietary and lifestyle factors constant. The results found that daily moderate alcohol intake increased HDL cholesterol by an average of 18%, compared to when the subjects abstained from alcohol.
Fact: Overindulging In Alcohol Can Result In An Irregular Heartbeat
While alcohol in moderation is all right for most people, ;its important to be aware you can fall victim to holiday heart syndrome;if you overdo it. This is when overeating and overindulging in alcohol leads to an irregular heartbeat.
Holiday heart can;happen if you dont typically drink alcohol, but then have a few at a holiday party or you binge-drink and then develop an irregular heartbeat, called atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation increases your risk of;stroke,;heart attack;and;heart failure.
The American Heart Association recommends no more than one drink per day for women and two for men.
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Do You Need To Stop Drinking
Alcohol may be a popular casual drink, but it is still a drug. If someone suffers from alcohol use disorder , quitting alcohol must be a priority. Alcohol can cause several long term health issues, in addition to some of the personal challenges that come from the disorder. Please review the linked description of alcohol use disorder, and if you need help, review this link for treatments and resources.
If you are not struggling with alcohol addiction, cutting out drinking is more of a personal choice. Your panic attacks won’t go away completely if you cut out alcohol, although reducing your consumption may well reduce the frequency and intensity of your panic attacks, and those that quit drinking altogether may find that they feel better overall.
Alcohol is a drug like any other, and anything that affects your body like alcohol does has the potential to contribute a great deal to your panic attacks and anxiety more generally. For this reason, those that have panic attacks should strongly consider avoiding alcohol wherever possible.
Whether or not you drink, your panic attacks need to be addressed separately. Cutting out alcohol will help you cope better, and should reduce the likelihood of experiencing a panic attack, but it won’t stop them altogether. In order to truly take control of your panic attacks, you should make efforts to treat the underlying anxiety thatâs causing them in the first place.
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Cardiovascular Conditions That Can Be Caused By Alcohol Abuse
In addition to a short-term increase in the risk for a cardiovascular event, alcohol abuse can also wreak havoc on the heart in the long-term. Consuming large amounts of alcohol can cause chronic high blood pressure and increased heart rate. Additionally, alcohol abuse can weaken the heart muscles and cause irregular heartbeat. All of these factors can contribute to an elevated risk of heart problems.
The following are the cardiovascular conditions that can be directly caused by alcohol abuse:
All of these conditions can be caused or worsened by alcohol abuse. The longer a person abuses alcohol, the more likely he or she is to experience one or many of these heart problems. Having any of these conditions can increase a persons risk of a number of heart diseases.
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Causes Of Panic Attacks From Alcohol
Alcohol doesn’t directly cause panic attacks, in the sense that those with panic disorder suffer from panic attacks with or without alcohol. But alcohol can trigger and worsen panic attacks. There are several reasons for this, which will be discussed below; but the key thing to remember is that those with panic attacks suffer from an issue known as hypersensitivity.
Hypersensitivity is when a person is so sensitive to changes in their body that they can’t help but notice and be affected by them. Every day most of us experience minor aches, pains, heart rhythm changes, and so on. Most people barely notice them, or pass them off as if they’re not important. Those with panic attacks are far more likely to notice them, and this may result in a flood of anxiety that can lead to a panic attack.
Some of the ways that alcohol can contribute to panic attacks include:
Although alcohol doesn’t cause a panic attack directly, it does affect parts of the mind and body that ultimately may contribute to the development of a panic attack, and it does so with more frequency than other types of healthier beverages.
Coping With Hangover Chest Pain
People who have experienced chest hurts after drinking alcohol often recommend various remedies that may have worked for them such as:
- potassium, calcium, and sodium diet
- taking a steam bath
- taking lots of water
- use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Aspirin
These methods may vary in effectiveness from one person to another. The only way to cope with chest pain hangover is to seek professional help, or better yet one should pay attention to the amount of alcohol one consumes by keeping it moderate or at a minimal or simply abstain.
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Alcohol And Heart Health: Whats The Real Story
The problem with most alcohol-related research is that it consists almost entirely of observational studies that only show an association, according to Dr. J. Michael Gaziano, a preventive cardiologist with Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Womens Hospitals Division of Aging and VA Boston.
So far, the strongest evidence with heart health has shown that alcohol can increase levels of HDL cholesterol. HDL works to keep LDL cholesterol from clogging your arteries by moving it to the liver, where its broken down and removed from the body. Many studies have found that the combination of high HDL and low LDL levels protects against heart attacks and stroke. However, this is not the most important factor in preventing heart disease, and there are other ways to increase HDL than drinking alcohol, such as regular exercise, says Dr. Gaziano.
Does Excessive Drinking Contribute To Heart Disease
Heavy drinking, on the other hand, is linked to a number of poor health outcomes, including heart conditions. Excessive alcohol intake can lead to high blood pressure, heart failure or stroke. Excessive drinking can also contribute to;cardiomyopathy, a disorder that affects the heart muscle.
Whats more, alcohol can contribute to obesity and the long list of health problems that can go along with it, McEvoy says: Alcohol is a source of excess calories and a cause of weight gain that can be harmful in the long term.
The takeaway, McEvoy says, is what you probably already knew: If you choose to drink alcohol, stick to moderate levels of drinking, and dont overdo it. Were not talking about going out and drinking yourself merry and then expecting good heart outcomes, McEvoy says.
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Various Signs And Symptoms
There seem to be a few common manifestations of alcoholic cardiomyopathy that will help you detect it relatively early. Its worth noting, too, that cardiomyopathy always occurs without signs and is overlooked until alcoholic cardiomyopathy has advanced dramatically. When this happens, the symptoms often become similar to those of heart disease.
The below are among the risk factors to keep an eye out for:
- Inflammation throughout the abdomen, but particularly in the thighs, feet, and calves
- Loss of appetite in the patients of alcoholic cardiomyopathy
- Dizziness or trouble inhaling tends to happen most often when youre overly involved or falling asleep.;
- Prolonged exhaustion, exhaustion, or generalized exhaustion
- Coughing, which is drippy, pink-tinged, or includes phlegm
- Nighttime excretion is reduced, or youll have to vomit earlier than normal;
- Headaches of the abdomen in the victims of alcoholic cardiomyopathy
- A fast and erratic heartbeat
- Had frequent headaches or keeping aware;
Several of the possible side effects of alcoholic cardiomyopathy that could be discovered through a surgical test are stated below. The main side effects includes:;
- Unhealthy noises in the heart
- Sounds from the lungs that seem out of ordinary
- Inflammation of the ankles
- Swollen arteries in the neck
- Blood pressure that is too low
- Irregular heartbeat
Eventually, a certain incidence of heart disease caused by alcoholic cardiomyopathy that a careful analysis may find include:;
Does Alcohol Affect Everyone The Same Way
Alcohol affects people in different ways. For the most part, men can consume more alcohol than women before being considered impaired. Also, a persons weight and size plays a role in how they handle alcohol. Much of our bodies are water. Water dilutes alcohol, so the more water there is, the more diluted the alcohol becomes. This means a person on a smaller frame will experience more of the effects of alcohol than a person with a larger frame. Another consideration is genetics. Scientists have learned that humans have enzymes that control how alcohol affects the body, but not all humans have the gene that creates the enzymes or can create enough to deal with large amounts of alcohol. Those who have the gene and the enzymes can better handle alcohol than those who do not.
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Alcoholic Cardiomyopathy And Other Alcohol
Reviewed by Michael Espelin APRN
Alcohol is the most widely consumed addictive substance in the U.S. Heart disease is Americas most common cause of death. While these may seem like unrelated facts, decades of research point to a clear connection between alcohol and heart disease. Even moderate drinking can lead to significant changes in normal cardiac function. And when consumed in excessive amounts, alcohol can contribute to the onset of problems that include palpitations, alcoholic cardiomyopathy, an elevated heart rate, high blood pressure, heart attacks, and congestive heart failure.
Fact: Red Wine Is A Better Choice Than Hard Liquor But Avoiding Alcohol Is Best
Theres some evidence that drinking the occasional glass of;red wine may be;good for your;heart either by preventing heart disease or lowering your;risk of heart disease.
But;its not a good idea to start drinking alcohol in an effort to lower your risk of heart disease, Dr. Cho says.
Its better not to drink any alcohol at all, she says.
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What Is Heart Disease
There are lots of different types of heart disease. Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease and can lead to sudden death from a heart attack. Its caused by the gradual build-up of fatty deposits on the walls of the arteries in your heart on which blood clots may form. These deposits cause the artery to narrow, and make it harder for it to supply your heart muscle with the oxygen and nutrients which it needs to function normally.
Alcohol After A Heart Attack
Q. My husband was just released from the hospital after a mild heart attack. He’s never been much of a drinker, but now he wants to have wine with dinner every night. We’ve both heard that wine is good for the heart, but I’m worried that it may not be safe so soon after a heart attack. I hope you can either reassure me or restrain my husband.
A. Many, many medical studies have linked alcohol to a reduced risk of heart attacks, particularly in men over 60 and others at heightened risk. Although red wine gets most of the praise, white wine, beer, and liquor have similar effects, probably because all boost levels of HDL cholesterol to a similar degree. But if the type of alcohol doesn’t seem to matter, the amount does, since heavy drinking takes a toll on the heart and circulation, along with the liver and other organs. For men, the best “dose” is one to two drinks a day, counting 5 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer, or 1½ ounces of liquor as one drink. And in case you’re interested in joining your husband, women are best advised to limit themselves to one drink a day.
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