Alcohol’s Toll on the Heart: Bigger, Not Better

Chronic alcohol consumption can cause multi-organ damage including myocardial dysfunction. There are no specific targeted histological or immunological biomarkers for the diagnosis of alcohol-induced cardiomyopathy. The key diagnostic element is the absence of coronary artery disease. Although health risks vary from person to person, heart disease is prominent. Heart disease covers a wide range of heart issues and can lead to heart attacks. Eight hours after your last cigarette, your blood oxygen levels are already increasing, and within a few weeks, lung function improves by as much as 30 percent.

So, it’s important to think about your overall health and talk to a healthcare provider about your personal risk factors. If these conditions are left untreated, they can lead to blood clots that can form in blood vessels in the heart and brain. This causes an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, both of which can be fatal. The outlook for people with alcoholic cardiomyopathy varies depending on how long alcohol was abused and how much alcohol was consumed during that time. In cases where the damage to the heart is severe, the chances of complete recovery are low.

Dilated cardiomyopathy

Data suggests patients with successful quitting of alcohol have improved overall outcomes with a reduced number of inpatient admissions and improvement in diameter size on echocardiogram. Some studies have suggested that even moderation of alcohol consumption similar outcomes as compared to abstinence. The key to diagnosis is a personal history of chronic heavy alcohol use and the absence of other etiologies.

When your heart can’t pump blood efficiently, the lack of blood flow disrupts all your body’s major functions. This can lead to heart failure and other life-threatening health problems. Some doctors will advise people with congestive heart failure (CHF) to avoid alcohol, particularly in large quantities. Although the compounds in red wine may be beneficial for heart health, the risks for someone with heart failure may outweigh these benefits. If you do drink, talk with your doctor about the benefits and risks of consuming alcohol in moderation. Some people should not drink at all, like women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant, people under age 21 and people with certain health conditions.

Signs and symptoms

There is some evidence that moderate amounts of alcohol might help to slightly raise levels of “good” HDL cholesterol. Researchers have also suggested that red wine, in particular, might protect the heart, thanks to the antioxidants it contains. The short-term effects of alcohol (headache, nausea, you know the rest) are easy to pinpoint. But there are ways that alcohol affects your body over time that are important to understand.

alcohol and enlarged heart