Have you ever counted the advertisements you see every day for alcohol? They are literally everywhere, and they are always depicting individuals from every walk of life drinking alcoholic beverages without a care in the world.
Whether the advertisement is taking place somewhere on an island in paradise or at a person’s backyard barbeque, the vibe of the scenario is always the same: jovial, lighthearted, carefree.
But what about the obvious health risks associated with excessive alcohol consumption? The ever-expanding statistics regarding binge drinking and alcoholism point to the risk of lifelong physical health issues, not a perpetual party.
The fact of the matter is that consuming copious amounts of alcohol will not automatically lead to a worry-free lifestyle, but instead establish a pattern of worrisome behaviors and addictive habits. And these habits can have dire consequences years after the party is over.
When it comes to alcohol and your heart, attention must be paid. Keep reading to learn about the potential health risks associated with alcohol dependence –with a focus on the heart –and the negative realities of longstanding alcohol addiction.
Heart Damage from Alcohol
While some health experts may say occasional, controlled drinking is good for your heart, it’s the extreme and chronic alcohol consumption that will expose the link between alcohol and heart disease.
Drinking an excessive amount of alcohol sets into motion a number of concerning health issues in relation to heart function.
- For men, heavy drinking is more than four drinks a day or more than 14 drinks per week.
- For women, excessive drinking is more than three drinks a day or more than seven drinks per week.
Chronic alcohol consumption can raise the levels of triglycerides within the bloodstream, leading to increased blood pressure, cardiomyopathy (disease of the heart muscles) and cardiac arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm).
What most people don’t understand is that chronic alcohol addiction weakens and thins the heart muscle, negatively affecting its ability to pump blood efficiently. This blood flow disruption forces the entire body to overcompensate, which negatively impacts the functioning of all other organ systems and your overall physical homeostasis.
The toxic effect that alcohol addiction has on the heart muscles creates a situation in which the heart begins to expand when it cannot pump out the blood appropriately.
This dysfunctional reaction to excessive alcohol use causes the heart to become thinned and enlarged, resulting in any combination of the following symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Swelling of the legs
- A rapid and irregular pulse
- Dizziness or fainting
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and are regularly exceeding the above-mentioned number of alcoholic beverages per week, contact your doctor right away.
Prompt treatment can help prevent the disease from getting worse and developing into a more serious condition.1
Alcohol & Heart Attacks: Can Alcoholism Lead to a Heart Attack?
All recent studies on alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction point to the fact that abuse and addiction can increase the risk of severe heart conditions and even heart attacks among chronic users.
In fact, chronic alcohol use was associated with a 40 percent higher risk of heart attack and excessive drinking was attributed to a twofold greater risk of atrial fibrillation.
This is due to the strain placed on the heart over an extended amount of time, forcing the organ to increase its workload in order to process the toxic effects of alcohol on the body.
In addition, people with physical health issues, or genetic predispositions to serious physical ailments, need to understand that their susceptibility to serious alcohol-induced heart issues is harder to quantify and predict. Those precipitating factors include:
- A personal or family history of liver disease or pancreatitis
- A personal or family history of stroke or high triglycerides
- A personal or family history of diabetes
taking the time to research and discuss your family history of physical health and substance addiction can help in avoiding the detrimental consequences associated with alcoholism.
Holistic Alcohol AddictionTreatment at Ranch Creek Recovery
Excessive alcohol consumption and chronic alcohol abuse do not result in a perfect, care-free life. On the contrary, developing an alcohol use disorder progressively deteriorates your physical body, disrupting the natural way in which it functions and destroying your ability to maintain a normal and happy existence.
Opening your eyes to this reality before it is too late can help initiate the healing process and potentially save your life.
At Ranch Creek Recovery, you can quit your alcohol addiction, reclaim control over your health and body and prepare to forge a sober, thriving life.
As a non-12-step rehab and holistic treatment center, a large component of our treatment program is rooted in cognitive behavioral therapy and holistic, experiential addiction treatment. Our team of treatment experts will work one-on-one with you to create a custom treatment plan that will meet you right where you’re at and help you achieve your desired goal.
Learn more about our alcohol treatment program or contact us today to get your questions answered about our all-encompassing approach to alcohol addiction treatment.CALL NOW: (877) 293-8607
1.American Heart Association. Alcohol and Heart Health. Accessed September 16, 2018.
2. Journal of the American College of Cardiology.Alcohol Abuse and Cardiac Disease.Accessed September 16, 2018.
3. Cleveland Clinic. Alcohol & Your Heart Health. Accessed September 16, 2018.