Have you been asking yourself, is drinking alcohol bad for your heart? Determining the extent of damage done to your heart by alcohol has gotten tricky with experts weighing in on both the pros and the cons of slipping into a nightly wine habit.
In general, drinking alcohol is not good for you heart.
Excessive drinking can cause a range of problems, and it wreaks havoc on the body. Alcohol abuse has its worst effects on the liver, immune system and of course, the heart.
Heart health is already a primary concern for many people, so its no wonder that of-agers want the facts about alcohol and heart health and to know exactly what it’s doing to their bodies.
Why is alcohol bad for your heart?
Drinking alcohol excessively is bad for your heart because of the damage it causes to the heart’s artery walls and because of its correlation with high blood pressure.
Excessive drinking is not limited to chronic overuse; it also refers to the increasingly popular habit of binge drinking. Binge drinking refers to 4-5 drinks for women and 5+ for men within 2 hours. This amount of alcohol is heavy on the heart and often results in arrhythmia or an irregular heartbeat.
Can alcohol lead to heart disease?
Overconsumption of alcohol contributes to the build-up of fatty deposits on your artery walls; consequently, alcohol is linked to heart disease.
Heart disease can appear in a few ways; the most common manifestation of which is coronary heart disease. Coronary heart disease is caused by fat deposits building up on artery walls in the heart over time. If the walls get too thick, the artery passageway gets too narrow, and the heart cannot receive its supply of nutrition and oxygen. When the heart cannot receive oxygen, it cannot function properly and eventually, it can stop working.
Drinking increases blood pressure and weakens the heart muscle’s ability to pump blood throughout your body adequately.
Can drinking alcohol cause a heart attack?
In extreme cases, alcohol can lead to a heart attack and result in sudden death, but this is generally after fostering the conditions present in coronary disease.
What about research that says alcohol is good for your heart?
In small, disciplined volumes, alcohol can have some benefits for heart health. For example, five ounces of wine shows a positive effect by increasing cholesterol in the body (HDL), reducing bad cholesterol in the body (LDL) and potentially stopping blood from clotting, thus prevent heart attacks. However, research is still debated over the helpfulness of alcohol on your health, and it should be noted that the benefits reaped from alcohol stem from small doses consumed by typically middle-older-aged women.
In general, it is best to assume alcohol has a negative effect on your heart.
This effect is perpetuated when drinking excessively, drinking chronically or binge drinking. Protect your heart and health by drinking safely within your bodily limits, if at all.
United Recovery Project has the resources to help you or a loved one through the perils of addiction to alcohol and other dangerous substances. If you think you are in danger of heart disease or a heart attack due to overconsumption of alcohol, please reach out to our team to learn more about the resources we have to offer and hear about how we can help get your life back on track. It is never too late to start making progress toward recovery, get in touch today.