The Effects of Alcohol on the Heart

Alcoholism is not a rare phenomenon. Indulging in the beverage in parties seems to have become a norm. If you limit the amount you intake, it might not pose a severe threat, but it is important to realize that if matters get out of hand, you might find yourself facing a rather grave situation.

In this article, we are going to shed some light on the effect that alcohol has on the heart. The beverage is closely related to your heart condition and can prove to be both the boon and bane of the heart. There are some situations where it proves to be a blessing and in others, it can turn out to be detrimental to your health.

The Benefits That Might Come Your Way

Drinking a limited amount of the beverage can prove to be beneficial to your heart. According to the American Heart Association, alcohol serves to increase the concentration of HDL in the heart. As is well known, HDL is the cholesterol that works in the favor of your health.

Alcohol also plays a role in lowering your blood pressure and prevents blood from clotting, due to which the chances of a heart attack might be reduced. In addition to this, it also plays a pivotal role in protecting your body against the damage that LDL might cause to your body.

When Problems Might Be Encountered

Problems arise when you start drinking heavily. According to the British Heart Foundation, people should strive to ensure that they do not consume more than 14 units of alcohol in a week and endeavor to make sure that there are many alcohol-free days within every week. The major problem arises when you end up being addicted to the beverage as it is then that your heart is more likely to face the repercussions of your addiction.

The Women’s Heart Foundation has elaborated on the characteristics that you need to be aware of when it comes to alcoholism. Often, people do not realize that they have become addicted to the habit and when the realization does strike, it is too late to turn back.

For one thing, the person would have a strong urge to consume more and more alcohol. The urge would be so strong that he would not be able to suppress the temptation and would eventually succumb to it. He can only focus on satisfying the urge. It is his top priority, and he is unable to think beyond it.

Irrespective of the duration that the alcoholic has been sober for, there is always a chance that the tide of alcoholism would again sweep him away if he gives in to this urge.

Serious Effects of Alcoholism

Drinking heavily has a direct toxic effect on the heart. Doing so over a prolonged duration can lead to damage of the heart with problems such as elevated blood pressure, alcoholic cardiomyopathy that refers to an enlarged and weakened the heart, congestive heart failure, and stroke.

It is essential to understand that everyone is different and has a different capacity to withstand alcohol. What is moderate for one person might be heavy for the other. It is quite important to take the required precautions if you are indulging in the beverage.

There are people with certain conditions who are advised strictly against the consumption of alcohol. These include patients with heart disease, cardiomyopathy, hypertension, diabetes, arrhythmia, and prior history of stroke.

Alcohol can be extremely harmful to some people. Talk to your doctor if you have one of these conditions and aren’t sure whether you should drink or not. Obese people should also stay away from the beverage.