Over the past several decades, research has shown that alcohol may be associated with mortality due to heart disease in some areas. The American Heart Association has identified drinking in moderation as key to one’s safety, meaning an average of one to two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women. Consider the last time you spoke with your physician – what did they say about your heart health? Some heart conditions can be severely affected by alcohol consumption.
Alcohol has been shown to increase one’s heart rate, making it very dangerous for people who have heart conditions that already involve a faster heart rate. For example, a 2018 study published in European Society of Cardiology found that individuals with heart conditions may trigger arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythm) if alcohol is consumed. Researchers from the study suggested that alcohol may create an imbalance between a person’s sympathetic system (fight or flight response) and parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digestion). How exactly does alcohol affect the body?
When alcohol is consumed, 20% is absorbed through the bloodstream through the stomach, and 80% is absorbed from the small intestine. Too much alcohol can cause an increase in triglycerides (fat) in the blood, in addition to heightened blood pressure, risk for heart failure, diabetes, and obesity if too many calories are consumed. Binge drinking may also lead to a stroke, which is why it’s incredibly important to monitor your consumption. Does this mean that drinking is altogether bad for you? Not exactly.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) confirms that drinking in moderate amounts – as described above – has been shown to promote changes in the levels of molecules that reduce the risk of heart disease, perhaps even more so than not drinking altogether. However, excessive drinking can result in higher risks for heart and other health complications. If you have been struggling with alcoholism, make the decision to seek help today.
Therapy is a primary component of treatment for rehabilitation from a substance use disorder and/or mental health disorder. Attending treatment with certified clinicians and counselors is critical for a full recovery. At one of New Vista Behavioral Health’s treatment providers, you are receiving exceptional care, held to a higher standard. Our programs result in better outcomes, ensuring a better recovery. For information call us today: 888-316-3665.