Long-Term Effects of Alcoholism on the Heart
How Alcohol Contributes to Heart Problems and Cardiovascular Disease
Despite its legal status, alcohol is a highly toxic drug, one that has a profound impact on the body. You may already be familiar with some of the adverse effects of alcoholism on your life, your family relationships, and your employment, but have you stopped considering the long-term effects of alcoholism on the heart?
The link between alcoholism and heart disease has long been established, and with every passing year, more evidence accumulates. If you or someone you care about has been struggling with their drinking, it is important to talk to them about their drinking and their heart health.
Alcohol’s Affect on Heart Rate
If you are young and relatively healthy, you may not fully understand the long-term effects of alcoholism on the heart, but maybe you should. Alcohol can profoundly impact the heart rate, and over time, these heart rate fluctuations will weaken the heart muscle and create huge problems down the line.
When you drink, the alcohol coursing through your system can cause a temporary increase in your heart rate and your blood pressure. The long-term use of alcohol will weaken the heart muscle over time, create real problems, and increase the risk of a fatal heart attack or devastating stroke.
If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, call WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab today at 877.969.1993 to learn how we can help.
How Alcohol Affects Blood Pressure
If you have high blood pressure, alcohol use could create a dangerous situation, especially if you drink to excess. When you drink even a little bit, the alcohol will temporarily raise your blood pressure, and this kind of spike can be dangerous for those who already have hypertension.
Even if your blood pressure is normal or low, the fluctuations could make other health issues more likely. Over time, the changes in your blood pressure caused by heavy drinking could prove dangerous – just another one of the long-term effects of alcoholism on the heart.
How Alcohol Affects the Heart Muscle
The heart is a muscle like any other, and over time it can weaken, especially if you challenge it through the use of alcohol and other drugs. Every time you drink, the alcohol you consume causes your blood pressure and heart rate to rise, putting more pressure on your heart.
Over time, this cycle of spikes can significantly weaken the heart muscle, raising the risk of heart failure and other devastating illnesses. Heart failure is a real risk among heavy drinkers, as are strokes, heart attacks, and potentially deadly blood clots.
Alcohol and Heart Rhythm
When you are healthy, your heart remains in a steady rhythm, beating away in your chest and keeping you alive. But when you drink, your body can respond with a change in heart rhythm, and those disruptions to heart rhythm will only get worse the more you drink.
In fact, this is one of the most dangerous long-term effects of alcoholism on the heart. When your heart rhythm changes, you can develop dangerous arrhythmias, alterations in your heart rate that can be dangerous or even life-threatening.
If you are worried about your health or the health of someone you care about, we encourage you to reach out to WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab today. We understand the long-term effects of alcoholism on the heart, circulatory system, and other parts of the body, and we have the training and resources needed to help you get sober.
Cardiovascular Diseases Caused by Alcohol Abuse
Despite its legal status and widespread societal acceptance, alcohol is a highly toxic substance, and experts say it is one of the world’s most dangerous drugs. The long-term effects of alcoholism on the heart can be incredibly serious, and they include potential killers like:
- Heart attacks
- Blood clots
- Elevated cholesterol levels
- Irregular heartbeat
- Changes in heart rhythm
Preventing Alcohol-Induced Cardiovascular Disease
Heart disease is already an epidemic in the United States, and it is safe to say that the excessive use of alcohol is a contributing factor.
As with any type of disease, the best defense against alcohol use disorder and the best way to fight the long-term effects of alcoholism on the heart is with a strategy of prevention. Preventing alcoholism in the first place or stopping a drinking problem before addiction sets in begins with educating yourself. We encourage you to reach out to our staff for more information. Whether you are concerned about your own drinking or that of someone you care about, we urge you to contact us or visit one of our locations today.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.