Alcohol Treatment Center in Arizona Explores The Effects of Alcohol on the Heart
Your life is dependent on the health of your heart. The steady hum of this vital organ pumps blood and oxygen throughout your body, ensuring that you can complete the essential functions of life. When this organ’s functioning is compromised, so too is your health. Without a healthy heart, your body would not be able to run like the well-oiled machine that it is. Heart health is why it’s so important to be mindful about your alcohol usage and to seek help at an alcohol treatment center in Arizona if you’re drinking has gotten out of hand.
I Thought Alcohol was GOOD for my Heart?
Maybe you think that alcohol is good for the heart, isn’t that what many studies have said? A glass of wine a day keeps the doctor away, or something like that? According to researchers, alcohol in moderation can be helpful to your heart health. Moderation is defined, however, as one drink per day for women and one per day for men.
Most studies look at moderate drinking and give advice based on this, without discussing the effects of heavier imbibing. If you are someone who drinks heavily, you may be facing some dangerous consequences, even if your drinking has only been heavy for a short amount of time.
Moderation or Heavy Drinking or Binge Drinking
We’re going to dive deeper into the effects of alcohol on the heart, but first, let’s look at what doctors and other medical professionals consider to be heavy drinking.
Heavy alcohol consumption is:
- Men: Five or more drinks in one sitting, or 15 drinks over one week
- Women: Four or more drinks in one sitting, or eight drinks over one week
Binge drinking is also important to note. While binge drinkers may only do so on occasion, the effects can mirror that of regular heavy drinking.
Binge drinking is:
- Men: Five or more drinks two hours or less
- Women: Four or more drinks in two hours or less
When you are drinking heavily regularly or binge drinking, you may have noticed negative repercussions in your personal life. But, you’re not just facing issues with your relationships – you may also be doing damage to your body. Excessive, regular consumption of alcohol can considerably hinder the delicate processes in your body, especially the health of your heart.
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How Heavy Alcohol Consumption Harms the Heart
Blood Pressures Changes
Heavy drinking is one of the many factors that can lead to high blood pressure or hypertension. When your blood pressure is high, this puts undue stress on the arteries and makes them less elastic, which can lead to heart disease, strokes, and heart attacks.
Weakening of the Muscle
The heart is one of the strongest muscles in your body. Just like every other muscle, it functions better when it is in good shape. When you drink copious amounts of alcohol, the heart has to work harder to complete its normal functions. This weakens the heart, which is called cardiomyopathy. The center of your body will have to work harder and harder, making pumping blood throughout your body a much more arduous task. Eventually, this can lead to heart failure.
Elevated Heart Rate
Alcohol can also interfere with the internal pacemaker in your body, leading the heart to start pumping faster. Electrical signals control your internal pacemaker, and researchers believe that alcohol interferes with these. Eventually, this interference can lead to atrial fibrillation, which is a precursor to strokes, blood clots, and even heart failure.
Heartbeat Becomes Irregular
Much like the issue of an elevated heart rate, heavy drinking can also lead to a heartbeat that isn’t steady. A rate that jumps around can also place unnecessary stress on your heart and lead to heart disease, heart failure, or stroke.
When you drink heavily, this can lead to weight gain. Being overweight or obese increases your risk of such cardiovascular issues as stroke, heart attack, and high blood pressure. All of these add up to an unhealthy heart.
Fundamentally, heavy drinking can weaken the heart and lead to a host of health issues ranging from high blood pressure to an irregular heartbeat to heart failure.
Getting Healthy by Seeking Help at an Alcohol Treatment Center in Arizona
If you or someone you love is a heavy drinker and are experiencing heart health issues, or you want to get healthy before these problems arise, then the path to wellness can start at Desert Cove Recovery. As an alcohol rehab in AZ, we offer outpatient treatment programs to help individuals break free from the shackles of alcohol addiction.
Through various forms of individual and group therapies, you can arm yourself with the right tools in your toolbox to quit excessive drinking and live a clean life free from alcohol. Through love, care, and connection, you can beat an addiction to alcohol and work towards a healthier heart and mind.
Get healthy from the inside out at Desert Cove Recovery. Contact us today to get the help you need and break the addiction cycle for good!
Sources: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/alcohol-and-heart-health-separating-fact-from-fiction  https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/moderate-binge-drinking  https://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/guide/heart-disease-alcohol-your-heart  https://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/about.htm  https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/alcohol-facts/health-effects-of-alcohol/diseases/alcohol-and-heart-disease/  https://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/atrial-fibrillation/atrial-fibrillation-alcohol