Conquering addiction can be a difficult task for anybody. Getting rid of any addiction is a tedious and demanding process. Although difficult, success can be achieved with determination. Read more
Binge drinking and alcoholism are dangerous for the body as they damage internal organs and cause disorders and illnesses. The heart is an important organ of the human body and performs functions that are essential for its proper functioning. Excessive alcohol consumption is harmful to the heart.
We have talked about the ill-effects of alcohol on the brain, the liver, and the pancreas in the previous articles of this series. This time, we will explore the effect of excessive alcohol on the heart.
How does the heart function?
The cardiovascular system is made up of the heart, blood vessels, and blood. This is the only system in the body that works incessantly every second of the day. It delivers oxygen and nutrients to the cells and removes carbon dioxide and other waste products from them.
The heart is at the center of this important process. It contracts and relaxes continually, pushing the blood through the veins and arteries. It beats nearly 100,000 times a day and pumps about 2,000 gallons of blood every day.
There are two sides, or chambers, in the heart. One of these receives blood and the other pumps it back into the body. The right ventricle sends blood to the lungs to remove carbon dioxide in exchange for oxygen for the cells.
When the heart relaxes, the blood is sent back into its left ventricle. The heart then pumps the oxygenated blood to the body’s tissues and organs. Blood that goes through the kidneys allows the body to expel waste products. The heart follows electrical signals to pump continuously and at the proper speed to perform these tasks.
What are the effects of alcohol on the heart?
Alcohol consumption affects the heart in more ways than one. While heavy drinking weakens its muscles, it also affects the signaling system, resulting in a change in the pattern of the heartbeat. This results in critical illnesses, some of which include:
Hypertension/ irregular blood pressure
Binge drinking causes high blood pressure or hypertension. Hypertension occurs when the blood vessels stiffen. Too much drinking results in an increase of certain hormones which constrict the blood vessels.
Alcohol consumption may result in strokes even in the absence of coronary heart disease. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) highlighted that people who binge drink are 56 percent more likely to suffer an ischemic stroke within a period of 10 years. These people are also 39 percent more likely to suffer some form of stroke than those who never indulge in binge drinking.
Alcoholic cardiomyopathy occurs due to the weakening of the heart muscles. Due to this, neither can the heart contract effectively nor pump sufficient blood to the organs. This causes severe damage to the organs and tissues.
Alcohol can disturb this internal pacemaker system of the human body, causing the heart to beat too rapidly. This anomaly is known as arrhythmias. There are two types of arrhythmias that result due to alcohol abuse, namely:
Ventricular Tachycardia – Alcohol-induced damage can send a large number of signals to the lower part of the heart, causing too many contractions. As a result, the body may not get enough blood. Ventricular tachycardia may cause dizziness, cardiac arrest, and even death.
Atrial fibrillation – When the upper chambers of the heart shudder weakly but fail to contract, blood can collect and even clot in the chambers. If a clot travels to the brain, stroke can occur or if it travels to any other part of the body, it can result in blockage.
Get help if you are an alcoholic
Alcoholism can not only lead to a heart malfunction but may result in death. If you feel that your addiction is serious, you can get treated at one of the alcohol addiction treatment centers in U.S.A. Call our 24/7 Alcohol Addiction Get Help Helpline at 866-281–3014, to know about the best alcohol addiction treatment centers in U.S.A. or chat online with our experts to know more about alcohol addiction treatment centers.
Read the other articles of the series “What lies beyond hangovers”:
Liver dysfunction and failure is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. According to a survey, nearly 2 million people in the country are living with alcohol-induced liver diseases. The number is growing and there are reasons to believe that it will become the next epidemic of the 21st century. Read more
Women are more susceptible to the damaging health effects of alcohol when compared to men. This is due to the fact that women are generally smaller in stature and have less body water than men.
Women go to college to receive a higher education and make a better future for themselves, but the campus drinking culture in America can sometimes turn their dreams into tragedy. There is currently an epidemic of sexual assault on college campuses that has its roots in excessive alcohol consumption. According to the Massachusetts Bar Association’s article “Underage drinking and sexual assaults,” between 20 and 25 percent of college women will experience an attempted or completed rape. Alcohol abuse leads to more than 100,000 sexual assaults on college women each year.
College is the first opportunity for many students to indulge themselves while being away from parental supervision, but the choices that many adolescents make with this freedom can have serious consequences. A report by the The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University entitled “Wasting the best and the brightest: Substance abuse at America’s colleges and universities” reveals a shocking amount of alcohol and substance abuse taking place on college campuses. This culture of excess has created a public health crisis at our nation’s highest academic institutions.
A college student’s 21st birthday is a major milestone representing a step further into adulthood, but for many students this day can turn into a disaster. When people turn 21, they gain the legal right to purchase alcohol in the United States and many students take advantage of this right by going on an alcohol binge. A growing trend on campus life is the drinking game “21 for 21,” in which the birthday celebrant attempts to drink 21 alcoholic beverages in one sitting. Binge drinking on this scale can be extremely hazardous for a person’s health, especially those with little to no experience drinking alcohol. Before young people go out drinking on their 21st birthday, they should be aware of the risks. Read more
Chronic drinking can have terrible effects on a person’s health. Many consequences of alcoholism are well known, such as liver and cardiovascular damage. However, one recent study by the National Institute of Health (NIH) has discovered that excessive alcohol consumption can reduce the body’s ability to repair its own muscles, causing muscle weakness and degeneration over time. These findings shed new light on the harm that alcoholism can inflict as well as provide information for the development of new treatments.
Suicide is the second most common cause of death for people aged 14 to 25 and alcohol only makes the problem worse (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Alcohol is widely known to be a contributing factor in suicide for people of all ages. Alcoholics are up to 120 times as likely to commit suicide as those without a drinking problem and alcohol contributes to about one in every four suicides (National Center for Biotechnology Information). Because teens are particularly at risk of suicide, underage drinking can be extremely hazardous to their physical and mental health. It’s important to understand the dangers that alcohol can pose to teens in order to curb the epidemic of teen suicide. Read more
Alcoholism is one of the most common substance disorders in the United States, with nearly one-third of the population experiencing a drinking disorder at some point in their lives. A new study by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) has found that the number of people with drinking problems has risen dramatically over a period of ten years. These findings reveal troubling new insights into the epidemic of alcohol abuse throughout the nation. Read more
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