Heart problems are extremely dangerous, and most people who have felt any pain in their chest know how scary of a feeling it can be. Your heart is one of the most vital organs in the body, and heart palpitations are a sign that it isn’t as healthy as it could be.

Whether you’re a heavy alcohol drinker or just consume one or two drinks per day, you might wonder if heart palpitations result from alcohol consumption. With help from Steps to Recovery, learn more about the impacts of alcohol and how to be more responsible with one of the body’s most important organs.

Types of Irregular Heartbeat and Alcohol

Heart palpitations or irregular heartbeats (heart arrhythmia) occur when the electrical signals that dictate your heart’s beating fail to work properly. When your heart receives these faulty signals, it either beats too fast, too slow or in irregular beats.

Alcohol is a major cause of irregular heartbeats, and the severity of your alcohol abuse tends to determine the severity of the palpitations. Like any important organ, your heart is a complicated system, and there are plenty of locations where you can experience abnormal heart rhythms. The types of irregular heartbeats you can experience due to alcohol consumption are as follows:

  • Premature Atrial Contractions
  • Premature Ventricular Contractions (PVCs)
  • Atrial Flutter
  • Atrial Fibrillation
  • Accessory Pathway Tachycardias
  • Ventricular Fibrillation
  • Long QT Syndrome
  • Bradyarrhythmias
  • Heart Block

What the Research Says About Alcohol and Your Heart

Research has linked alcohol abuse to plenty of body and heart conditions. As you consume more alcohol, you increase your risk of heart palpitations. While it’s been widely concluded that small amounts of alcohol can provide heart benefits (red wine is known to help prevent heart disease and clogging), alcohol has also been a leading cause of problems like heart failure and high blood pressure.

Binge drinking has also led to a condition commonly referred to as “holiday heart syndrome,” as people often report irregular heartbeats after a heavy night of drinking. It’s important to remember that everyone’s body is different, and what you might respond to might be different than a friend or a partner. Some people experience little to no side effects after alcohol. Others consume large amounts of alcohol and report that their heart problems are usually a direct result of alcohol consumption. Regardless of what you do, don’t ignore your body’s calls for change.

How Can You Prevent or Reverse Alcohol Effects?

The best way to prevent the harmful effects of alcohol is to stop drinking. While it was once believed that moderate drinking levels weren’t as harmful, with cases of atrial fibrillation on the rise, doctors recommend cutting alcohol out of more and more diets. Most people who report feeling heart palpitations also describe it ceasing after refusing to drink. Abnormal heart rhythms are dangerous, and you don’t want to constantly have your heart in a state of dysfunction.

The wisest decision you can make is to listen to your body and avoid alcohol — even if you’re experiencing minor heart palpitations — or get rehabilitation for alcoholism from a local treatment center like Steps to Recovery.

Talk to Your Local Rehab Center About an Alcohol Detox Program

If you’re a heavy alcohol drinker, you’re at risk for more than just heart palpitations. Heavy drinking has cut many lives short, and the best way to combat that is with help from your local recovery center. At Steps to Recoverys sister program, Silver Pines, you’ll be placed on a medically supervised withdrawal program to ensure you keep your heart and other vital organs healthy and avoid the negative effects of alcohol addiction. If you or a loved one are in need of help, don’t wait until it’s too late. Call Steps to Recovery today at 267.209.7312.