Afib and alcohol: Holiday Heart?

Posted by catmom777 @catmom777, Mon, Mar 18 8:59am

The last time I was at the ER I asked the doctor what causes afib, and she said the #1 cause is alcohol abuse. She said that’s why it’s called the Holiday Heart. Has anyone else been told that? I did not consider myself an alcoholic. I had usually 1.5 glasses of wine after dinner about four nights a week, then I would not have any alcohol for a day or two. I did drink more when I was younger, but found as I got older if I drank more than 1.5 glasses in an evening, I didn’t feel good, so I cut back. I used to drink two glasses a night, and occasionally, maybe once a month, would get carried away, usually when I was with family or friends. Now I’m wondering how much harm I did to my heart without knowing it.

Don't drink or smoke, what's next?

Liked by dyannne, catmom777

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I don’t have afib but do have Supra Ventricular Tachycardia that happens when I go jogging. I’m replying as I’m a somewhat heavy wine drinker – 3/4 to full bottle/day. I’m 78. I’m sure I’m pushing my luck!!

Liked by catmom777

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I have never used alcohol and have AFIB and A flutter. I suggest you see a cardiologist. The ER doc is probably not qualified to give the kind of advice he gave you. I doubt if giving up your wine will solve your AFIB but it may help in other areas of your life

Liked by catmom777

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I havn't had a drop of alcohol in close to 20 years and I have afib. My ablation doc told me what caused my afib was that the electrical connections in my heart were metaphorically "rusty." And he had to ablate the "rust." When he did that the connections could be made and voila! my heart beat in perfect rhythm. Now as to what causes the "rusty" spots to occur, I havn't the slightest idea. For years I tried to figure out what made my heart go out of rhythm. Was it stress? No, on very stressful days my heart would beat regularly, and it would go out of rhythm when I was meditating and extremely calm. Was it the weather? No. It was out on hot days. It was out on cold days. Was it food? No. It was out when I ate Mexican food. It was in when I ate Mexican food. Was it when I exercised? No. It was out when I went to the gym. It was out when I didn't go to the gym. I don't think anyone knows why it goes out. Am I wrong?

Liked by lcgh, catmom777

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@hankwin

I have never used alcohol and have AFIB and A flutter. I suggest you see a cardiologist. The ER doc is probably not qualified to give the kind of advice he gave you. I doubt if giving up your wine will solve your AFIB but it may help in other areas of your life

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I was diagnosed 3/8 after calling an ambulance & going to the ER. I see my regular doctor at 11 am today and then get a referral but I understand it takes about six weeks to see the cardiologist, so I may not have any answers for six more weeks. After thinking long and hard about it, I cannot believe that two glasses of wine would do this to my heart, unless I have been under stress and there were other factors as well. I'm not a heavy drinker. But, thanks for responding. This is an interesting journey so far. It's scary. I have been reading it can reduce your life span too. I was shooting for living for 20 more years, but between this and my osteoporosis I'll be lucky to make it 15 more. I wanted to see all my grandchildren grow up and be mobile and not have dementia–but we all can't get what we want.

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@ronbyrd

I don’t have afib but do have Supra Ventricular Tachycardia that happens when I go jogging. I’m replying as I’m a somewhat heavy wine drinker – 3/4 to full bottle/day. I’m 78. I’m sure I’m pushing my luck!!

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You are pushing your luck. I do miss my nightly glass of wine while watching the news. I'm going to miss it a lot when I go visit family. Wine is big part of our family get-togethers.

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Hi again, catmom! I wish I could drink wine but I am one of those people (maybe genetically predisposed) for whom alcohol is contraindicated. My heart will race and skip beats if I even have a bit of wine…or chocolate, too much sugar and any stimulant (Coke, coffee, tea, decongestants, epinephrine in dental freezing and stimulants in some supplements). It's all a matter of self education. Just keep away from these things and all should be well.
I, too was in the ER on a number of occasions when I first started with arrhythmia. I told you my daily aerobics story which cured my condition which the cardiologist had said was the worst AFib he had ever seen.
Believe me, if your GP thought your condition was serious, he/she would have sent you straight to emergency. As I told you, the cardiologist told me that he only treats one in ten of patients he sees who have arrhythmia, palpitations, tachycardia etc… (I was that one in ten) And unless it interferes with normal daily functioning in the sense of being short of breath or feeling dizzy etc…, he does not treat them.
My 38 year old daughter has some mild arrhythmia (and has for years) but still drinks alcohol and coffee. The day may come where her heart will tell her to stop.
The heart is strong and occasional skipped beats or racing don't necessarily mean it's about to stop. lol I think some of us are just more sensitive to stimulants. And the simplest solution is to cut them out which is not that great a hardship…and then carry on with life.

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@afrobin

Hi again, catmom! I wish I could drink wine but I am one of those people (maybe genetically predisposed) for whom alcohol is contraindicated. My heart will race and skip beats if I even have a bit of wine…or chocolate, too much sugar and any stimulant (Coke, coffee, tea, decongestants, epinephrine in dental freezing and stimulants in some supplements). It's all a matter of self education. Just keep away from these things and all should be well.
I, too was in the ER on a number of occasions when I first started with arrhythmia. I told you my daily aerobics story which cured my condition which the cardiologist had said was the worst AFib he had ever seen.
Believe me, if your GP thought your condition was serious, he/she would have sent you straight to emergency. As I told you, the cardiologist told me that he only treats one in ten of patients he sees who have arrhythmia, palpitations, tachycardia etc… (I was that one in ten) And unless it interferes with normal daily functioning in the sense of being short of breath or feeling dizzy etc…, he does not treat them.
My 38 year old daughter has some mild arrhythmia (and has for years) but still drinks alcohol and coffee. The day may come where her heart will tell her to stop.
The heart is strong and occasional skipped beats or racing don't necessarily mean it's about to stop. lol I think some of us are just more sensitive to stimulants. And the simplest solution is to cut them out which is not that great a hardship…and then carry on with life.

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Good morning afrobin. It's quite a journey already. My doc appointment is in a few hours and it's the beginning of finding out why I have it and what I can do about it. My heart was quiet for two days at least, maybe three, then last night while I was watching a British mystery I felt flutters. I got to sleep OK at about 9:30 or 10, but woke up at oneish with it beating somewhat irregular but HARD (although not as hard as that night I called the ambulance). I can't think of any triggers. For dinner I had corn tortillas fried in olive oil with pinto beans, sour cream, and Tabasco sauce for dinner, then a few Girl Scout cookies +chamomile tea. So, I guess my heart just does what it wants when it wants to.
Do you ever get chest pains (upper left chest about 4 inches below the clavicle)? I will be asking the GP about that today.
Also, late last week I got a phone call saying I have osteoporosis. I had a bone scan done. I am 65.

I lay in bed awake some nights wondering how long I'm going to live with these two conditions. I'm guessing 15 more years. I might get dementia anyway, so if I go out from a failing heart it's better than suffering many years with dementia. I used to work as a caregiver and made up my mind that going down the long hopeless road of dementia was not for me. So if I had my choice, a failed heart is the better choice. Do you think a lot about death too? I am feeling like I am a morbid person, but with getting hit with these serious and irreversible issues all of a sudden, I'm too preoccupied with it. I started my bucket list yesterday.

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Never heard that – but I do know that since my husband has reduced his alcohol consumption he snores less.

Liked by catmom777

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A Holiday Heart? Seems to me that if one had a holiday heart it should be connected with chocolates, flowers, presents. I've had afib for 2 years which earned me 3 visits to the ER and two hospital stays. Not one medical person said it was related to alcohol because it isn't so. Afib is probably hereditary. I was sick for a month and half before it was diagnosed. If a medical condition is that difficult to isolate before treatment how could anyone so quickly say it's alcohol related. Doesn't figure. I don't drink and I never have except the time I accidentally got into my dad's hard cider when I was 13. That was a shocker. A cardiologist would not tell you it's alcohol related. Best to you.

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Hi, im not sure about afib or alcohol but before my heart transplant i had ventricular tachacardia and at first it was well controlled with a pacemaker and anti arrythmia drugs. Back then i drank probably more than i should and most of my doctor's limited me to 1-2 beers a day. Well 2 problems with that was i would have 2 but very large 2. About 2015 i had a very bad bout with arrythmias my pace maker had to shock me about 8 times over a few hour period befor i got to the hosp and on some stronger drugs to get my Heart back in rythum. Scariest day of my life. Well between my faith in the Lord i gave up drinking. I didn't take the drs serious enough and kept pushing it. Im so glad i did because i truly believe God got my attention and maybe i would not be here. But also i thi k i damaged my heart and 2 years later it finially gave out. Luckily i was eligible for a heart transplant which BTW you can't dri k at all with a transplant. So i figure the Good Lord was preparing me for this period i my life. Im turning 60 next week and i don't think i would be here if for not listening to God and my doctors about alcohol.

Liked by catmom777

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@dorothynoz45

A Holiday Heart? Seems to me that if one had a holiday heart it should be connected with chocolates, flowers, presents. I've had afib for 2 years which earned me 3 visits to the ER and two hospital stays. Not one medical person said it was related to alcohol because it isn't so. Afib is probably hereditary. I was sick for a month and half before it was diagnosed. If a medical condition is that difficult to isolate before treatment how could anyone so quickly say it's alcohol related. Doesn't figure. I don't drink and I never have except the time I accidentally got into my dad's hard cider when I was 13. That was a shocker. A cardiologist would not tell you it's alcohol related. Best to you.

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I wound up in the ER again last Saturday morning and asked the doctor then too what the relationship was between alcohol and afib. He said that afib can happen to a person who very much abuses alcohol, but in my case, with 1.5 to two glasses a night, he doubted it. Because I felt so horrible, they admitted me. It turns out my sodium level was 127 when the minimum is 136, so they put me on a saline drip all night to get my sodium level back up and to monitor me. They took my blood every six hours. But, I'm scared straight as they say. I have not touched alcohol since 3/7, the night before my initial afib episode from hell. I had another bad night last night with the pounding heart, but got up a few times and my BP was normal. My heart rate got up to 82, which is fast for me. I don't know what that was about. I only have afib incidents at night. Curiously my heart RATE was steady. It was just a pounding and fast heartbeat. I woke up this morning feeling awful again, but took a few Himalayan salt crystals before I ate breakfast and after lunch felt somewhat normal again. I am beginning to wonder though if I'll ever feel NORMAL again. I have brief moments of feeling decent, but most of the time feel a bit out of it. I hope all this equalizes eventually. I blame the Eliquis, but I might never know for sure because the docs say I will probably be on it the rest of my life.
No matter what though. I am so sorry for whatever I did to put me in this spot. I was also diagnosed with osteoporosis right after being diagnosed with afib, so I'm feeling extremely sorry for myself right now. I'm trying not to get depressed, but it's hard. I live alone and don't have many friends here. I feel so sad. I do appreciate all of you though. It helps to hear other peoples' stories. Some of your stories are way worse than mine. Maybe you can tell me though, am I ever going to feel good again?

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@danab

Hi, im not sure about afib or alcohol but before my heart transplant i had ventricular tachacardia and at first it was well controlled with a pacemaker and anti arrythmia drugs. Back then i drank probably more than i should and most of my doctor's limited me to 1-2 beers a day. Well 2 problems with that was i would have 2 but very large 2. About 2015 i had a very bad bout with arrythmias my pace maker had to shock me about 8 times over a few hour period befor i got to the hosp and on some stronger drugs to get my Heart back in rythum. Scariest day of my life. Well between my faith in the Lord i gave up drinking. I didn't take the drs serious enough and kept pushing it. Im so glad i did because i truly believe God got my attention and maybe i would not be here. But also i thi k i damaged my heart and 2 years later it finially gave out. Luckily i was eligible for a heart transplant which BTW you can't dri k at all with a transplant. So i figure the Good Lord was preparing me for this period i my life. Im turning 60 next week and i don't think i would be here if for not listening to God and my doctors about alcohol.

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Wow, you are lucky to be alive!! Did you get a heart transplant? I would think it's hard to get one and that there's a long waiting list. If you got you, you are extremely lucky.

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@catmom777

Wow, you are lucky to be alive!! Did you get a heart transplant? I would think it's hard to get one and that there's a long waiting list. If you got you, you are extremely lucky.

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@catmom yes last January 2018. Thanks. My heart condition had gotten to the point iv drugs could not stop the arrythmias. I am thankful for the heart i received life even tho there are rules you have to follow and ill be on anti rejection meds for my who life I still thank God for a new release on life. But also realize im not an expert on afib but i know someone that has it and the problems you deal with are different. I guess there can be issues with cloti g. I mainly want to point out that alcohol is a factor if abused.

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@danab

@catmom yes last January 2018. Thanks. My heart condition had gotten to the point iv drugs could not stop the arrythmias. I am thankful for the heart i received life even tho there are rules you have to follow and ill be on anti rejection meds for my who life I still thank God for a new release on life. But also realize im not an expert on afib but i know someone that has it and the problems you deal with are different. I guess there can be issues with cloti g. I mainly want to point out that alcohol is a factor if abused.

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I don't know if I'll ever know if my alcohol use caused this. The docs and nurses said no, but I'm very small and older, so I think maybe it did. Nobody in my family has afib so I know it's not genetic. I have been under a LOT of stress in my life thanks to picking the wrong men and the jobs I had, but I haven't been under significant stress for a few years. The thing is that I know several people who drink more wine than I did and they do fine–no problems, so unless my size is a factor, maybe I just drew a bad card and wound up with afib. It really sucks though that there is no going back and that I'll probably be on blood thinners the rest of my life. In two weeks I found out I have two irreversible potentially fatal medical conditions when all these years I thought I was so healthy. I have eaten a Mediterranean diet for almost all my life, did a lot of physical work, walked a lot, hiked, biked, was in shape for decades (not so much now though), so it doesn't make any sense. With the osteoporosis at least I know the culprit–not enough vitamin D, and that makes sense. But with this afib, nothing makes any sense. But, at least we're alive, right? We have something to be thankful for. I know a guy who almost bought the farm with a stroke. He lost his vision, hollered to his GF, and that's all he remembered for five days. It took him over a year to recover enough to function OK and I still don't think he can drive because his vision was compromised, but he's alive.

Liked by danab

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