Mayo Clinic Connect
Hello there, I have heart failure, and I'd like to know if I can grab a few drinks with friends and also engage in sexual activities. Anyone?
Liked by Colleen Young, Connect Director
@bangel, thanks for bringing up the topic of healthy living with congestive heart failure. There are a few discussions about healthy living, talking about cardiac rehab, exercise and eating well. Like these ones:
– Staying healthy physically (and mentally) post heart attack https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/hi-there-i-just-now-joined-your-group-and-after-reading-a/
– Cardiac Rehab https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/cardiac-rehab-1/
You have asked specifically about resuming activities like having a few alcoholic drinks with friends occasionally and about whether it's safe to have sex. These are topics people often find difficult to ask. I'd like to bring in a few other members like @predictable @archer @yorlik and others to share their thoughts.
While we wait for others to join the conversation, here are some resources I found from the American Heart Association
– Sex and Heart Disease http://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/consumer-healthcare/sex-and-heart-disease
– How Much Alcohol is Too Much? https://www.goredforwomen.org/about-heart-disease/heart_disease_research-subcategory/alcohol-how-much-is-too-much/
– Should people with heart failure avoid alcohol? An evidence review (Nursing Times) https://www.nursingtimes.net/clinical-archive/long-term-conditions/should-people-with-heart-failure-avoid-alcohol-an-evidence-review/7023319.article
Bangel, have you felt comfortable enough to talk to your doctor about sex, social drinking in relation to your heart condition?
You asked for a candid reply!
I had a calcified bicuspid aortic valve that a few weeks ago had me reduced to a straw size amount of blood flow with each pump of my heart. I was told this was generic(bicuspid) and calcifying just happens – not result of my lifestyle.
In the days before my surgery they ran me thru the treadmill stress test – with this heart! Made me run until max heartrate reached – was it 145bpm? – and keep running like 4 minutes there!
Supposedly my fully opening cow valve now lets 100% blood thru each pump. How could any sexual activity compare to this stress test? I thought I would die on that treadmill. I do not see how any sexual activity could be considered worse? But maybe I am naive…
I, like Justice Kavanaugh, like my beer. I went 3 weeks without a drop, then had my 2 week after follow up meeting with cardiologist. One of my 6 written questions was: can I indulge now again? They said a few beers a day should not hurt a thing.
A week later I had my follow up with surgeon: One of my 4 written questions was: can I indulge now again? They said they concur with my cardiologist, no problem.
Moderation in mind. My grandmother came over as an 18 year old young woman on a boat around 1915. She swore by "a beer a day." She lived an active life working her 1/2 acre garden every day until her death at about 95 years old. Was she right? Who knows…
I scanned the docs @colleenyoung posted above; I think this line from the nurse one sums it up: "However, the Framingham Heart Study found that the risk of developing HF was 59% lower in men who consumed 8-14 alcoholic drinks a week compared with those who did not drink alcohol (Walsh et al, 2002); this finding was supported by Bryson et al (2006)."
I rewarded myself with a six pack of of my favorit Samual Adams beer after my surgeon's follow up appointment. I just finished one writing this. I may have a second before the day is thru…
Everyone is different. Every case is different. With all this, I would NOT resume either without asking YOUR doctor first. Then (hopefully) have at it!
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@yorlik thanks a lot. This will do me a lot of good. I feel a lot more confident now.
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