Alcohol is a depressant and affects a person’s mood, emotions, and behavior. Alcohol consumption causes the brain to release high levels of dopamine, which provides a pleasurable feeling. Alcohol affects the brain and its ability to control the individual’s behavior, thinking, motion, and speech. It also affects the heart and can have damaging and deadly consequences.
A person who drinks heavily can develop heart disease, heart attack, or stroke. Drinking alcohol can lead to cardiomyopathy and cardiovascular disease. The quantity of alcohol is not the only factor for developing heart disease. Drinking patterns and genetics are also factors that influence the risk of heart disease.
Effects of Alcohol on the Heart
Alcohol weakens the heart and triggers an irregular heart rate. Long-term drinking increases the risk of heart problems. A person who drinks regularly might not feel the same effects of the alcohol. This means he or she has developed a tolerance, which causes a person to drink more to reach the pleasurable feeling.
Drinking alcohol can result in high blood pressure. The increase in blood pressure is a risk factor for having a heart attack or stroke. Alcohol causes weight gain from excessive drinking. Heavy drinking weakens the heart muscle. When the heart muscle is weak, the heart cannot pump blood efficiently. Alcoholic cardiomyopathy is a common diagnosis in long-term alcoholics. This heart disease can cause the heart enlargement, heart failure, and even death.
Binge drinking causes an irregular heartbeat. Heavy drinking can also bring on a person’s first episode of arrhythmia. After that happens, the person has an increased risk of having it again. When a person has an irregular heartbeat and an increase in blood pressure, the risk of heart attack or death is elevated.
Drinking alcohol causes weight gain. Most alcoholic drinks are high in calories and contain a lot of sugar. The increase in weight puts a strain on the heart, forcing it to work harder to pump blood throughout the person’s body. The added weight also increases risks of having a heart attack, stroke, and diabetes.
When a person stops drinking alcohol, his or her heart muscles strengthen and gradually improve. Alcoholism is a treatable disease. When a person stops drinking alcohol, his or her heart can begin to heal and reduce the risk of heart problems.
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