A glass of wine here, a pint of beer there. Enjoying a drink might seem like a harmless indulgence. But the relationship between alcohol and heart health is not one to gloss over. That’s because excessive alcohol intake can have drastic repercussions on the functioning of your heart. Here, Dr Dennis Doan will shed light on the importance of limiting your alcohol consumption for the sake of your heart’s well-being.
How Alcohol Misuse Spells Trouble for Your Heart
• High Blood Pressure – Alcohol is known to temporarily increase blood pressure, and repeated binge drinking can lead to long-term changes, causing persistent hypertension, a significant risk factor for heart disease.
• Cardiomyopathy – This condition represents weakened heart muscles incapable of pumping blood as efficiently as needed. Chronic heavy drinking is a leading cause, leading to heart failure over time.
• Arrhythmias – Alcohol can result in irregular heart rhythms, known as arrhythmias, with potentially deadly consequences Dr Dennis Doan.
The Heart-Health Balancing Act: Moderate Drinking
While it’s clear that heavy drinking can be ill-fated for your heart, moderate drinking, especially red wine, has often been associated with certain heart benefits. This, however, doesn’t give a free pass to overindulge.
The key lies in the ‘Goldilocks zone’ of alcohol consumption. This indicates that drinking alcohol should not be too little, not too much – just right. For most adults, moderate drinking means up to one drink a day for women and up to two drinks a day for men.
The Rewards of Moderate Drinking
• Controlled Blood Pressure – With less frequent and lower levels of alcohol consumption, the risk of hypertension drops.
• Reduced Risk of Heart Disease – Moderate drinking, coupled with a healthy lifestyle, could stave off the risk of heart disease.
• Prevention of Weight Gain – And lastly, alcoholic drinks pack in several calories. If unchecked, they can eventually lead to weight gain, an indirect risk factor for heart disease Dr Dennis Doan.