why does my heart race when i drink

Body, Mind Spirit
Why Does My Heart Race? в March 16, 2004 Alcohol is a frequent trigger of a common type of rapid heartbeat called supraventricular tachycardia (SVT). This is a benign (non-harmful) arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat). Tachycardia means rapid heartbeat and supraventricular means that the rapid beats come from the upper chambers or the middle region of the heart. It is also called paroxysmal, meaning it comes on suddenly. The rapid heartbeats that you ve been experiencing after drinking alcohol aren t unusual. Many people experience the same thing. In fact, having an extra drink or two at celebrations or during the holidays can cause rapid heartbeats that are often called Holiday Heart. Red wine is often a particular culprit. The same type of rapid heartbeat can occur as a result of drinking caffeinated beverages, eating chocolate, and using other stimulants. Lack of sleep can cause you to have episodes as well. The best way to deal with your rapid heartbeat is to learn to stop it as soon as it starts. You can do this by practicing my breathing exercises. You also might consider eliminating alcohol and caffeine from your diet and taking supplemental magnesium.

Start with 250 mg and increase the dose up to 500 mg daily. If you find that the magnesium has a laxative effect, take calcium along with it (the dosage should be about twice the amount of magnesium but no more than 700 milligrams a day for women, I donвt recommend that men take calcium supplements. ) If your rapid heartbeat goes on for hours, or you get weak, dizzy or develop pain, be sure to call your doctor and get evaluated. You should have an electrocardiogram while you re having the rapid heartbeat to make sure that it is benign SVT. This kind of rapid heartbeat rarely requires medical attention, and you can usually eliminate or minimize its occurrence by making changes in your habits. Andrew Weil, M. D. Drinking too much at the office holiday party can do more than provide stories for the water cooler Monday morning. Cardiologists are warning party goers about holiday heart syndrome. It's a condition first identified in the 1970s, but is often diagnosed this time of year in hospital emergency rooms. CNN medical correspondent Judy Fortin learned more about it from Dr. Laurence Sperling, a cardiologist at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia. ( Fortin: What is holiday heart syndrome?

Sperling: This is a syndrome where people, who are otherwise healthy for the most part [and] don't have any underlying health troubles celebrate a holiday,. often are drinking a modest to significant amount of alcohol. What happens in this syndrome is alcohol stimulates the heart to go into an abnormal heart rhythm. The most common is atrial fibrillation. Fortin: Could the symptoms be confused with other conditions? Sperling: Certainly when we see new atrial fibrillation, we have to think of a long list of medical problems that can be causing that. But when we see someone who is young, otherwise healthy, coming from their office party or major celebration and they say, Well, you know I had one too many, Doc, holiday heart syndrome would be a differential diagnosis. Fortin: Who is most at risk? Sperling: Men more than women. It's pretty hard to predict who will have an abnormal heart rhythm, but we know alcohol itself can stimulate the heart itself through nerve pathways to cause all kinds of flip-flops and irregular beats. Fortin: What does it feel like? Sperling: Often this feeling of the holiday heart syndrome or atrial fibrillation or extra heart beats feels like your heart is beating out of your chest.

It's racing. There can be associated. symptoms like feeling short of breath, sometimes a pressure-like feeling in the throat or neck. It's not really dangerous. It could be dangerous in people who have significant undetected heart problems, and you start racing that heart and it's essentially a stress test. Fortin: When should you seek treatment? Sperling: What I tell people is, If your heart starts racing, running for more than minutes, certainly up to hours and it doesn't go away, and if you recognize that you might have been drinking more alcohol than usual and you're short of breath or having any of the associated symptoms I described, I do think it's worth having it checked out by going to your regular doctor or being seen in the emergency room. Fortin: How can you prevent it? Sperling: Moderation, using judgment, and certainly recognizing if you've had a couple of drinks of alcohol, that we say from a heart standpoint, you really don't have a lot to gain by drinking more than that on a daily basis.

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