Updated on: Monday, December 27, 2021, 09:24 AM IST

Drinking excess alcohol in winter can be harmful to heart: Experts

Representative Image
 | Pixabay

Representative Image | Pixabay


Heavy physical activity and excess alcohol to keep yourselves warm during winter can lead to the weakening of the heart. Direct toxic effects of alcohol on the heart muscle, it is unable to pump blood efficiently, leading to heart failure, feels top city cardiac surgeons.

Experts urge people to take care of the heart by eating a well-balanced diet, staying stress-free, avoiding smoking, alcohol and regularly monitoring their blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.

Alcoholic cardiomyopathy (ACM) is caused by long-term consumption of alcohol. Untreated, ACM can become severe and has life-threatening consequences, causing irregular heartbeats and congestive heart failure.

“Alcohol abuse has a toxic effect on many of your organs, including the heart. Excess consumption damages and weakens the heart muscle over time. Due to this, it becomes difficult for your heart to pump blood efficiently.

When it can’t pump out enough blood, the heart starts to expand to hold the extra blood. This is a reason for the heart to become thin and enlarged. Eventually, this leads the heart muscle and blood vessels to stop functioning properly due to the damage and strain,” said Dr Bipeenchandra Bhamre, a Consultant Cardiac Surgeon at Sir H. N. Reliance Foundation Hospital and Lilavati Hospital and Research centre. He said that many patients consume too much alcohol during winter, putting themselves at risk. “Heavy alcohol intake increases hypertension risk.

People with high diabetes have damaged blood vessels and leading to the build-up of fat in the arteries causing atherosclerosis. Diabetes raises the chances of high blood pressure and high cholesterol which further thickens the heart muscles and one gets a heart attack.”

“Smoking also thickens your blood vessels and constrict leading to a heart attack. Stress can trigger heart problems like poor blood flow to the heart muscle which can invite a stroke in later life,” he said. Adhering to a healthy lifestyle can curb the incidences of a heart attack. “Exercising during winter is good and healthy, those who have heart disease should avoid strenuous workouts, cutting down on smoking, alcohol, and processed foods, going for regular cardiac check-ups with your doctor is essential to keep heart attacks at bay,” said Dr Amit Patil, Cardiologist, Apollo Spectra Mumbai.

It is recommended to get your ECG, treadmill test, and 2D echo test done regularly or as per advise of your doctor to know one's heart health.

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Published on: Monday, December 27, 2021, 09:24 AM IST