Imagine having a great night out with your friends but waking up the next day with a hangover and an irregular heartbeat. Wondering what might have caused it? Chances are, those rounds of tequila are to be blamed!
Alcohol affects everyone differently, but there are some unusual symptoms of alcohol consumption – besides the notorious hangover – that are difficult to ignore. One of those symptoms is heart palpitations, or the feeling of an irregular or racing heartbeat.
In fact, alcohol acts as a stimulant if consumed excessively. Studies have shown that consuming high levels of alcohol has a direct relationship with an increase in heart rate. Those with pre-existing heart conditions can experience severe symptoms while those with no heart disease might undergo a ‘holiday heart’ phenomenon.
A ‘holiday heart’ simply refers to the phase wherein a healthy person, post heavy alcohol consumption, experiences an abnormal heart rhythm. Though this phenomenon is temporary, it still could still lead to severe health complications in the long run.
What do heart palpitations feel like?
You may be wondering how to recognise heart palpitations. It’s quite simple actually. If you experience a feeling of fluttering or pounding in your chest, which lasts for a few seconds or even minutes, chances are that your heart is palpitating. These sensations might even extend up into to the throat or neck area.
The sensations may also be accompanied with light sweating, in which case medical attention becomes necessary. A perfectly healthy person who is undergoing abnormal heart rhythms, might be recommended by their GP to cut back on the stimulant (in this case alcohol), as the first line of defence. However, heavy drinkers may be required to undergo specialised treatments to get rid of the habit safely.
Why alcohol causes heart palpitations
The reason why alcohol causes heart palpitations is still not clear, though studies have theorised that it is to do with electrical activity of the atrium..
Prolonged exposure to high levels of alcohol have also shown to put a strain on heart, liver and kidney functions, resulting in multiple life-threatening diseases like alcoholic cardiomyopathy. These conditions tend to reduce life expectancy and degrade quality of life for individuals.
How can I prevent palpitations after drinking?
Excessive alcohol consumption is neither advised and nor suited for healthy individuals. Though, if you happen to do so, fret not. The following tips can help to prevent the risk of palpitations:
- Reduce alcohol intake
- Perform relaxation exercises
- Keep yourself hydrated
- Consume electrolyte-rich foods
- Exercise regularly and increase mobility
Not every episode of heart palpitations results in health complications or indicates one.
It is quite obvious by now that excessive consumption of alcohol is damaging to health, but it’s not always possible to avoid those situations. After all, it’s not always planned. For those rare times, the tips mentioned above could help to prevent the side effects, but if something doesn’t feel right, it is advisable to seek medical attention.
The best way to stay healthy and enjoy life would be to regulate or diminish the alcohol consumption like our beloved Bella Hadid, Daniel Radcliffe, Miley Cyrus and Bradley Cooper!