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Alcohol consumption
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Alcohol consumption

I have posted before in this forum and also want to thank the doctors and other people who are so informative and supportive. My question is this.  I don't drink alcohol often but when I do I tend to drink to much.  Friday within a period of the evening from 7:00 P.M. to 3:00 P.M. I consumed 3 bottles of white wine.  Of course I did not feel well the next day.  But, Sunday and Monday I felt pain with nausea all day.  I was wondering if maybe the dehydration had something to do with increasing PVC's and nausea.  I have also had nausea alot when I haven't drank alcohol too.  I just had a 30 day event monitor and it had runs of trigeminy, alot of PVC's and sinus tachycardia.  I had alot on holter 18,000 in 24 hours.  They are getting much more painful now and the doctor also has be on .05 xanax for night.  I have also been experiencing alot of joint pain in back and knees. Could the drugs be causing this.  I think I have asked this before but I don't think I got an answer.  When you have this many episodes does it cause you to be tired and lethargic or would that be side effects from meds. I am also on hyzarr(50 ml) a day for blood pressure. I am a 45 year old white female with full hysterectomy fours years ago.  I am not on any hormone replacement.  But, I have had every test known to man for my heart and seems like everything is fine.  I am about 30 lbs overweight though.  
When wearing 30 day event it would jump from 85, 145, 240 and back to 71.  Is this from PVC's???  I know this is alot to comment but I would really appreciate your imput. Maybe another EP study?
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239757_tn?1213813182
lak,

I hope I don't need to caution you that binge drinking can often bee a sign of larger problems with alcohol.

That said, it is very common to experience any number of arrythmias after even modest amounts of alcohol consumption.

I'm not sure what the changes in heart rate are from without seeing the event monitor. As such, I cannot comment on your need for another ep study. But based on your information, probably not.

If you've had a full cardiac evaluation, my recommendation would be for you to see your internist. We comment often how alot of times, in our specialty we have problems seeing the larger picture. Perhaps alot of your symptoms and concers could be alleviated there.
21 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Drinking three bottles of wine in an 8 hour period is asking for trouble. Alcohol depletes the body of magnesium which is essential for a normal heart rhythm. Also, it dehydrates you and that can affect electrolytes and your heart. It can also damage the liver. You shouldn't be mixing Xanax with alcohol or your blood pressure meds.Plus, the amount of alcohol that you drank at once could cause alcohol poisoning resulting in death.
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39623_tn?1265417041
Resulting in dealth?  You don't think that is a little harsh.  I didn't know that it would effect magnesium but I did think that it could effect the dehydration.  I never take xanax with alcohol.  What about the blood pressure meds.  What interaction with blood pressure med?
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Avatar_n_tn
If I'm not mistaken, your Hyzaar already contains a diuretic. More trouble. Be careful!
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39623_tn?1265417041
I know it is not good for me.  It was a holiday situation and I got a little carried away.  But, do you think that the symptoms I am having today could be related to that which was Friday????? lak
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39623_tn?1265417041
Thanks for the comment Hankstar.  I am giving it up today!! That binge is not worth the pain and lifelessness I feel today.
I have seen that there are some arthymias that are alcohol induced.  I don't know I get kinda depressed because these PVC's hurt and make me fell miserable anyway so sometimes I just think I can't feel any worse.  I just feel like I will never be normal again.  I am sweating right now just sitting here and the pains are sharp and razor like stabbing pains.  I know they the doctors say it won't cause a heart attack but sometimes that is so hard for me to believe.  Cardiologists says if not better in a few months we will try to ablate it again.  Didn't work the first time.  But, the more I read about other people doing that and symptoms after, I don't know if I want to do that either.   I am so confused.  What should I do to help me feel better. What should I not eat or drink? I am trying to stay away from caffeine but I am so sluggish.
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39623_tn?1265417041
Thanks for the support !!!!
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Avatar_n_tn
Sounds like "Holiday Heart Syndrome" to me.. here's some info:
http://www.emory.edu/WHSC/HSNEWS/releases/dec02/heart_healthy.html
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Avatar_n_tn
Oh my goodness! Drinking three bottles of wine and taking Xanax CAN KILL you! The doctor wasn't kidding. Many people have died from combining depressant drugs with alcohol. I know because my friend died from drinking beer and taking Xanax at once. He was only 28 years old!

It's no secret that alcohol can irritate your heart and cause it to beat irregularly. Usually it doesn't do much harm. Drinking moderately is actually heart-healthy in terms of reducing cholesteral and improving HDL but if you find that drinking aggravates your heart problems, stop drinking - pure and simple.

-jeff
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Avatar_n_tn
Please don't drink with medications!  I used to drink a long time ago (was never an alcoholic, just had a couple of drinks now and then) and it used to make my heart race.  For some reason, my heart rate would always speed up with even one alcoholic beverage.  I never drink now and am glad that I don't...mixing alcohol with medicatons is very dangerous!
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi there
Just to say the odd time I drink too much alcohol I always pay the price of nasty palpitations usually the next day.  I hardly drink at all now and if I do it's only 2 drinks at the most - even New Years Eve!!  If I drank 3 bottles of wine I dread to think of the palpitations I would get!
At 45 you are around the same age as me and HRT has helped decrease my palpitations enormously.  My cardiologist said in a letter to me, and I quote, "it is quite common for palpitations to get worse at the time of the menopause and it is known that the cells that may start this are very sensitive to hormones such as oestrogen".  I think we all worry about taking HRT because of the breast cancer connection but all I can say is that when I got menopausal (although at the time I didn't know I was) my chest felt weird the whole time and I was having a whole symphony of different palpitations which made my life very miserable.  A fault has been found with my heart through an EP study however being on HRT has helped enormously and stopped a great deal of the many varied  palpitations I was experiencing and I am no longer living in the same kind of fear.
Best wishes to you - and keep off that alcohol - a no-no especially for us palpitators!
Linda 123
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Avatar_n_tn
No one has mentioned this.  Too much alcohol comsumption, even if it is only binge drinking, can lead to alcoholic cardiomyopathy.  This is a serious condition where the heart muscle no longer contracts correctly, leading to congestive heart failure.  The good news is that it is likely to go away if one stops drinking altogether.  I would stop right now if I were you.  Three bottles of wine is a lot.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have a few palpitations a day, tachycardia upon extertion everyday, both with no explainable reason except having extra beats and a little PSVT. My doctor has me taking 50mg of Toprol a day. I haven't had a drink in 1 year. I used to drink before I was on this medication, even if it was 2 or 3 drinks, I would have a racing heart while drinking, wake up in the middle of the night with a racing heart, and many palpitations. My doctor and I thought it could just be holiday heart syndrome and the fact that alcohol exasterbated my arrhythmias. My only advice to anyone, and it goes without saying, if you are having any potentially dangerous health problems-whether it be your heart or not- stop drinking, smoking, get regular exercise and develop healthy eating habits. THEN if the problems continue, there will be alot of issues already ruled out and the problems may be figured out faster.
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Avatar_n_tn
Jesus, 3 bottles...I get tachy even if I have a couple of Bacardi and cokes sometimes...wake up in the early hours with heart going about 110bpm...

oh well gotta have fun sometimes...


Ray.
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Avatar_n_tn
I no longer drink much because I get palpitations after just a drink or two but I also would get sinus tach after drinking in excess.  It would be hard to sleep and even seemed worse if I woke up in the middle of the night.
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Avatar_n_tn
I apologize for getting somewhat off the subject, but I've been trying for days to post a question and can never get through. This question is somewhat related to alcohol consumption I suppose.

I've been dealing with an undiagnosed arrhythmia for the past few months now, which is basically periodic spells of tachycardia and mild hypertension. Resting heart rate can be as high as 95, into the low 100's when standing. I've been trying several types of low-dose beta blockers, and they keep the tach and blood pressure in check, but all of them leave me feeling like hell. No problems with PACs or PVCs. My question is, does anyone know whether or not occasional (no more than once a month) use of marijuana would put me in any great danger. I don't and never have smoked cigarettes, and I know marijuana is not exactly good for you, but I do enjoy it once in a great while. I'm not asking for anyone to support or advocate the use of it, just wondering how it may or may not complicate my situation.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for the reply Hank!

After doing some research, I found that pot does cause rapid heartrate, but only temporarily. Now to elaborate on the subject. I quit smoking pot back in November of '03 when I started having regular tachycardia attacks, and started feeling very ill because of them. I haven't touched the stuff in close to 3 months, but am still on 25 mg. Atenolol daily to control the tach and mild hypertension, and it seems to be working. I'd like to get off the betablockers though, as the side effects seem worse than the tachychardia. My problem is that I was a chronic pot smoker for 15 years, like 3 or more times a day (I know, that's a serious problem). Is it possible that so many years of heavy smoking could actually be the cause of my tachycardia? All my EP can say is "maybe". If anyone has any info, I'd greatly appreciate hearing it.

Thanks again.
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Avatar_n_tn
Didn't know that drinking alcohol could be so severe, but it makes me feel better. Last Saturday I went out--I don't drink often, but this was a special occassion and I drank a ton. In about 10 hours, I must have drank 4-5 pitchers of beer and 6-8 shots of hard alcohol. Woke up on Sunday morning with my heart all out of rhythm--it calmed down after drinking a lot of water and gatorade. However, I don't think I've quite replenished everything I need. I had a lot of diarrhea yesterday morning and afternoon and last night I had about 7 hours of PVCs which occurred once or twice a minute. It was pretty scary--so scary in fact that I've called my doctor to make an appointment. But it sounds like this may be the root of it.
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Avatar_n_tn
Very interesting thread. Clearly there is an aggravating function of alcohol for PVCs and other arrhythmias. But is there anything we know about the *mechanism* by which alcohol aggravates heart rhythms? What is it that happens, exactly?

Interesting how many find that alcohol's effects come a day later or so. Is this the norm? I don't drink much, but the occasional small glass of wine seems to increase my PVCs within the half hour.

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Avatar_n_tn
I also experience arrhythmias after drinking alcohol. I used to drink about a bottle of wine every evening or even more and only became aware of my heart rate after an anxiety attack six months ago. Now just a few drinks and my pulse rate is very fast for about ten seconds, then slow and then there is a definite pause, a gap between beats. I find these very disconcerting! I've had EKGs (about four, including a stress test) which all show normal and an echocardiagram which showed a similar result. I still feel some pain in my chest though.
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Avatar_n_tn
I too experience PVC's after drinking. There is no question, at least for me, that booze is the cause of my PVC's. Through many months of experimenting, I have found that I can eliminate any palpatations by supplementing my diet with magnesium. I am getting additional magnesium from oranges and pistachios. I have
also had wonderful success from magnesium suppliments downed with
a healty dose of cranberry juice ( I am told that ascorbic acid helps magnesium absorption). Anyway, I am not promoting booze and magnesium just a possible solution for someone.


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