Heart Disease Expert Forum
The alcohol, caffeine, and potassium link
About This Forum:

This forum is for questions and support regarding heart issues such as: Angina, Angioplasty, Arrhythmia, Bypass Surgery, Cardiomyopathy, Coronary Artery Disease, Defibrillator, Heart Attack, Heart Disease, High Blood Pressure, Mitral Valve Prolapse, Pacemaker, PAD, Stenosis, Stress Tests.

Font Size:
This expert forum is not accepting new questions. Please post your question in one of our medical support communities.
Blank Blank

The alcohol, caffeine, and potassium link


43 year old active 6'-3", 237 lb male with regular yearly physicals. Totally asymptomatic (no lightheadedness or passing out). Regularly plays tennis, jogs 3 miles, or stairsteps for 40 minutes on an every other day basis.

Subject diagnosis:

1. Dilated Cardiomyopathy with left ventrical ejection fraction of 35-40% (evidently within the last two years since last EKG was normal).

2. Bradycardia with sleeping rate as low as the high-20s to mid-30s. Normal heart active heart rate of mid-50s to low-60s.

3. Left Bundle Branch Block, resting and throughout full treadmill stress test.

4. Coronary Catheterization reveals no coronary artery disease and no apparent scar tissue. Heart biopsy not taken.

Current Plan:

1. 5mg Lisinopril and 325mg enteric coated aspirin daily.

2. Return for another echocardiogram in 1 month to determine if the condition is improving, stable, or deteriorating.


Patient is described by his peers as a heavy social drinker, daily drinker of large amounts of strong coffee, with a documented history of low potassium levels. What, if any, is the link between dilated cardiomyopathy and alcohol, caffeine, or potassium? Is abstinance from alcohol and caffeine and/or daily potassium supplements likely to show improvement at the 1-month retesting point? If so, how much (likely vs. potential)? If not, what about over the longer term?

Jeff Moore
Related Discussions
238671 tn?1189759432
You would definitely want to stop alcohol consumption altogether. There is no question that alcohol can lead to cardiomyopathy. Sometimes, though not always, the damage is reversible with abstinence. On the other hand, continued drinking almost always leads to deterioration of heart function. I would recommend cuttin back on the caffeine also, though this is not linked to cardiomyopathy. A low potassium can be seen in certain conditions that predispose to high blood pressure (which can lead to cardiomyopathy) - if this is the case, the condition needs to be treated specifically, not just with potassium supplementation.
1 Comment
Avatar n tn
A related discussion, alcohol and potassium was started.
Continue discussion Blank
Request an Appointment
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now