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Alcohol and increased heart rate

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Old 07-19-2002, 09:17 AM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 6
janeg HB User
Post Alcohol and increased heart rate

Does anyone else out there experience an elevated heart rate as a result of even moderate alcohol intake? It took me awhile to figure it out, but it seems that drinking just 2 or 3 beers will cause my heart rate to significantly elevate and remain elevated for hours. My normal at rest heart rate is about 70, but it will increase to around 100 after a I drink. Whenever this happens at night, it will take me hours to fall asleep.

For awhile I was attributing it to salty food, but now I think it's just the alcohol. Has anyone ever heard of this? I haven't yet experimented with different types of alcholol to eliminate a specific problem with beer, but I assume it wouldn't matter.

I should mention that I have mitrol valve prolapse.


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Old 07-24-2002, 06:21 AM   #2
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 98
lno HB User

That's a definite YES, alcohol can raise heart rate in some people. I happen to be one of those people, therefore, I do not have any alcoholic drinks at all. It's too scarey & draining. I also get very bad PVC's & PAC's from alcohol. So, I just figure it's better not to agrivate my "sensitive heart". I've suffered PAC's & PVC's for over 40 years, still alive, take Inderal which works best for me. Tried other beta blockers, gave me sleep problems, etc. So I just stick to what works for me. Inderal & Quinidex together help, BUT DO NOT completely take the irregularities away. I've just learned when I'm stressed or tired, I'm sure going to be bothered more w/my heart thing. Used to suffer from sinus tachy, but the beta blocker helps that also. I still get a jolt of tachy. for a few seconds, but this also has a name, can't think of it right now, but it's very irregular & rapid for 10-15 seconds & soooooooo scarey. I've tried for so many years to ignore these symptoms, but, I don't think anyone who is sensitive, can completely ignore their heart doing wierd things. At any rate, just wanted to let you know you are certainly not alone w/this rapid heart rate from alcohol. Try having a social 1/2 glass & see if this bothers you. My only suggestion for the day. I get so much out of this board & the help from our "M.D. to be, Aerosmith, is greatly appreciated. Have a great day, it is a gift to enjoy.

Old 11-05-2002, 02:01 PM   #3
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 6
janeg HB User

Hi Jackie,

So sorry for the delayed response. I had meant to reply when I first received notification of your reply, and just completely forgot after that.

Thanks for confirming my suspicions. I'd never heard of this happening to anyone else, and when I asked my doctor about it, he said it was more likely that caffeine would cause something like that.

Anyway, I'll just have to be more careful or suffer.


Old 11-06-2002, 06:32 PM   #4
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: San Diego, CA, USA
Posts: 17

I have the same experience. I'm particularly sensitive to wine. I'm 45 and decided earlier this year to stop drinking alcohol, once I established the relationship betweem drinking and my heart performance. I also experience PVC's on a regular basis and have had numerous evaluations by several cardiologists, all results come back negative, my condition is attributed to stress. I continue to exercise and have recently started reading about and practicing Zen ideas and meditation techniques, which I find to be calming.

Old 11-09-2002, 08:21 AM   #5
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 98
lno HB User

Yes, caffeine is a known culprate. However, in a Mayo Clinic report recently, a study shows alcohol will increase heart rate. Those suffering from palpitations could be at risk for increased symptoms. Wine really gives me increased problems about 1-2 hrs. after consumption, so, I just stay away from all alcohol. I will drink 1/4 the alcohol to a mixed drink to be social and sip on it for 1 hr. This happens about twice a year. I also have found adrenal functions can really cause added problems for me. If I get excited or scared (any emotion) the adrenal gland must be very sensitive in me because I can have PVC's the rest of the day or night when my emotions are tampered with. The best thing to do is try to relax as much as possible. Deep breathing techniques and yoga are very good for relaxing the whole mind/body connection. Have a good weekend.


Old 09-24-2003, 01:34 AM   #6
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Oklahoma City, Ok, USA
Posts: 1
jbenn HB User

It's 3:30 in the morning and I'm having increased heartrate from drinking. This doesn't happen every time i drink, but I have noticed before after getting a little drunk. I've also developed an anxiety problem over the last year and I think the two are related. I think the kicker for me personaly is hard alcohol. I don't seem to have this problem if I just drink beer.I know my heart is ok because I had an echo cardiogram about 6 months ago. So for me I think it is just stress and anxiety. anyway just wanted to let you know that you are not alone.

Old 09-24-2003, 04:56 AM   #7
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Indiana
Posts: 363
cutup HB User

I don't know if it increases my heart rate, but it has caused angina on a few occasions. I've never noticed it with beer but something with hard liquor in it will cause me to be in a good bit of pain. I very seldom drink, but like to have one occasionally.

Old 09-26-2003, 07:54 AM   #8
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BlueIsland HB User

Pulse Rate will be 78-80+ after a night of drinking 5-6 drinks or more. During the week when I don't drink it ranges from 60-70. I think that the answer is yes.

Old 09-27-2003, 08:29 AM   #9
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 6
janeg HB User

Thanks for all the feedback on this. It's nice to know that I'm not unique in this regard.

I had asked my cardiologist about it one time, and he said he didn't think alcohol was the culprit, but couldn't cite anything other than caffeine as a possibility (which I know was not the case.) At one time I thought it was nicotine related because I had been around smokers, but I've ruled that out now too.

I'm going to start documenting these episodes by noting everything that I ate or drank that night.

Old 10-16-2003, 12:50 PM   #10
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 76
sugarplum_pdx HB User

I've had this for years. Whenever I drink, even if it's not a huge amount, my heart seems to race. I've woken in the middle of the night after drinking with a feeling like my heart was racing and pounding. It is very unsettling. However, like some of you have said, when I've mentioned it to doctors, they don't seem too concerned. I've never been told "you should not drink." But I've made the decision on my own to cut down on drinking to the point where I only have a couple glasses of wine every once in a while, not regularly.

Old 10-19-2003, 09:43 AM   #11
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 17
Sp0ck HB User

I posted this under holiday heart syndrome but will post again here. Watch out for this!

Hi All,
Just curious, a few weeks ago I went out on the town thinking I was still a college student and tied on on way too far. I went out drinking with some old friends and didn't know when to stop. I figured I had an all go because no one was driving and we rented a room. I ended up in the emergency room the next morning suppossedly because of a condition called "holiday heart." It occurs in some people when they have had way too much to drink. My heart went into irregular rythums for about 10 hours - EDIT "Atrial Fibrulation." I thought it was just a muscle in my chest twitching but got concerned when I had absolutely no energy to get out of bed by 12noon the next day. Then I realized it was my heart beating really weird!

It turns out some people have almost an allergy to alcohol that can show up in the teenage years to 30's to whenever. The most likely scenario- alcohol and dehydration threw off my "electronics" to the heart, and threw it into a strange beat and it was beating about 220 times per minute! Scared the #$%^ out of me! After rushing to the emergency room, and getting fluids in me they ran some tests.

They found my magnesium to be low for one thing. When you drink, it depletes seriously important vitamins and minerals involved in delicate chemical balance of the heart. I didn't know this. I went to the doc again last week and they listened and ran EKG. All seems perfect believe it or not.

Anyway. I am NEVER drinking again. Holiday heart can cause damage if it is done too many times. They detected no damage after running tests thnk GOD. It could have been a lot worse and yes, I could have died! Anyone else ever have this? Similar happened to me one other time about 7 years ago when I tied one on so to speak and my heart went BAM BAM BAM BAM! Didn't hurt but felt like it could have %^&*ing EXPLODED, no exaggeration!! I called 911 and thought I was going to die! They checked me out and said I was fine, don't drink that much anymore. This time I am listening!

[This message has been edited by Sp0ck (edited 10-20-2003).]

Old 10-25-2003, 03:39 AM   #12
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Bean Station, TN, usa
Posts: 2,188
mudhound HB User

caffeine and alcohol will increase heart rate.

My advice is to stay clear or use sparingly.
God Bless


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