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  • Alcohol, anxiety and heart.

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    Old 04-12-2009, 12:23 PM   #1
    Cined's Avatar
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    Alcohol, anxiety and heart.

    Hello guys,

    I'll start from the begging.

    I'm an 18 year old male and for the past 2-3 years I've been suffering with anxiety but recently I've been getting a lot better.

    I have a question about alcohol, but first of all, when my anxiety was at its worse, I started to get fast heart rates so I went to my doctor with this and I had some ECG tests done. The ECG came back fine but it picked up a fast heart rate which was because I was anxious when I was having the ECG done.

    My cardiac doctor scheduled a heart echo scan and a 24 hour ECG tape. I've had both tests done now and I'm awaiting results, my cardiac doctor before the test assured me that their was nothing wrong with my heart and he was only doing these tests to put my mind at ease. I'm still waiting for the results from both of these tests.

    Ok, now on to the alcohol part.

    Before my anxiety was at its peak, I was a social drinker with my friends, I'd go to clubs and bars and drink alcohol, I could drink about 5 pints every time we went out and I wouldn't notice any cardiac symptoms at all, so I could go out with friends and drink alcohol without any problems and best of all I could enjoy my self.

    One day I was bored and I decided to do some Googling on how alcohol effects the heart, then I started to learn about the heart and how it works etc, then the next time I went out drinking I felt my pulse and I felt that my heart was beating pretty fast (over 100BPM) and this sent me into a panic attack and I never drank alcohol again.

    About 7 months after that event, my anxiety started to clear up and I started going out to bars and clubs with my mates but I DIDN'T touch alcohol, I just drank soft drinks.... When I settled back into it I thought I'd try a drink with alcohol and when I did, I put my hand on my chest and felt my heart beating pretty fast and I noticed that it was doing frequent missed beats and beats that felt like 'half-beats'. Bearing in mind that I was anxious even before I started to drink the alcohol because I had social anxiety, and when I started to drink the alcohol I felt even more anxious because I was thinking 'what if this causes another panic attack etc'.

    So my question is, do you think it was the alcohol or anxiety causing these skipped beats? I know that alcohl does increase heart rate, but I don't know if it should increase heart rate over 100BPM.

    I'd just like to be able to socially drink with my friends again as I feel it'd help me get my social life back on track and I might even start to enjoy my self again.

    Any advice/information is GREATLY appreciated.

    Thanks very much.

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    Old 04-18-2009, 08:53 PM   #2
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    Re: Alcohol, anxiety and heart.

    Alcohol has always increased my heart rate and given me skipped beats. Seems the skipped beats are worse about an hour or two after drinking a glass of wine. I first noticed this in my 20's (I'm 51 now).

    Old 04-19-2009, 06:09 PM   #3
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    Re: Alcohol, anxiety and heart.

    Whenever I drink alcohol my PVCs increase in both frequency and in numbers. I have reduced social drinking to a bare minimum. Also, I just expect my PVCs to get worse when I drink so now I don't get so concerned. I guess I'm getting used dealing with it.

    Old 04-23-2009, 09:13 AM   #4
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    Re: Alcohol, anxiety and heart.

    I am NOT encouraging drinking but there are two things you can do to alleviate the effect of alcohol on PVCs (I know, I get them too).

    1. Before going to bed, take some powdered magnesium citrate, about 600-800 mg worth. Drinking massively depletes magnesium, which in turn leads to PVCs.

    2. Take a "liver product" supplement with the amino acid l-cysteine. This amino acid helps prevent alcohol from conversion inot products that damage organs like the heart.

    PLEASE be aware though that these are not preventatives of alcohol damage from constant heavy drinking!!!

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