9 Alcohol - a risk for heart disease

Alcohol - a risk for heart disease

Moderate but regular alcohol consumption is considered to be completely normal in our society. A glass of red wine or a fresh beer in the evening to relax, a glass of sparkling wine during the day at the birthday party in the office, - no one will think anything of it. However, this is no longer entirely true: recently, cardiologists are sounding the alarm. One third of those who drink alcohol regularly contract life-threatening cardiac muscle damage,"they say.

And in addition, the generally famous quarter of wine is already sufficient on a daily basis. However, this is only an empirical value.

However, studies have shown that about 23 to 43 percent of cardiac muscle damage is caused by alcohol consumption. In addition, it happens when men are beating over the strings for more than 5 years and take 6 to 7 so-called standard drinks a day. For men this means 6 to 7 bottles of beer or 6 to 7 glasses of wine or 6 to 7 bottles of brandy.

Nature is less merciful with women in this respect. Your liver breaks down alcohol much more slowly due to hormonal reasons. This is why alcohol circulates longer in the body of women than men and can therefore cause more damage. The rule of thumb is therefore that for women, all the information on alcohol is one third lower. In other words, the heart-damaging effect is already evident in 4 standard drinks. This means that if women drink 2 glasses of sparkling wine for their birthday party in the company, a beer for dinner and a glass of wine in front of the TV, they have already exceeded the limit - according to studies. According to experience, however, as already said, much sooner!

What actually happens in case of cardiac muscle damage? In short, this leads to changes and the death of myocardial cells and thus to mechanical and/or electrical malfunctions of the heart. This leads to an inappropriate enlargement of the heart chambers. This can lead to dangerous or fatal heart diseases such as cardiac insufficiency, rhythm disturbances or embolisms in the heart or lungs.

If you continue to drink now, the survival prognosis is very poor. But the good news: such an alcoholic heart muscle disorder is reversible. Studies have shown that myocytes begin to recover slowly after six weeks of abstinence. However, total abstinence from alcohol is important for this purpose, i. e. without a single drop of alcohol.

But before it comes to that, one should ask oneself whether it is not possible to live a heart-friendly life earlier. After all, we have only one heart - and it is a miracle of nature.

Alcohol abuse almost always starts unspectacularly. After all, alcohol is part of our culture. It is customary to drink a glass of sparkling wine to an important decision or to make a nice dinner with a good wine even more romantic. However, you should be alerted if you regularly drink alcohol to better cope with everyday tensions and conflicts. Anyone who regularly opens a piccolo when he comes home from the office, or takes a red wine every time the children are finally in bed, takes the first step towards alcohol abuse. The next step would be that you need alcohol to feel reasonably comfortable. Then, however, the threshold of dependence has already been reached.

If you notice such signs, you should start drinking again consciously. The first step in this direction is the admission that it has become too much with alcohol. Then you should have a six-week non-alcoholic time. Perhaps the coming Lent will be a good time for this? If you do not want to give up alcohol altogether now, you should go for controlled drinking. However, the permitted quantity is not particularly large: men should not drink more than one glass of wine (250 ml) or half a litre of beer per day. For women it is a small glass or a small glass of beer. It is also a good idea to have two non-alcoholic days per week.

Consider also the following tips against excessive alcohol consumption:

Store your supplies in the cellar and not in the kitchen.

Don't leave an open wine bottle standing around, but pour the rest away from a convivial dinner. Otherwise, you might be tempted to empty the bottle the next night.

In many supermarkets there are small wine bottles with 0.25 litre capacity. For people living alone, this is an alternative to the normal bottle size.

Always ensure a sufficient supply of non-alcoholic beverages. If you have a whole box of different delicious fruit juices and also non-alcoholic beer, it is easy to avoid alcohol.

However, these tips only help those who do not have an addiction problem with alcohol. Those who are addicted to alcohol must absolutely keep their hands off alcohol, preferably with the help of like-minded people such as anonymous alcoholics or trained therapists.

Copyright: Landeszentrale fuer Gesundheitsfoerderung in Rheinland-Pfalz e.V. (LZG) Germany