Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Alcohol & Heart Diseases: Can a few drinks really be good for your heart?
 Our heart is a pump that keeps blood moving around the body. It functions to deliver oxygen and nutrients to all parts of the body, and carries away unwanted carbon dioxide and waste products. When this heart, the arteries or blood vessels are damaged, this pumping system doesn’t functions properly leading to various heart problems. These problems are collectively known as cardiovascular disease and lead to the death of billion’s people a year, making this the world’s biggest killer.
Long-term excessive drinking increases your risk of developing Heart problems. Drinking within the low risk guidelines is unlikely to cause damage and, if you’re over 45, may help to protect the heart. It’s important to remember that you shouldn’t need to drink above the lower risk guidelines to undo any protective effect and start causing harm even if you are in this group.

Alcohol may have some protective benefits for the Heart
Moderate drinking that is one drink a day for women and two drink a day for men appears to protect some people against heart disease. One drink is 12 ounces of beer or wine cooler, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor.
Alcohol may help your heart in a few ways. It raises HDL or "good" cholesterol. HDL functions to keep LDL (bad) cholesterol from clogging your arteries by moving it to the liver, where it’s broken down and removed from the body. According to some studies, the combination of high HDL and low LDL levels protects against heart attacks and stroke. “However, this is not the most important factor in preventing heartdisease, and there are other ways to increase HDL than drinking alcohol, such as regular exercise
But before you break out that cocktail shaker, one should know this: Doctors aren’t sure if those healthy effects come from the alcohol or from other good lifestyle choices that light drinkers make. So if you don’t drink already, your heart isn’t a reason to start. A healthy diet and regular exercise is better to our body than the good effects that are tied to alcohol.
To get any health benefits from alcohol, keep your drinking light or moderate. Heavy drinking can make you more likely to get serious health problems like liver disease, cancer, and peptic ulcers. Regular or high alcohol use can affect your heart and lead to diseases of the heart muscle, called cardiomyopathy. Drinking alcohol regularly also can raise your blood pressure.
It’s not a good idea to start drinking alcohol to protect you against heart disease-
While alcohol in moderation is all right for most people,  it’s important to be aware you can fall victim to holiday heart syndrome if you overdo it. Binge drinking -- four or more drinks for women and five or more for men in about 2 hours -- can affect your heart rhythms. So even if you don’t have any alcohol during the week, you shouldn’t save all of your drinking for the weekend and overdo it.

For instance, the more alcohol you drink at one time, the higher your heartrate gets, according to research from the European Society of Cardiology. A sudden spike in heart rate is potentially dangerous to people with heart conditions, as it could trigger arrhythmia's (irregular heartbeats).

Drinking too much alcohol can raise the levels of some fats in the blood (triglycerides). It can also lead to high blood pressure, heart failure and an increased calorie intake. Excessive drinking and binge drinking can lead to stroke. Other serious heart problems include fetal alcohol syndrome, cardiomyopathy, cardiac arrhythmia and sudden cardiac death.
Pregnant women and anyone with a history of alcoholism should not drink.

Some safer ways to reduce your risk of developing heartdiseases are-
·         taking regular exercise
·         eating a healthy diet
·         Being aware of dangers such as smoking, drinking, stress and high blood pressure.

Keep your head up, keep your heart strong…….:)


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