Most of us will have overdone it with fatty foods and alcohol over Christmas. But you might not be fully aware of the detrimental effect alcohol can have on your body and heart.
Consuming too much alcohol can be damaging in the short term (‘binge drinking’) and in the long term. It can lead to conditions such as raised blood pressure and an increase in your weight, increased likelihood of a heart attack, stroke and type 2 diabetes.
The link between regularly drinking an excessive amount of alcohol and having high blood pressure is undoubtedly clear.
High blood pressure ( or hypertension) puts strain on the heart and can lead to cardiovascular disease (CVD), which in turn increases your risk of heart attack and stroke.
Cutting down or stopping drinking completely will help reduce the chances of you suffering cardiovascular disease significantly.
‘Binge drinking’ or drinking an excessive amount of alcohol over a short period of time can cause an arrhythmia, especially if you have a family history of heart rhythm conditions.
When you stop drinking, or reduce the amount you drink, within days you should see a significant improvement in your blood pressure, and if you have alcoholic cardiomyopathy, stopping drinking can lead to improvement or even recovery.
People usually associate calories with food, forgetting or not realising that many alcoholic drinks are high in calories.
Regularly consuming too many calories can lead to weight gain and therefore obesity, which is a risk factor for heart attack, stroke and type 2 diabetes.
Alcohol can also make you eat more than you usually would and make poorer, unhealthy food choices.
If you're taking part in #DryJanuary, you can greatly reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and make some lasting improvements to your overall health, but especially your heart health! ❤️