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Maccaroni Find out more about Maccaroni
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  • Drinking Alcohol??

    I am in my early thirties, have HCM, and have an ICD because my father died of HCM at 45 yrs old. I do not have any symptoms so I never would have known I had HCM if I was not checked every 5 yrs because of my father's history. I played sports my entire life until I found out I had HCM , and partied hard since I was 17 yrs old. I currently drink 3 alcoholic beverages almost every day a day (scotch, gin and tonics, rum and cokes, beer)...sometimes more sometimes less. I still don't have any symptoms (as far as I know), but I am wondering if my drinking is a dangerous habit for someone who has HCM even if I don't have any symptoms while drinking or not drinking. I assume everyone will say yes but could you elaborate why it is so bad for me? What is the min? max? Thanks! This site is a great resource.

  • #2
    Re: Drinking Alcohol??

    http://www.4hcm.org/forums/archive/i...hp/t-8157.html

    http://www.4hcm.org/forums/archive/i...p/t-15887.html

    http://books.google.com/books?id=1YK...page&q&f=false


    Alcohol's Affect on the Heart

    Numerous studies suggest that moderate alcohol consumption helps protect against heart disease by raising HDL (good) cholesterol and reducing plaque accumulations in your arteries. Alcohol also has a mild anti-coagulating effect, keeping platelets from clumping together to form clots. Both actions can reduce risk of heart attack but exactly how alcohol influences either one still remains unclear.

    On the other hand, drinking more than three drinks a day has a direct toxic effect on the heart. Heavy drinking, particularly over time, can damage the heart and lead to high blood pressure, alcoholic cardiomyopathy, (enlarged and weakened heart), congestive heart failure, and stroke. Heavy drinking puts more fat into the circulation in your body, raising your triglygeride level. That's why doctors will tell you “If you don't drink, don't start”. There are other, healthier ways to reduce your risk of heart disease like eating right, getting regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight.

    What's “Moderate Drinking” for one may be legally drunk for another. By nature's design, a woman's body metabolizes alcohol differently so that 1 alcoholic beverage in a woman is equal to 2 in a man. Alcohol remains in a woman's body longer than in a man's. Also, the older you are, the less efficient the body can metabolize alcohol. Many states have revised their drunk-driving laws and 0.08 percent is considered to be intoxicated. Women, especially women of small stature, must be alert to these laws and metabolic differences when drinking, and limit their alcohol intake accordingly.
    Dx @ 47 with HOCM & HF:11/00
    Guidant ICD:Mar.01, Recalled/replaced:6/05 w/ Medtronic device
    Lead failure,replaced 12/06.
    SF lead recall:07,extracted leads and new device 2012
    [email protected] Tufts, Boston:10/5/03; age 50. ( [email protected] 240 mmHg ++)
    Paroxysmal A-Fib: 06-07,2010 controlled w/sotalol dosing
    Genetic mutation 4/09, mother(d), brother, son, gene+
    Mother of 3, grandma of 3:Tim,27,Sarah,33w/6 y/o old Sophia, 5 y/o Jack, Laura 34, w/ 5 y/o old Benjamin

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    • #3
      Re: Drinking Alcohol??

      If I were you, I'd cut down to 1 drink. I used to drink and varied from none to many. While I did enjoy it, it took one time with the perfect combo to do me in (I had no food for 7 hours, low blood sugar, low blood pressure and a really big mojito) I went down at a party, fractured my brow and somehow made it to a train only to wake up 30 miles past my stop. Had I'd been on blood thinners, I wouldn't be alive to type this.
      Yeah, I do have a rare drink now and then, but its now the exception and not the norm (and I invested in a tequila company!).
      Marc
      Diagnosed @ 48
      Saw Dr. Michael Debakey @ age 5 - "He's fine, just a little noisy"
      Father to 3 boys 22, 25, 29 (all currently clear - pending genetics)
      AICD - Valentines Day '08, Spark Plug replaced 11/14
      After much research, I had a Myectomy @ Mayo for my 50th Birthday '08
      Quietly going insane . . .

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Drinking Alcohol??

        Thanks a lot for your advice. Unfortunately it looks like I need to cut back on my drinking but it is probably a good thing in the long run. Is drinking alcohol with beta blockers a very bad combo?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Drinking Alcohol??

          It is very important not to get dehydrated when drinking. It tends to dehydrate you which lowers your blood pressure, along with the BBs which also lower your blood pressure. Therefore, if you drink too much, you could get lightheaded or faint. Try alternating glasses of water with alcoholic drinks.
          Daughter of Father with HCM
          Diagnosed with HCM 1999.
          Full term pregnancy - Son born 11/01
          ICD implanted 2/03; generator replaced 2/2005 and 2/2012
          Myectomy 8/11/06 - Joe Dearani - Mayo Clinic.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Drinking Alcohol??

            I agree. Alcohol can cause problems directly, and also by dehydration. Many people with HCM don't need to entirely eliminate alcohol, but all of us need to be careful about it.

            Gordon
            Myectomy on Feb. 5, 2007.

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            • #7
              Re: Drinking Alcohol??

              Originally posted by Maccaroni View Post
              Thanks a lot for your advice. Unfortunately it looks like I need to cut back on my drinking but it is probably a good thing in the long run. Is drinking alcohol with beta blockers a very bad combo?
              I need to cut back too, probably stop drinking.

              Thanks to those who shared the physical damage done by drinking.
              ***
              Gary Kopycinski
              http://www.shireweb.com

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Drinking Alcohol??

                I did my fair share of partying and drinking when I was younger and never had any problems, but after a couple of kids, those days are pretty much over. Now, if i even think about drinking a little more than I should, I have the WORST hangovers the next day! I literally feel like Im dying. My body goes numb and my heart feels like its going to stop. lol But I still like to have the occasional glass of wine at night, or margarita with a mexican dinner, but I definitely do it in moderation now
                Marissa Sue

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                • #9
                  Re: Drinking Alcohol??

                  Prior to my HCM diagnosis, especially during college, I drank a lot. I mean, a lot. College was sooooo much fun!

                  Now though, I'm past college age and I have HCM, so I watch it. I rarely drink, unless I'm going out with my girlfriends for a Mom's Night Out. Then I have a drink (usually beer), a glass of water, a drink, water, etc. Tomorrow night I'm heading with girlfriends overnight to a Rick Springfield concert (yeah, it's going to be like stepping back into the 1980's and 1990's for me and I can't wait. Rick will most likely be singing Jesse's Girl just to me like I dreamed of when I was younger, LOL. I'm super cool) and I'll be drinking there, but will be having a beer, a water, a beer and a water and then I'll be stopping.

                  Anyway, be careful drinking with HCM and make sure you hydrate yourself with water. I enjoy having time with my friends and drinking every now and then, but otherwise I simply don't indulge like I used to.

                  -Kaye

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                  • #10
                    Re: Drinking Alcohol??

                    Nobody has mentioned this, but alcohol can also cause some arrhythmias. Some people with HCM have gone into atrial fibrillation due to the alcohol. So there can definitely be electrical consequences as well.
                    Reenie

                    ****************
                    Husband has HCM.
                    3 kids - ages 23, 21, & 19. All presently clear of HCM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Drinking Alcohol??

                      I was thinking what Reenie said.

                      Alcohol can mess up the electrical system of the heart. I would, for sure be careful.
                      49 yrs. old
                      Diagnosed at 31.
                      Cardiac Arrest 2003, RF Ablation in AZ, no positive result -
                      First ICD 2003 - In 2006 lead went bad, abandoned lead, threaded new one & new generator
                      Myectomy 5-5-05 at The Cleveland Clinic - Dr. Lever & Dr. Smedira -heart surgeon.
                      Currently have Grade 2 Diastolic Dysfunction with pulmonary hypertension & pulmonary edema.
                      My brother passed away suddenly at 34 yrs old from HCM.
                      2 teenage children, ages 17 and 15.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Drinking Alcohol??

                        Thanks again for all the advice. It is greatly appreciated. I have been much better lately (drinking 2 drinks a day after work and I have been drinking a lot more water). It is very hard when I go out with my friends who still like to drink like we did in college. I will try to cut down to one drink a day but I am definitely headed in the right direction. I have one more question though. How will 15 or so years of pretty heaving drinking affect the long term health of my heart? Once again I have HCM, an ICD, and my father passed away at 45 yrs old from HCM. He was not a drinker but he played a lot of sports that are not recommended for HCM patients. He also fainted several times, and had a lot of symptoms unlike me. I no longer play sports due to HCM but I do need to get back into the gym. Any more advice would be much appreciated. Thanks!!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Drinking Alcohol??

                          I'm not sure any of us can really answer that, but I would suspect like anyone, it isn't very good on your body in general. Have you seen an HCM specialist yet?
                          Reenie

                          ****************
                          Husband has HCM.
                          3 kids - ages 23, 21, & 19. All presently clear of HCM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Drinking Alcohol??

                            Originally posted by Maccaroni View Post
                            I have one more question though. How will 15 or so years of pretty heaving drinking affect the long term health of my heart?
                            I wouldn't worry about the past, you can't change it and many of us did things pre-diagnosis that weren't so good for our hearts. I drank a lot of booze for over twenty years, but thankfully my HCM is very well-behaved at the moment and I'm having a run of great health. Cynaburst gave some good advice. When you do drink, make sure to follow each one with a glass of water to stay hydrated. Hang in there, and welcome to the board!

                            Jim
                            Last edited by mtlieb; 04-14-2011, 06:41 PM. Reason: I was blathering on a bit!
                            "Some days you're the dog... some days you're the hydrant."

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                            • #15
                              Re: Drinking Alcohol??

                              I allow myself one, maybe two glasses of wine a week. I found that any more than that caused some problems and I felt the pacer working more. My nephew drinks way too much and recently had a stroke. He had to tell the doctors to give him meds to avoid the DT's. His heart was badly damaged when the ICD was put in years ago, but now, between the stroke and the drinking, I think, sadly, he is in some very big trouble.
                              Sister diagnosed with HCM 1987, died April 2012 of "unknown causes" as her family did not want autopsy
                              My testing: 1987 and 1988 misdiagnosed with mitral valve prolapse
                              Asthma diagnosis 1991
                              Nephew diagnosed with HCM 1999
                              Previous misdiagnosis "confirmed" 1999
                              Cardiac arrest: 10/4/2010
                              Induced hypothermic coma 10/4/2010
                              ICD implanted 10/13/2010

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