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Atrial Fibrillation- What you Drink Matters!

Atrial fibrillation, “a. fib”, is a common heart condition. The electrical system of the heart is dysregulated which causes irregular and excessive heartbeats (arrhythmias). This condition is serious. The irregular heartbeat can create blood clots which cause heart attacks and strokes.

“The more you drink, the more likely you are to develop a. fib”. ~ Amy Leigh Miller, MD, PhD

Alcohol has been associated with a higher risk of atrial fibrillation. Please click here for an explanation from the Harvard Heart Newsletter, or this link will take you to a published article.

A common procedure to treat an arrhythmia is ablation. This procedure burns out the nerves that cause the irregular heartbeat. The symptoms disappear and the person may believe they are cured. However, without addressing alcohol consumption, another arrhythmia will occur, and the atrial fibrillation will return.

Alcohol dependence is a slow addiction. It can start quietly with modest intake or occasional binges. It can progress to more frequent, or heavier drinking. Since it is so readily available and widely accepted in our society, alcohol dependence is often minimized and unrecognized as a problem. The CAGE Questionnaire is a quick assessment to identify problematic drinking. If alcohol is an issue for you, please get a referral from your healthcare provider to see a counsellor who specializes in addiction. People drink alcohol for a reason, such as anxiety, depression, or past trauma. Without addressing the underlying reason, the addiction will persist.

I understand that this is a challenging path to take. However, if you want to increase your chances of living a longer and healthier life, please consider addressing lifestyle factors, including alcohol, which are hurting your heart. Thanks for reading!! #olderadults #seniors #lifestylemedicine

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