AUD and Heart Problems?

Posted , 14 users are following.

So in the last two months I’ve been diagnosed as having two serious conditions, one of which could be the result of alcohol abuse.

Bronchiectasis, which I found I’d got two months ago, no cure but can be managed. This causes umpteen chest infections and poor lung function.

Went to my gp for yet more antibiotics and discovered I’d got a very rapid pulse 170 beats per minute. My pulse has always been high side of normal, 70/85 bpm, but never 170 (well not to my knowledge).

Had to go to A&E immediately. Luckily as I’m near the hospital, I pursuaded gp not to call an ambulance. Had X-rays, ECG and loads of other tests and discovered I’d got  supraventricular tachycardia.

This can be caused by excessive alcohol abuse, smoking and too much caffeine. Guilty of all three!! No point trying to cover up anything, although I tried to explain the excessive alcohol was years ago, waste of time as all the dr heard was ‘alcohol abuse’ and that it’s a common problem in alcoholics.

Saw another dr who said I could have alcoholic cardiomyopathy. Yes I’d obviously heard of and knew about cardiomyopathy, but was unaware of alcoholic cardiomyopathy. He also mentioned Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome, (although I’ve no symptoms, apart from AUD) so great I’ve now got dementia (wet brain) too!

?I was told ‘ it’s up to you whether you give up alcohol as the damage has probably been done by now’

?I’ve got an appointment on Thursday to see a consultant  cardiologist at a specialist cardiology hospital.

Watch this space


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24 Replies

  • Posted

    I to was diagnosed with wernick syndrome unfortunately it doesn't get better but I learnt strategies to help and just tell people you have a memory problem mine was in 2009

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    • Posted

      Karen, I don’t have Wernicke Syndrome or anything remotely like it thank goodness. I was trying to point out how the majority of the medical profession view alcohol problems!!!

      Yes svt may be caused by alcohol, like alcoholic cardiomyopathy and I have to accept that, as for wks,  no way. There’s nothing wrong with my memory.

      However, I’m sorry you have it and the problems it brings

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  • Posted

    Vicks I'm so sorry to read of all this. You certainly don't sound like someone who has Wernickes.

    Hoping you will continue to be able to abstain, and manage these health problems.

    I can't believe my Husband has not damaged any organ in his body after years of heavy drinking. He still refuses to go to his gp and get any kind of checks.

    Thinking of you hon and crossing everything

    JulieAnne xx

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    • Posted

      Hi JulieAnne

      Thanks for your concern. I’ve spoken to the cardiologist I’m seeing on Thursday. He’s seen my ECG and other test results. Based on what he’s seen, there’s nothing to suggest cardiomyopathy, or indeed alcoholic cardiomyopathy.

      Yes supraventricular tachycardia is a possibility. At the moment I’ve got a rapid pulse, an irregular heartbeat which obviously needs further investigation. SVT is not life threatening, and there’s various treatments, including cardio version, catheter ablation or medication.

      As for the korsacoff Syndrome, there isn’t a specific test to diagnose it. Lack of thiamine is the usual reason. My blood tests were normal.

      Until I’m told not to drink, I’ll continue to enjoy a couple of glasses of wine when I’m out, or share a bottle with OH at the weekend.

      Ive had no symptoms of SVT and it was pure chance that my heart rate was picked up by a locum gp. Apparently I could have had it for years without knowing, or it’s just developed.

      Will let you know how I get on after my appointment. Feel a bit of a hypocrite though. Always moaned about private healthcare, now I’m very glad of it. Part of OHs retirement package. He has his uses!!

      So pleased your husband is doing so well with TSM. Medication certainly helped me, although in my case, it was campral

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    • Posted

      Hi vicks

      Glad that alcohol is not necessarily the cause of your superventricular tachycardia. I know that Hubby was very poorly with some sort of tachycardia when he was being detoxed. His heart rate returned to normal after a day or two. I never did find out what sort of tachycardia it was though.

      With regards to using private healthcare, when your health is on the line, you will use anything to get better. I certainly did when my hypothyroidism was not under control. I am a staunch supporter of the NHS.

      I don't know about you, but my memory is shot!! Couldn't remember all the names of my Grandchildren the other day 😕 old age creeps on

      Hope you have a good Christmas xx

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  • Posted

    Oh dear Vicks you sure have had your share of health concerns this last while .The SVT could be entirely unrelated to AUD as you know but it seems once alcohol in excess is mentioned many doctors (not all) cling on to those words and apportion the blame likewise , and so often unfairly

    Good luck with the appointment with Cardiologist on Thursday and keep us in the loop.Take care of yourself too 😊

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  • Posted

    Hi Vicky Lou

    I had the same problem a couple of months ago. I went into keto acidosis Post alcohol binge. I could feel my heart pounding but didnt realise the extent of the problem. My concern was that I couldn't hold anything down which meant I had to reduce my insulin making the problem worse and could feel myself rapidly deteriorating

    Anyway called an ambulance and when they took my pulse rate they bundled me into a wheelchair and blue lighted me to hospital. I wasn't even let walk anywhere as they didn't want to stress my heart further.

    I had no idea I was in so much danger, I was in hospital for 5 days, 24 hours in resus. I never knew alcohol could affect your heart like that., I know it's probably happened before as I have experienced that pounding heart sensation loads of times post binge.

    Crazy to admit I'm still drinking though.

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    • Posted

      Hi kelly

      It’s been a total shock that’ I’ve got something wrong with my heart. The lung problem was/still is a shock too.

      i never had any health problems (well none i was aware of) when I was drinking heavily.

      Alcohol abuse from 20+ years ago is only one of many causes of svt. I could understand it more if I knew when my heartbeat is really fast. I’ve only been drinking socially up until this year. OH was retiring July this year and the number of meals, dinners, parties we went to, made me go back on campral (yes it workssmile

      So until I see my cardiologist on Thursday, I’ve googled loads stuff, read far too much information, I’m in nomans land

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    • Posted

      Hi there vicks, just caught up with this.  I constantly think about what I will wake up with one morning due to alcohol abuse.  It never leaves me.  It is so good that campral has worked for you.  Oh Google - it can be a blessing and also over excite the imagination - and very often 2 and 2 make 5 (certainly in my case anyway) and I find I have worried myself silly for months. 

      My issues due to excess falling down water are all gastric.  Although have been on blood pressure meds for 20 years.  Hiatal Hernia/Silent Reflux/Inflamed esophagus - alcohol did not make me give it up - so stupid for the last 7 years.  But that is the massive 'pull' alcohol has on one's mind. 

      Crossing all fingers and toes for tomorrow hun.


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  • Posted

    Thank you Joanna.

    Obviously upset, but no I’ve not hit the bottle! My husband insisted coming with me when I said I was going Christmas shopping, didn’t need to guess why.

    Also my three kids phone me or text me daily. They could always tell over the phone I’d been drinking even after a couple of glasses of wine.

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