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Does Alcohol Withdrawal Cause Increased Heart Rate and/or Increased Blood Pressure?

Your Heart & Alcohol

Many people worry about their cardiovascular health when it comes to alcohol withdrawal, and for good reason. If you were to stop drinking, knowing it would affect your heart can lead to a lot of anxiety. Luckily for anyone who wants to give up alcohol, there is a lot of information out there. Scientists and researchers have been conducting studies for years on what alcohol withdrawal can and cannot do to the body. Here are some important things to know if you want to break the hold alcohol has on you.

Alcohol Can Impact Your Heart

The more alcohol you drink, the more damage it can do to your body as a whole. This includes your heart. However, the sooner you give up alcohol, the sooner your body can begin the healing process. Your body takes a beating when you drink. The alcohol harms your brain, kidneys, liver, and every other cell in your body, just to a smaller degree. Alcohol can increase how likely you are to develop cancer, it can lead to issues like ulcers, and much more.

When it comes to your heart, alcohol can be both good and bad. Here is a breakdown:

  • A small amount of alcohol, such as 1-2 glasses of wine per week, is not bad for most people. It helps to keep their bad cholesterol in check, brings up their good cholesterol, and makes it so the blood is thinner. This makes people less likely to have a heart attack.
  • Anything more than just a small amount of alcohol begins to damage the body. If you drink in excess, it can lead to what is called a cardiomyopathy. This means that the alcohol itself damages the muscle that makes up the heart. This can be a long-term issue you have to manage.

What most doctors want people to understand is that there is no tie directly between the smaller amounts of alcohol and improved heart health. People who tend to only drink smaller amounts of alcohol typically live a healthier lifestyle. It could be these choices that lead to improvements in cholesterol levels and thinner blood. However, research cannot rule out if the alcohol has any impact, either.

Should Those with Heart Issues Even Drink?

Doctors have even said that people with heart issues should avoid alcohol. This includes anyone with an existing cardiomyopathy, high blood pressure, heart failure, and similar cardiac issues. The safest thing to do is avoiding alcohol if your heart is already struggling. The last thing you want to do is make it worse.

Does Alcohol Withdrawal Affect Your Blood Pressure?

This is a bit of a catch-22 for people who drink. Alcohol consumption increases the risk of developing high blood pressure. However, alcohol withdrawal can also be a scary situation since many do not know what to expect. This anxiety can lead to high blood pressure. For long-term drinkers, having high blood pressure and feeling anxious can be a double whammy. This is when withdrawal becomes dangerous and requires medical supervision.

Thankfully, when you seek out the help of a detox facility or rehab center, you are not going through any part of the withdrawal or recovery process alone. Alcohol withdrawal is difficult, and many people feel nervous when going through them. This is often because they do not know what to expect. Naturally, that leads to an increase in blood pressure. However, when you have the help of experienced rehab staff by your side, your blood pressure can remain normal. They can talk you through the process since they have helped others in your situation before. Talk to them and listen to their advice. Give each item they suggest a try. Not all of them are going to work for you, but one of them is definitely bound to help.

How to Keep Your Heart Healthy When Going Through Alcohol Withdrawal

Since alcohol withdrawal can be rough on your body, it is best to have an idea of things to do to keep your heart rate and blood pressure down. Make a list before even going to alcohol detox or rehab, if you can. Write out some of the things that you know calm you down. Then, when things get a little more heated than you want or like, turn to that list. Just go with the first thing on it and see where it takes you. If it doesn’t help, go to the next thing, and so on. That way, you do not have to think, you can simply react.

List of Ideas

If you are not sure what to put on a list like that, we have some suggestions. Give some of these a try and see if they make you feel any more calm.

  • Exercise: This is a great way of helping regain control over yourself. When you get worked up, pick an exercise and just do it. Many find walking or jogging to be beneficial in these times.
  • Yoga: This is a great way to focus. Put your mind on the parts of your body you want to work and listen to the signals your body sends. Pay attention to breathing and movement, and let your mind unwind from the alcohol withdrawal symptoms you are going through.
  • Art: You can opt for any type of art to help with your relaxation. Think about writing a story or even journaling, trying to play an instrument, painting or sketching out something that is on your mind, or even singing your favorite song.
  • Getting Outside: If you need help calming down, you may simply want to try getting some fresh air. It can help clear your mind and lower your blood pressure. Perhaps try going for a walk or practicing yoga while outside to double the benefit.

Call Us At Compass Detox to Help Keep Your Blood Pressure Under Control While You Detox From Alcohol

Instead of worrying about what alcohol withdrawal will be like, let us help you. Here at Compass Detox, we can guide you through the recovery process in a safe manner that you feel good about. Our experienced professionals are here to help keep you calm and informed, each step of the way. To contact us, you can email us at [email protected], call us at 800-26-DETOX, or simply visit the contact us page of our website. We are here, ready to start as soon as you are. Don’t wait another day.