Alcohol addiction can impact your physical health as well as your mental well-being. One such potential risk of alcohol use disorder is alcoholic cardiomyopathy, a condition that can lead to heart failure. It can even develop in otherwise healthy people. If you drink heavily and have unexplained fatigue or shortness of breath that worsens over time, you should schedule an appointment with a doctor right away.
To help protect yourself from the detrimental effects of alcohol addiction, enroll in treatment at Promises Five Palms. Our addiction treatment programs can help you regain control of your health by ending your dependence on alcohol. We will be by your side every step of the way with medications and therapies to help make the journey more comfortable. Call us today at 1.844.675.1022 to learn more about overcoming alcohol addiction at our treatment center.
What Is Alcoholic Cardiomyopathy?
Alcoholic cardiomyopathy is a condition in which the heart muscle becomes weakened and enlarged due to long-term heavy drinking. The condition can lead to irregular heart rhythms and can cause sudden cardiac death (SCD). For this reason, it is important to know the signs of alcoholic cardiomyopathy so that you or a loved one can get treatment.
Some symptoms of alcoholic cardiomyopathy are:
- Edema of the legs and ankles (swelling)
- Poor appetite
- Shortness of breath
- Weight loss
Alcoholic cardiomyopathy is caused by chronic alcohol use, which can damage your heart muscle, leaving it in a weakened state. A weakened heart cannot pump blood as well, causing fluid to build up in the lungs.
Why Is Alcoholic Cardiomyopathy Especially Dangerous?
Long-term heavy alcohol use can damage your organs, exacerbate mental health conditions, and interfere with your relationships. There are many mental and physical side effects of alcohol addiction, but alcoholic cardiomyopathy is especially dangerous because:
- It can impact people who drink heavily but have not developed an alcohol use disorder. Many people may feel a false sense of security that they will not suffer damage to their health if they are not addicted to alcohol, but this is not the case.
- If it is a severe case, the effects may be permanent, even if you stop drinking.
- It can lead to severe health issues such as heart attack, heart failure, or stroke.
- In many cases, it can be fatal.
Some of the adverse effects of heavy drinking can be reversed if you quit alcohol and adopt healthy lifestyle habits. Unfortunately, severe cases of alcoholic cardiomyopathy can lead to permanent damage and even death. If you or someone you know consumes large amounts of alcohol regularly, you should encourage them to try moderation or seek professional help to cut back or quit drinking.
Can You Recover from Alcoholic Cardiomyopathy?
If you catch alcoholic cardiomyopathy early or if it is a mild case, there is plenty that can be done to help manage this condition. The goal of treatment is to improve your symptoms and prevent further damage to your heart. Treatment for alcoholic cardiomyopathy usually consists of:
- Medication – ACE Inhibitors or beta blockers to help relax blood vessels and reduce blood pressure
- Lifestyle changes – Stopping or cutting back on alcohol consumption
- Surgery – Cardiac transplantation or valve repair surgery for advanced cases
If you are dependent on or addicted to alcohol, it can be tough to moderate your consumption. Reach out to a trusted alcohol addiction treatment center to help you quit drinking for the sake of your health.
Help Prevent Alcoholic Cardiomyopathy at Promises Five Palms
If you are concerned about your or a loved one’s heavy drinking and want to prevent complications like alcoholic cardiomyopathy, you can count on the caring professionals at Promises Five Palms. Our team can help you overcome alcohol use disorder so that your body can begin to heal from the effects of heavy drinking. Call us at 1.844.675.1022 to get the support you need to protect your health.