A National Directory of Drug Treatment Centers and Alcohol Treatment Centers, Therapists and Specialists. A free, simple directory providing assistance and guidance for those seeking help regarding alcohol addiction, drug addiction, dependency and many other conditions that affect the mind, body and soul.
Call 888-647-0579 to speak with an alcohol or drug abuse counselor.

Who Answers?

Binge drinking can lead to holiday heart syndrome

Imbibing too much at the punch bowl at holiday parties or at other times when alcohol is flowing freely can hurt more than your sobriety and waistline. Overindulgence with booze can cause a condition doctors call holiday heart syndrome.

It can happen to anyone of any age. “Anywhere from very young to middle aged or elderly–no one is immune,” says cardiologist Daniel Blanchard, MD of University of California San Diego Medical Center. “If someone is a moderate alcohol drinker, they probably are less likely to have these arrhythmias, but in someone who doesn’t drink much at all, it probably wouldn’t take much to cause some problems.”

Symptoms can seem a little scary: the heart beats quickly and maybe erratically, chest pain comes on, and a person experiences shortness of breath and dizziness.

Holiday heart syndrome can strike a person with or without a history of heart problems, says the doctor. “The person may feel a rapid thumping in the chest, may feel light headed, and could even pass out,” he says. “This can happen in an otherwise normal heart, so for someone to say, ‘How could this happen, I’ve got a normal heart, I’ve had a treadmill [test], everything is normal,’ it doesn’t make you immune from the irritant effects of alcohol.”

Eileen Best has never lived for end-of-the-week happy hour binging. But when it’s the high holidays, Best does enjoy celebrating with friends with plenty of drink and merriment. “I don’t drink every day,” she says. “I drink four times a year and when I do, I do it hard!”

In order to risk holiday heart syndrome, a person must drink too much, too quickly. For most women that means four or more drinks in one sitting, for men, five or more drinks.

Not only is the average body weight lower in women than in men, but the female body contains proportionately less water than the male body, resulting in higher blood alcohol concentration with each drink.

In addition, women possess lower levels of an enzyme that helps process alcohol.

Says Dr. Blanchard, “In women, 1 to 2 glasses of wine could be enough to cause impairment of function, but usually you need to drink more than that to get holiday heart syndrome.”

The risks climb if one binges more than once during a 2 week period.

The symptoms of holiday heart syndrome can be frightening, particularly for young people and those around them when symptoms arise. “The arrhythmias are not dangerous, but can be very disconcerting,” says the La Jolla, California-based cardiologist. “In a younger person the heart rate can go very fast, up to 150 to 170 beats per minute, which is 3 times normal.”

Dr. Blanchard says rarely will holiday heart syndrome land someone in the hospital. “[Symptoms] tend to be short-lived and go away after a couple of days,” says Blanchard.

But, very rarely, arrhythmia can signal trouble–even a heart attack. “It’s very difficult for a person to tell what type of arrhythmia they are having, when they feel that ‘thump thump thump:’ it could be a ventricular arrhythmia which is much more dangerous.”

He recommends emergency room diagnosis.

“Anyone who starts having holiday heart type syndrome is clearly drinking too much and probably should stop altogether,” advises Blanchard.

While Eileen Best may enjoy a few drinks once in a while, she’s never suffered the disquieting onset of holiday heart syndrome, and plans to keep it that way. “After about four beers I call it a night,” she says. “I know what my limits are.”

While the effects of holiday heart syndrome may soon pass, a new study from Duke University suggests binge drinking during adolescence may cause long-term harm to memory later on.

In a study of lab rats, results suggest that prior exposure to binge alcohol intake during adolescence somehow affects the brain to lead it to react more sensitively to alcohol in the future.

When the rats were fully grown, those that had previously received the adolescent alcohol exposure showed the greatest disruption of working memory when a moderate dose of alcohol was given.

While the researchers acknowledge that rats are not humans, given the fact approximately 23 percent of all university students are frequent binge drinkers (according to Duke statistics), if there are parallels in humans, chronic adolescent drinking could signal a real public health problem.

Further research on the effects of alcohol on the brain is needed, say the researchers.

source: Little About

More Treatment & Detox Articles

Binge drinking: Drink, drunk, dead

For some women, girl power means widening the crack in the glass ceiling by enrolling in engineering or some other predominantly male domain. For others, it’s drinking like a man — lots and frequently. Men still drink more often than women. But women are no shrinking violets when it comes to tossing back the booze,….

Continue reading

'Plunge' event deals with the problems facing youth and alcohol

Like it or not, Wisconsinites are known for loving beer about as much as their passion for cheese. Some studies, though, are showing that this alcohol-enamored mentality isn’t exclusive to the Dairy State’s adults. As a result, some groups are organizing efforts to curb underage drinking among Wisconsin’s youth. One such event-called “The Plunge”-was held….

Continue reading

Youth access to alcohol hurts all Montanans

In Montana, underage drinking is often thought of as a “rite of passage” that every teen goes through. It is seen as a harmless pastime. The exact opposite is true; this “harmless pastime” contributes to more deaths among our youth than any other preventable cause. Recent studies in brain development show that the human brain….

Continue reading

Binge Drinking May Drive Heart Disease

Heavy alcohol consumption can bring with it a variety of problems, not least of which is heart disease. In fact, a group of researchers has now identified the precise mechanisms by which binge drinking contributes to clogs in arteries that lead to heart attack and stroke. Their findings are published in the medical journal Atherosclerosis…..

Continue reading

Where do calls go?

Calls to numbers on a specific treatment center listing will be routed to that treatment center. Calls to any general helpline will be answered or returned by one of the treatment providers listed, each of which is a paid advertiser.

By calling the helpline you agree to the terms of use. We do not receive any commission or fee that is dependent upon which treatment provider a caller chooses. There is no obligation to enter treatment.

I NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE NOWI NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE NOW 888-647-0579Response time about 1 min | Response rate 100%
Who Answers?