Is alcohol bad for mitral valve prolapse?
A lot of people like to enjoy an alcoholic beverage or two after work or have a few drinks when out in social settings. For most men and women, this is fine, but when you have mitral valve prolapse, it is best to avoid drinking any kind of alcohol.
While consuming alcohol in moderation may provide health benefits for some individuals, even light drinking with MVP can have adverse effects. Apart from triggering or worsening unpleasant MVP symptoms, it can cause dangerous complications.
The truth is, alcohol consumption is terrible if you have symptomatic mitral valve prolapse. It may even trigger ailments in those who don’t normally experience symptoms. More importantly, regularly and/or excessively consuming alcohol with MVP can cause changes in the heart that lead life-threatening problems. Thus, it is considered one of the top foods to avoid with mitral valve prolapse.
In general, is alcohol bad for your health?
Research indicates that light to moderate consumption of certain alcoholic drinks may benefit some men and women. Red wine appears to be particularly beneficial because it is high in resveratrol and proanthocyanidins. These antioxidants are said to fight inflammation, prevent blood clotting, and reduce oxidative damage. Vodka, brandy, tequila, and light beer may also offer benefits.
On the other hand, alcohol (ethanol) is addictive and highly toxic to the body. It is especially harmful in large quantities, damaging not only the heart, but also the liver, the brain, and the pancreas. These are vital organs. Drinking heavily can lead to obesity, type 2 diabetes, and liver disease, cancer, heart disease, and many other health problems. Is alcohol bad for mitral valve prolapse? It sure is.
As mentioned, drinking alcohol can trigger bothersome symptoms in those with symptomatic or benign MVP. Or, it can exacerbate existing mitral prolapse symptoms – many people with a prolapsing mitral valve have recurring ailments that they learn to live with over time. Mitral valve prolapse and alcohol consumption can also cause several complications. Some of these can be life-threatening.
What symptoms can alcohol cause with MVP?
Various symptoms can occur when a person consumes alcohol with mitral prolapse. One of the most commonly reported symptoms by MVP sufferers is heart palpitations, where the heart feels like it is skipping beats, beating fast, fluttering, or beating too hard. This heart valve disease symptom can be very frightening and often accompanies anxiety, panic attacks, and shortness of breath.
Mitral valve prolapse chest pain is another possible symptom when people with MVP drink alcohol. The pain may feel sharp, come and go, and last for moments or hours. Alternatively, it can feel dull or like pressure or discomfort in the chest area. This is known as angina pectoris, which generally occurs in the center of the chest but may also be felt in the back, neck, shoulders, and upper abdomen.
Other potential symptoms of mitral valve prolapse and alcohol consumption include sweating, nausea, dizziness, sudden fatigue, and fainting (syncope). Note that symptoms are more likely to occur if you are taking medications to control your MVP. Mixing alcohol with beta blockers and benzodiazepines, for example, increases the effects of these common drugs, causing disturbing symptoms.
What complications can alcohol cause with mitral prolapse?
One complication is heart arrythmias. The heart has an internal pacemaker system that keeps blood pumping consistently and at an appropriate speed. This important process is interrupted when a person consumes alcohol, especially regularly and in large amounts, causing the heart to beat rapidly or irregularly. In some cases, this can lead to stroke or death from sudden cardiac arrest.
Alcoholic cardiomyopathy is another potential complication with mitral valve prolapse and heavy alcohol consumption. In men and women who develop this heart disease (a type of dilated cardiomyopathy), the heart muscle weakens and stops pumping effectively due to long-term alcohol abuse. Heart valve regurgitation (backflow/leakage) can occur, along with heart failure.
These are just a few of the problems linked to MVP and alcohol consumption; other complications are possible. At the end of the day, alcohol is toxic. It damages the heart. It damages vital organs and systems. Is alcohol bad for mitral valve prolapse? Yes, and the more alcohol you consume and the more frequently you consume it, the more likely you are to experience health issues.