July 15, 2024


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Christmas, New Year 2024 celebrations and alcohol: Safety tips for heart health | Health

3 min read

When it comes to the benefits and disadvantages of drinking alcohol, information online can be confusing however, it is essential to remember that alcohol can be addictive and highly toxic — especially when a person drinks too much. The truth is that the health effects of alcohol can change depending on the individual, along with the amount and type of alcohol consumed.

Christmas 2023, New Year 2024 celebrations and alcohol: Safe drinking tips for a healthy heart (Photo by Twitter/FatherlyHQ)

How does drinking impact your overall fitness, especially cardiovascular health?

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Zakia Khan, Senior Consultant-Interventional Cardiology at Fortis Hospital in Kalyan, shared, “Alcohol has both minor and significant effects on your internal organs and body processes. Everyone knows that binge drinking impacts the Liver and causes it to become inflamed. In worst-case scenarios, the cells in the Liver die, which are then replaced with scar tissue, leading to a severe condition called Cirrhosis. In this situation, a liver transplant is the only option, and can be fatal if left untreated.”

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Dr Zakia Khan revealed, “While occasional drinking is not harmful to the heart, binge drinking can affect the cardiac health of a person. When consumed in excess, alcohol can lead to high blood pressure, heart failure, or stroke! It can also cause Cardiomyopathy, a disorder that affects the heart muscle. In addition, alcohol bingeing can also impact the rhythm of the heart, which will increase the risk of Arrhythmia or irregular heartbeats.”

Which type of alcoholic beverage is best?

Dr Zakia Khan answered, “There is no doubt that some alcoholic drinks may be better than others. Red wine is particularly beneficial because it is very high in healthy antioxidants and has more health benefits than any other alcoholic beverage. Regardless of this fact, even drinking high amounts of red wine is not recommended, as binge drinking is a direct cause of health problems, irrespective of the type of beverage. In addition, patients who already suffer from cardiac problems and other forms of comorbidities should avoid alcohol consumption, even in limited quantities, as the risk of stroke and blood pressure is relatively high.”

What are some alcohol safety tips that should be followed, especially during celebratory times like New Year?

While there is no hundred percent safe way to drink alcohol, if you choose to drink, Dr Zakia Khan suggested some tips that can help reduce some potential risks:

  • Make sure to eat food before consuming alcohol. Avoid drinking on an empty stomach, as it can cause intoxication at a faster rate.
  • Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water. It is best to have one glass of water for every standard drink.
  • Don’t drink too fast, and give your body sufficient time to process the alcohol. It is said that the human Liver can process about one ounce of alcohol every hour.
  • Ensure that you do not mix alcohol with other substances like caffeine, as that can hide the depressant effects of alcohol, increasing the risk of binge drinking. Combining alcohol with other drugs can also have adverse effects, and it is best to avoid them.
  • Never drink and drive, especially at night. Even if you feel like you’ve sobered up, there is a high chance you may still have alcohol in your system that can affect your reaction time.

She concluded, “While it is okay to drink one or two glasses of alcohol, it is best to be cautious as it can harm both short-term and long-term fitness. It is best to avoid drinking and find other ways to usher in the New Year.”

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