Alcoholic Cardiomyopathy - Symptoms, Treatment, Cardiac Effects

Alcoholic Cardiomyopathy – Symptoms, Treatment, Cardiac Effects

What is Alcoholic Cardiomyopathy?

The human heart starts beating at between 21 and 28 days after conception. It’s an amazing thing. It will continue pumping blood around the body for life at a rate of 100,000 beats per day. Without your heart you don’t survive…
Cardiovascular disease kills about 17 million people a year, mostly because of stroke and heart attack, about 1 person every 2 seconds. Cardiovascular disease affects the heart, the arteries, or both.
Although moderate drinking, no more than 2 drinks per day for men and 1 for women, is linked to a healthy heart, heavy drinking can cause your heart to droop, become enlarged and weakened. In this state, it can’t pump enough blood for your organs to get fully nourished, which over time causes dangerous injury … this condition in known as alcoholic cardiomyopathy.

Who is Affected?

Alcoholic Cardiomyopathy is most common in males between the ages of 35 and 55.

Alcoholic Cardiomyopathy Symptoms

  • Overall swelling, especially in the legs, ankles and feet
  • Difficulty breathing during exercise
  • Difficulty breathing while lying down
  • Cough containing mucus, or pink, frothy material
  • Decreased concentration and alertness
  • Increased need to urinate during the night
  • Decrease overall urine output
  • Faintness
  • Weakness
  • General fatigue
  • Palpitations
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Loss or decrease in appetite

Alcoholic Cardioimyopathy


If the condition is caught in time, there is a significant chance of improvement. Permanent damage can be caused in which case the outlook is poor.


There are various treatments for alcohol cardiomyopathy depending on the severity of the condition. For more serious cases, specific medical procedures or surgery is called for. One of the procedures is the insertion of a pacemaker.
The most common treatment is complete lifestyle change. This will include changes to your diet, eliminating as many high-fat and high-sodium foods as possible. You will also be required to include a certain amount of exercise into your daily routine. Medication may also be prescribed, mostly to control the condition.

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About The Author

Kevin O'Hara

If you want help quitting drinking alcohol, I recommend you join our Mastermind Coaching Program. Here you will find all the help you need with daily exclusive informative videos, Q&A's, and monthly Roundtables on relevant topics. The Mastermind Coaching Group has many supportive members at various stages of their journey. Here you'll find non-judgemental motivation, support, and accountability. Click here for more information.


  • Keilah Martinez

    Reply Reply January 10, 2016

    Hi thank you so much for providing this.
    Unfortunately I am a victim to this
    The outlook for me so far is good Drs think I’ll recover within the next 6 months
    My heart is not severely damaged but I have plenty of symptoms mostly now that are disipating

    I am a young 22 year old female
    I believe this was sent as a warning to me because I had never experienced such pain In my life

    My heart functions at a low normal 53% I’m taking medications to help improve symptoms I stopped drinking completely
    I’ve felt an immense difference so far opposed to 2 months ago since I quit as for cardiac function I won’t know until a month from now it’s a journey and a struggle but I hope to over come this

    I haven’t seen anyone like me or heard of any recent so I do feel I am alone but non the less I am hopeful

    • Kevin O'Hara

      Reply Reply January 13, 2016

      Thanks for sharing, Keilah

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