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Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Ischemic Heart Disease

Question: Chest problems day after drinking alcohol

 PLA - Sat Jan 17, 2009 3:23 pm

Hello, for matter of months now I have been having chest problems the day after a night out drinking alcohol. I went to the doctors and was told that they don't think its a problem with my heart and was asking me about stresses in my life which i havent really got any.

My syptoms are:

-Uncomfortable feelings in left side of chest now and then.
-Slight tinglin and tightening in left hand.

I have been fine all day but it just starts when it wants and sometimes is worse when im eating and ive just been drinking alot of water all day to try feel better. I am 24 year old and im a binman so im very active and go gym 5 times a week and do alot of cardio. Sometimes i get slight feelings in my chest in the week but hardly. I get quite paranoid after ive felt it once and its hard to shake off unless I eventually get to sleep which is a hard job. I can see my stomach basically beating like my heart because must be beating hard and if I try and sleep I can usually feel heartbeating in my head and its really annoying me.

Ive read same sort of symptons and seen that its palpitations and its common and isnt life threatening but obviously abit disturbing.

Is that right or should i go back to doctors?

Thanks in advance.

 John Kenyon, CNA - Sat Jan 17, 2009 9:15 pm

User avatar Hello -

If you're having palpitations with this, that would make a lot of sense. Some people do note a lot of palpitations (and accompanying chest discomfort) after drinking, and sometimes it's actually a sustained arrhythmia called atrial fibrillation. Most times, though, it's just isolated premature heartbeats. This is the likely explanation, but of course it's impossible to know this for sure without being your being examined to have other things ruled out.

Still, while heavy drinking can, over time, damage the heart muscle, you're too young to have done this sort of damage as yet. You most likely are having some heartbeat irregularities, which are common anyway, and can be much increased by intake of alcohol.

That being said, you should at least have a routine electrocardiogram (EKG) done, just to be certain you don't have some obscure genetic problem and aren''t causing yourself a more serious problem (atrial fibrillation, while not in and of itself harmful, if sustained for long periods can lead to formation of clots resulting in stroke). It would be reasonable for your doctor to at least do an EKG when you present with chest discomfort and palpitations. These are also very often associated with stress and anxiety, so it's not an unreasonable question; but all the most serious things should be ruled out up front. It sounds like you tolerate heavy exercise quite well, so it's probably just something caused by the drinking. It would still be nice to know exactly what, if anything, is happening. If there's nothing then you might want to take the next step and look at stress, anxiety and other emotional issues. First things first, though.

Hope this is helpful. Best of luck to you.

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