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Fear of heart attack, heart pounds. BP perfect, over weight. Can wine cause a health problem?

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Cardiologist, Interventional
Practicing since : 1998
Answered : 410 Questions

I have been feeling like my heart is pounding intensely at times and occasionally wake up in the middle of the night from it and feel terrified I may have a heart attack. I also feel a fluttering feeling under my rib cage on the left side (under my heart) that has been going on for 3 days now. I have had my blood pressure taken many times (most recent yesterday) and I was told my BP is perfect. I am a 39 year old female and eat relatively healthy and get moderate exercise daily (basically, walking my 16-month-old baby in his stroller for about 30/60 mins); however, I'm about 30 pounds over weight and drink wine regularly with my husband in the evening to relax after a long day (about 3 glasses every night). I realize this is more than what would be considered "drinking in moderation"and that this is a bad habit we both need to change. Aside from the wine causing me to keep the weight on, my question is, could the wine be causing a major health issue? From the symptoms I've described, does it seem probable that I am developing a health condition? Any advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you very much!
Posted Sat, 28 Apr 2012 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Answered by Dr. Prabhakar C Koregol 34 minutes later

Thanks for the query.

Based on your description, it seems that you might be having some heart rhythm abnormality probably an ectopic or extra heart beat or even some arrythmias such as atrial fibrillation or ventricular premature contractions.

Such rhythm abnormalities can explain your pounding sensation. However the fluttering sensation may or may not be related.

I understand that my response contains too many possibilities. But it would be hard taskto narrow down on a single possibility without examination and EKG, considering so many possibilities exists. Hence I suggest you to visit your cardiologist for detailed evaluation. You may need EKG / Holter monitoring / Echocardiography.

To answer your query on wine (alcohol) intake, yes, it can cause health and heart problems. It may be associated with your current symptoms too. So I would be happy if you could stop the habit as planned. Meanwhile do fix an appointment with your cardiologist.

Hope this answers your query. Do accept the answer if you do not have any further queries. Yet, I will be glad to address any further concerns that you might have.


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