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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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After a heavy weekend drinking i am having heart palpitations now. Why it is happening so ?

after a heavy weekend drinking i am havving heart palpitations now. why? i drank quite heavily on saturday night and a few on sunday and my heart is racing i have never had this before it does it for a while and then stops and then it would do it again about 1/2 hr later!! worrying!!! any ideas why this would be? i am fit and otherwise healthy and 37 years old if it helps
Sat, 12 Dec 2009
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This is not an uncommon occurence after a weekend of heavy drinking. Alcohol CAN cause withdrawals as many people have already stated, but unless you are a chronic drinker, a couple of days of binging is highly unlikely to lead to withdrawal or DTs. However, alcohol CAN precipitate an abnormal rhythm called ATRIAL FIBRILLATION that can cause your heart to go fast for periods of time, and this can start and stop intermittently. This is so common it has a name - the "holiday heart" syndrome. (http://www.emedicine.com/med/topic1024.htm) As Dr. Frank mentined, heavy alcohol can also cause cardiomyopathy (poor heart function), but your fast heart beats suggest atrial fibrillation is more likely to be the cause. You should avoid stimulants like caffeine or nicotine in the meantime (certainly avoid any more alcohol) and go to the urgent care or emergency room right now if your symptoms persist. They can do an EKG to verify the diagnosis. Good luck! Hope that helps! Next time, take it easy with the alcohol.
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