Alcoholic Myopathy: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Mathews and Kino found a small, but significant increase in left ventricular mass in individuals consuming at least 12 oz of whisky during 6 years and 60 g of ethanol per day, respectively[22,40]. Finally, only Urbano-Márquez et al[24] found a clear decrease in the ejection fraction, in a cohort of 52 alcoholics, which was directly proportional to the accumulated alcohol intake throughout the patients’ lives. Studies that have assessed the prevalence of ACM among IDCM patients have found high alcohol consumption in 3.8% to 47% of DCM patients. The lowest prevalence of ACM among DCM (3.8%) was obtained from a series of 673 patients admitted to hospital consecutively due to HF in the state of Maryland[27]. This study included not only DCM, but also all causes of left ventricular dysfunction, including hypertensive heart disease, ischemic cardiomyopathy and heart valve disease. Furthermore, the inclusion criteria for ACM were very strict and required a minimum consumption of 8 oz of alcohol (200 g or 20 standard units) each day for over 6 mo.

As the name suggests, alcoholic cardiomyopathy is caused by alcohol alone, and accounts for 10% of all cases of dilated cardiomyopathies. People who drink a dangerous amount of alcohol have a higher risk of developing alcoholic cardiomyopathy, as well as damaging other organs in the body. The effects of alcohol play an important role in how alcoholic cardiomyopathy is developed.


The end-systolic dimension was 3.3 cm and the end-diastolic dimension was 4.8 cm (Figure 2). Dilated cardiomyopathy secondary to alcohol use does not have a pre-defined exposure time. Daily alcohol consumption of 80 g per day or more for more than 5 years significantly increases the risk, however not all chronic alcohol users will develop Alcohol-induced cardiomyopathy. However, if alcoholic cardiomyopathy is caught early and the damage isn’t severe, the condition can be treated.

alcoholic cardiomyopathy recovery time

In general, most people who stop drinking alcohol will feel better over the next three to six months. However, certain symptoms may start to improve even sooner, depending on treatments and the severity of your case. In more severe or complicated cases, especially ones involving surgery, some symptoms may not improve for even longer. Overall, your healthcare provider is the best source of information and answers when it comes to your recovery. Many medications can help in cases of alcohol-induced cardiomyopathy, treating the symptoms that happen because of this condition. Medications typically include beta-blockers (for heart rhythm and blood pressure issues) and diuretics (to help your body get rid of excess fluid and swelling).

Ulcers Caused by Alcohol

It’s important to be honest with your doctor about the extent of your alcohol use, including the number and amount of drinks you have each day. This will make it easier for them to make a diagnosis and develop a treatment plan. It’s important to note that alcoholic cardiomyopathy may not cause any symptoms until the disease is more advanced. Thus, although there is a certain degree of consensus regarding the recommendation of full alcohol withdrawal in ACM, it is yet to be resolved whether moderate alcohol consumption is sufficient to achieve an improvement in the prognosis of these patients.

  • Additionally, echocardiographic data suggest that subjects who do not fully withdraw from alcohol consumption, but who reduce it to moderate amounts recover LVEF in a similar manner to strict non-drinkers.
  • The German word for it is Kieselguhr, a beige powder made up of the skeletons of diatoms.
  • Alcoholic cardiomyopathy is much less common among females who account for only 14% of cases, although it should be said that the amount of alcohol that can cause alcoholic cardiomyopathy appears to be less.

The primary treatment for ACM is complete abstinence from alcohol, which may require a combination of behavioral therapy and medication. Other treatments aim to treat the symptoms of ACM and prevent any disease complications. Alcoholic cardiomyopathy affects the heart’s ability to pump oxygen-rich blood around the body.

What is the recovery time after alcohol septal ablation?

If you’re worried about your heart health but struggle to stop drinking, please contact us today to learn about our addiction treatment options. This forces the heart to work harder to pump blood to the rest of the body. Illustrations of a regular heart (left) and a heart with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Note that the heart walls (muscles) are much thicker (hypertrophied) in the heart with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The main types of cardiomyopathy include dilated, hypertrophic and restrictive cardiomyopathy.

  • In patients with alcohol-induced cardiomyopathy, the mainstay and goal of therapy is abstinence from alcohol.
  • Alcohol affects heart function and is dependent on the quantity of alcohol that the heart is exposed to.
  • Your doctor may also advise you to reach a healthier weight, as excess weight can put more strain on your heart.
  • But also short- and long-term pressor effects mediated by the renin–aldosterone system and plasma vasopressin have been described [47, 48].
  • Heberden [89] described angina so elegantly in 1786 and also added that ”considerable relief“ through ”wine and spirituous liquors“ could be expected.

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