Alcohol: Abuse, Addiction, & Treatment Options

Chronic alcohol use often leads to poor nutrition and vitamin deficiencies. Inadequate nutrition can contribute to heart muscle damage and worsen the progression of alcoholic cardiomyopathy. 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. One of the few papers analysing genetic susceptibility in ACM was published by Fernández-Solà et al[64] in 2002.

alcoholic cardiomyopathy recovery time

MI produced a statistically significant and positive impact on amount of alcohol consumed, but this did not include any studies of populations with cardiac disease. Unlike other areas of medicine (e.g. surgery 56 or liver failure 57), there is little published literature on interventions tailored to reducing alcohol use in populations with cardiovascular disease. Beverages such as red wine that are high in polyphenols have anti‐oxidant, anti‐inflammatory and antiplatelet effects. However, ethanol appears to be the main driver of potential health benefits at low doses and the toxic effects at high doses. ‘idiopathic cardiac hypertrophy usually with dilatation… most frequently found in certain forms of chronic alcoholism (beer drinkers), whereby plethora and toxic influences become effective as pathogenic factors’.

Dilated cardiomyopathy

Transplant-free survival after 7 years was worse among patients with ACM than among those with DCM (41% vs 53%). Among patients who continued drinking heavily, transplant-free survival was significantly worse than in non-drinkers (27% vs 45%). Furthermore, there are conflicting data among studies regarding the prognosis of the condition, with some showing overall mortality near 60% and others showing a mortality rate of only 19% (Table ​(Table11). They may also do imaging studies and other tests to see how blood is flowing out of your heart. A 2023 article notes that ACM carries a more positive outlook than ischemic cardiomyopathy, which refers to heart damage that typically occurs due to CAD.

  • Myocardial depression secondary to alcohol is initially reversible however prolonged sustained alcohol use leads to irreversible dysfunction.
  • This is most commonly seen in the legs, ankles and feet, but it can sometimes occur in the abdomen.
  • In general, you should talk to your healthcare provider if you notice changes in your symptoms over time, especially if they are starting to affect your normal life and routine.
  • Alcohol has toxic effects, but your body can limit the damage and break alcohol down into non-toxic forms if you don’t drink too much too quickly.
  • However, a possible confusion factor was identified because the group with clinical improvement also exhibited a shorter evolution of the symptoms and the disease.
  • She admitted to an eight-year history of the ingestion of more than 600 mL of vodka per day.

In some people, the condition worsens quickly; in others, it might not worsen for a long time. In spite of numerous studies, the sequence of events that occur in alcohol-induced myocardial damage is still highly controversial. Although some authors contend that the initial event is the appearance of hypertrophy, the majority accept that the core event is the loss of cardiomyocytes. Furthermore, Fernández-Solá et al[30], when analysing a population of alcoholics, found a higher prevalence of DCM in alcoholics than among the general population. Specifically, among alcoholics they found a prevalence of DCM of 0.43% in women and 0.25% in men, whereas the described prevalence of DCM in the general population is 0.03% to 0.05%[18,19]. Additionally, the accepted ACM definition does not take into account a patient’s sex or body mass index (BMI).

How does this condition affect my body?

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that former abusers who abstain from alcohol for several months to a year may experience partial correction of some of these structural changes. The effects of abstinence from alcohol typically peak and are maintained after 5-7 Oxford House Wikipedia years of complete abstinence, although the most salient effects occur within the first year. However, any further damage due to alcohol abuse is also negated if one stops drinking. Nonetheless, many of the changes that have occurred in the brain are not completely remitted.

alcoholic cardiomyopathy recovery time