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Heart & Cardiology/heart pounding after drinking


Jon McIntyre wrote at 2008-07-20 00:55:18
Mr. MacNeil,

I have the exact same issue. If I drink a little alcohol, my heart pounds throughout my body but not as intensely as if I drink a lot. There seems to be a direct correlation between the amount of alcohol and the pounding heart sensation. The more I drink, the more intense the punding. It has been quite scary at times. As such, I am committed to no longer drinking. It's just not worth the 5am wake up to this most unpleasant experience.

Jon McIntyre

Harry b wrote at 2011-08-22 07:40:56
I have the same issue. If I have a few beers or wine and when I go to sleep an hour later my heart start pounding. I only had this last saturday. What I've been doing is drinking water every hour until it settles down. It lasts about 3 to 4 hours in the night. I do not know the answer but my guess is dehydration. Alcohol do cause dehydration.

Tina wrote at 2016-05-23 23:55:12
One person told me it is because of low blood sugar.  The pounding heart seems to happen at 2 or 3 am, which corresponds to a time when blood sugar would normally be low during the night.  Alcohol pushes it a little lower, which is too low for your body.  So your heart pounds and you have a stress response to release stored sugar in your liver and muscles.

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David Richardson


Adult heart function and disease. Not very good about children lesss than 12. Hypertension is o.k. Heart rhythm a special interest.


Certified in cardiology by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Was chairman of division of cardiology at the Medical College of Virginia. Am now mostly retired.

Fellow of American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology and member of American Physiological Society..

Circulation, American Heart Journal, Hypertension.

M.D. from Harvard Medical School. Residency training at Yale Uhniversity School of Medicine and Medical College of Virginia.

Awards and Honors
Gold Heartt Award from American Heart Association in 1995.

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