Episodes after drinking alcohol

Hi everyone. Last night I finished uni for good (yipee!) and had a few drinks with some course friends. I don't drink much anyway but we ended up getting in at about 2-3am, so I was a little drunk.

After about an hour of trying to get to sleep, I started to feel my heart beat pretty fast (probably 80-90bpm). Steadily, the rate crept up until it was in the 100's, and that's generally when I start to notice something's up. I've noticed palpitations when drinking alcohol in the past, but my heart rate sky rocketed, at one point it was just over 150 I think, possibly higher.

Don't know whether it was an AF attack or simple palpitations due to drinking alcohol. Is alcohol a trigger for anyone else?


12 Replies

  • You don't say whether you have been previously diagnosed with AF but on this occasion it's not an AF episode if your heartbeat was regular, irrespective of the rate. Too much alcohol - sometimes combined with a spicy meal? - can often give us palpitations when lying quietly in bed afterwards. It's nothing to be overly concerned about unless repeats occur when you haven't been overdoing it but perhaps you should listen to your body which might be telling you to curb your drinking. You won't of course - at your age you are invulnerable......and it was a special occasion.

  • Looking back on some of your posts it looks as if you have a history of AF/Flutter alcohol can be a trigger for some people and only you will know if you are one of them. Well done on finishing Uni your only young once and its nice to celebrate with friends good luck in the future

  • 150 seems high for palpitations. Could be SVT triggered by alcohol if a regular pulse. How much did you drink? I think alcohol is a trigger for me so I stick only to beer (a Swedish study revealed that beer only was not a trigger compared to wine and spirits ) and not too many.

  • Binge drinking is a known cause of AF especially in younger people. If your pulse rate was regular it may not be AF but atrial tachycardia or SVT. Either way you know the solution.

  • Alcohol is known to trigger AF- perhaps you are sensitive to it!

  • I haven't had alcohol trigger AF, but the last time I had a few drinks, I think it had a weird interaction with flecainide. My cardiologist is always warning me about alcohol triggering AF, though.

  • Yes. It does bring on AF if you drink too much. It sems the more you drink the longer the AF lasts. I find 3 glasses wine or 3 pints beer drank slowly is ok

  • If I drink more than a couple of glasses of wine, it ups my heartbeat noticeably. Doesn't put me in AF but it does affect my heart rate, which sounds like what you're experiencing. Congratulations on finishing uni, by the way!

  • Since developing PAF (heart rate kept at a 'reasonable' level with diltiazem), I drink very little alcohol as it always raises my pulse. Now, if I really feel like a drink, I have one at lunchtime so, by the time I go to bed, it doesn't interrupt my sleep as it does if I drink in the evening. It's annoying if we go out for drinks with friends but it means I am very popular when it comes to driving us to and from the pub!

  • Having been to Uni myself and having had my fair share over the years, in my experience, a lot of alcohol naturally raises HR, it is after all a poison that your body is trying to get rid of. The heart racing is always felt when in bed, lying down, I don't think that there is anything uncommon there. Alcohol is however a trigger for my AF but lying in bed with an alcohol induced fast heart rate and an irregular one/palpitations are two completely different things (I'm only speaking about my AF here and not any form of tachycardia).

  • Happened to me this weekend. Went to ER. I have SVT but they told me this was good old garden variety tachy.

  • Your query was - is alcohol a trigger for anyone else - ans Yes. Any thing over a little wine and I am on the look out for AF, I drink glass for glass of water with my wine and drink it, the wine, slowly.

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