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Palpitations are usually caused by heart arrhythmias or heart fast beat.

Does Alcohol cause heart palpitations?

In a study, conducted from September 2004 to March 2011 at UCSF, California, 57% of arrhythmia patients stated that their arrhythmias and palpitations were triggered by alcohol. Many other studies have shown that alcohol can induce a new arrhythmia or exacerbate an old arrhythmia.

Holiday Heart Syndrome

Another condition was described in 1978 by Dr. Philip Ettinger and later was proved by many researchers called Holiday Heart Syndrome. This condition first described in patients who consumed alcohol heavily especially in a holiday drinking binge. Later it turned out that arrhythmias happen regardless of the amount of alcohol consumed. Some people are just more susceptible than others. This condition is defined as a fast cardiac rhythm (tachycardia) or conducting disturbance in apparently healthy individuals with only one thing in common, binge drinking.

The holiday heart syndrome can recur multiple times but usually its clinical course is benign. Your doctor most likely will not prescribe a specific antiarrhythmic therapy but rather will schedule you for a follow up visit to make sure the arrhythmia is not permanent. It is important to know that you don't need to drink a lot of alcohol to induce heart arrhythmia, some people can get arrhythmia from one drink.

Why does alcohol cause Arrythmias?

Alcohol may cause subclinical heart damage, these damaged patched areas in the heart walls result in disturbances in electrical conduction, and as a result these areas can become the origin of heart arrhythmias. Another potential pathology of arrhythmia induction is the hyperadrenergic (high adrenaline) state accompanied with alcohol withdrawal, adrenaline is known to promote arrhythmia and increase the heart rate.

Should you avoid alcohol?

If you feel palpitations and/or chest pain after drinking alcohol visit your doctor and check your heart. Your doctor will do an ECG, this is a simple test to record electrical activity of your heart, and also may order a 24 hours holter which is a recorder of heart electrical activity that records for 24 hours during your daily life activity trying to record the arrhythmia.
Depends on what kind of arrhythmia was diagnosed. For example If you were diagnosed with an atrial fibrillation and it is triggered by alcohol you should definitely avoid alcohol.

How does modest alcohol consumption affect for your health?

Even though modest alcohol consumption can rarely induce arrhythmias most of the people can benefit from modest alcohol consumption, studies agree that consumption of one or two drinks a day is associated with a reduction of heart attacks by approximately 30% to 50%.

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