Cycling Weekly

Another mention of AF in Cycling Weekly this week 11th June 2020.  This time as a possible outcome of overindulging in alcohol.  I have long believed my own AF was caused mainly by over-exercising and a genetic predisposition; my mother also had AF and was a committed athlete in her youth.  I had also considered that alcohol may have been a factor for me (not for my mother, she was a lifelong abstainer)

I was always fond of a drink and there are several ways it may have impacted on my heart.  Firstly, I drank too much as a youngster which may have had a toxic effect long term.  Later in life, I drank much less, but still more than government guidelines and with some occasional nights of bingeing.  Finally, I would often go out for a group ride after several drinks the night before.  Although I would not be hung over, I would be slightly dehydrated and my heart trying to push too little volume may have contributed to my ill-health.

After diagnosis, I pretty much cut out alcohol, and my abstinence continued for a long period afterwards because I did not want to further compromise my liver considering that I had large quantities of amiodarone left in my system. 

Now, three years post ablation, I have very few drinks.  I log every drink that I have and largely remain under the 14 units per week limit, admittedly with a few lapses on special occasions.  I also log the number of ectopics or other ECG anomalies I pick up on the Kardia.  Luckily everything remains fine. 

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