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Chest Pain After Heavy Alcohol Use

man meets with doctor about chest pain and alcohol use

Alcohol abuse harms the body in many ways, and may also induce symptoms of underlying health conditions.  Some people experience chest pain during or after heavy drinking. This pain can range from moderate to severe and may be a sign of several different issues, including some that are potentially fatal.  Chest pain after drinking should never be ignored. Even if the symptoms are not a sign of something dire in the moment, consistent pain after using alcohol may be a sign of alcohol use disorder. Only a doctor can properly diagnose chest pain, but here are some reasons why you may be experiencing chest pain after alcohol use. 


 While anxiety is a mental health issue, the symptoms can be very physical.  Alcohol use triggers anxiety, especially in those who already suffer from anxiety and panic attacks.  Hangover anxiety is a common cause of chest tightness and pain. Heavy drinkers may also begin to experience atrial fibrillation, or heart palpations, after a drinking binge.  This can cause a rapid or irregular heartbeat, weakness, and trouble breathing. Atrial fibrillation also increases the chances of stroke and other internal damage due to blood clots.  

Organ Stress

Chest pain after heavy alcohol use may also be a sign of cardiomyopathy, a condition in which the heart expands while blood vessels become small and weak.  This condition can be worsened by heavy alcohol use and result in heart failure. Pancreatitis may also present as chest pain after drinking. This condition can be caused by years of alcohol abuse and may flare up every time alcohol enters the system.  Anyone experiencing chest pain after alcohol use should see a doctor, as well as consider seeking professional treatment for alcohol addiction.

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, now is the time to reach out for help.  At Arbor Behavioral Healthcare, you will meet knowledgeable, compassionate professionals that understand addiction in all its forms.  We use an integrative and holistic approach to treat addiction and mental health issues. No treatment is one-size-fits-all, and at The Arbor you will have a team of experts prepared to create your customized treatment plan.  We offer care for your mind, body, and spirit, so that you can heal from the inside out and look forward to a lifetime of sobriety and wellness.  If you are ready to take the first step in your recovery, please call us at 844-413-2690. For more contact info, visit our contact page.