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Adjusting your diet: Alcohol

Alcohol may relax your heart muscle, slowing the beating of your heart and reducing your blood pressure. While having a little alcohol may help to prevent coronary artery disease, too much alcohol intake when you have an existing heart condition may raise your heart rate and blood pressure and long-term abuse may cause cardiomyopathy.

Your doctor or heart failure nurse will advise you on how much alcohol is safe for you to drink. In general it’s recommended that you drink no more than 1 to 2 alcoholic beverages a day (a single drink is classed as one glass of beer or wine, or one mixed drink with only one measure of alcohol). If you have serious symptoms, you may be advised to avoid alcohol altogether. 

Don’t forget, alcoholic drinks should be counted as part of your fluid allowance for the day. 

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