Does Alcohol Thin Your Blood? Short- and Long-Term Effects

By: Flaka Ismaili    November 1, 2022

Some of the potential cellular changes related to ethanol consumption reviewed above are illustrated in figure 5. More than one cellular event may be happening at the same time, and, as with other chronic health conditions, the relevant mechanisms may be synergistic and interrelated. The acute effects of alcohol on the myocardium include a weakening of the heart’s ability to contract (negative inotropic effect). If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol addiction, seeking professional help is vital. Alcohol addiction can have serious consequences on both physical and mental health.

Although alcohol reduces blood clotting, it should never be used as a replacement for anticoagulants. When the body’s ability to clot is reduced internal vessels may begin bleeding is alcohol a blood thinner inside the body. When enough liver damage has been endured there is a risk of bleeding and shock. One of the functions of your liver is to break down alcohol and some medications.

Can you drink with blood clots?

Cortisol is released when a person feels physical or psychological stress so that they are prepared for a threat to their well-being. This physiological response primes a person to be alert and ready to act. Alcohol can cause an increased release of cortisol and, in turn, higher blood pressure and a faster heartbeat. But in people who drink heavily, there can be a rebound effect in which the bleeding risk increases, even after they’ve stopped drinking.

  • In people who drink moderately, the effect of alcohol on platelets is short-lived.
  • Remember, it’s never too late to make positive changes and prioritize your health.
  • The two primary types of blood thinners are anticoagulants and antiplatelets.
  • Always consult with healthcare professionals for personalized advice and guidance based on individual circumstances.
  • Yet there are other, less risky ways to protect your arteries — for example, by eating a plant-based diet and exercising.

These data suggest that antioxidant defense mechanisms that attempt to protect the heart against oxidative damage appear to be initiated soon after drinking alcohol. Also, as noted below, data from other studies demonstrate the protective role of administered antioxidants, such as a synthetic compound that mimics the native superoxide dismutase enzyme, called a superoxide dismutase mimetic. This suggests a direct or indirect role for ethanol-mediated oxidative stress in the heart (Jiang et al. 2012; Tan et al. 2012). Long-term heavy alcohol consumption induces adverse histological, cellular, and structural changes within the myocardium. These mechanisms contribute to the myocyte cellular changes that lead to intrinsic cell dysfunction, such as sarcoplasmic reticular dysfunction and changes in intracellular calcium handling and myocyte loss. However, modulatory influences related to drinking patterns, genetic susceptibility, nutritional factors, ethnicity, and gender also many play a role (Piano and Phillips 2014) (figure 4).

When to contact a doctor

Many of the herbs that may interact with blood-thinning medications do so because they, too, have either antiplatelet or anticoagulant properties. The pieces may then travel to other body parts and cause more problems. These medications must be taken exactly as directed to work safely and effectively.

  • The interaction between alcohol and certain medications, such as warfarin or aspirin, can further increase the risk of complications.
  • When it comes to alcohol consumption and its impact on blood thinning, there are both potential benefits and risks involved.
  • Short-term effects occur because of how alcohol impacts receptors in the blood.
  • A doctor will determine the appropriate length of time based on an individual basis.

Pathophysiologic schema for the development of alcoholic cardiomyopathy (ACM). As noted in the text, the exact amount and duration of alcohol consumption that results in ACM in human beings varies. The exact sequence of the development of ACM remains incompletely understood. Data from animal models and human beings with a history of long-term drinking suggest that oxidative stress may be an early and initiating mechanism. Many cellular events, such as intrinsic myocyte dysfunction, characterized by changes in calcium homeostasis and regulation and decreased myofilament sensitivity, can come about due to oxidative stress.

Related Articles

Submit for Newsletter


Qamlije Lokaj: Engagement of Diaspora Professionals at the Country of Origin

Diapsora Register Online

Register Online