Chest pains after vodka
December 14, 2013 5:19 PM   Subscribe

I recently discovered that the morning after drinking vodka (I'm not getting drunk and this wasn't on an empty stomach), I get mild chest pains. I'm not looking for what to do: obviously I've stopped drinking vodka and will see a doctor ASAP. What I'd like to know is: have you experienced this and did you ever figure out the cause?
posted by anonymous to Food & Drink (7 answers total)
It could be acid reflux. I get chest pains after eating certain foods because of acid. They are definitely chest pains; they don't feel at all like heartburn. This is a less common but potential symptom of reflux.

But, yeah, the doctor will be helpful here. They'll probably do a variety of tests to help figure out the specific cause of why you experience this particular thing. If you don't feel satisfied with the answers you get, you can always get a second opinion.

Good luck.
posted by k8lin at 5:23 PM on December 14, 2013 [4 favorites]

Doctor obviously but chest pains after drinking (and smoking and taking aspirin lol yes I know) was the first step to me getting an ulcer. The aspirin was the real culprit obviously the booze just exacerbated it.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:46 PM on December 14, 2013

Just vodka? What about other liquors? Vodka seems like it would be an oddly specific thing to be causing chest pain, especially the morning after and when imbibed in moderation on a full stomach. Other liquors have everything vodka has in them plus more, so one would expect that any negative effects from vodka would also be caused by, say, whiskey. If that's not the case, then it may well be that the association between vodka-drinking and morning chest pain is just coincidental. There could easily be another cause driving your problem.

In any case, morning chest pain is worth seeing the doctor about. It could be angina, caused by insufficient blood flow to the heart. It could be acid reflux, or an ulcer. Those are all things that your doctor can hopefully figure out for you. Be open to the idea that it might not actually be vodka causing the pain, though.
posted by Scientist at 6:30 PM on December 14, 2013 [3 favorites]

seconding scientist. if it's just vodka that does this (and not tequila or gin or bourbon or...experiment liberally!) that would suggest that it isn't the alcohol. what are you mixing with this vodka? cheap off-the-shelf mixers are like battery acid.
posted by bruce at 7:30 PM on December 14, 2013

Straight? Or did you mix it with juice or some sort of sour mix? The only vodka drinks I like are sour or citrusy. Citrus and sour mix, especially, give me a unique sort of heartburn that feels like tightness and pressure in my chest.
posted by dchrssyr at 10:07 PM on December 14, 2013

Where are your chest pains? I have GERD (acid reflux), and when it acts up, I get pain right in the center of my chest between my breasts. Hopefully that will help you narrow down if you're experiencing something similar or not.
posted by epj at 7:37 AM on December 15, 2013

Cheap vodkas, like most cheap distillation products, are cheap because they haven't gone to great (expensive) steps to remove as much of the poisonous byproducts of distillation (of which methanol is the most famous, but not the only one).

This is an outside chance, but might be part of the problem.
posted by IAmBroom at 3:01 PM on December 16, 2013

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