Alcohol can increase blood pressure

Hypertension: Why should you limit Alcohol?

Hypertension News

Blood pressure is a highly valuable indicator of health. Maintaining blood pressure within a healthy range can reduce the risk of adverse health outcomes. Many factors can increase an individual’s risk for high blood pressure, also known as Hypertension

High blood pressure can increase the risk of poor certain health complications like heart attacks. Several factors, including lifestyle choices, can influence someone’s risk for high blood pressure.

Table of content:

  • How is Blood pressure measured?

  • Factors causing high Blood Pressure

  • H​ow does Alcohol influence blood pressure?

  • Reasons to cut down on Alcohol intake

  • Preventive measures to control Hypertension

How is Blood pressure measured?

Blood pressure measures the force of blood against the body’s arteries. There are two numbers that determine blood pressure reading:

  • The top number is the systolic blood pressure, which measures the pressure on artery walls when the heart contracts.

  • And the bottom number indicates the diastolic blood pressure, it measures the pressure on artery walls between beats when the heart is relaxing.

Generally, high blood pressure is measured when;

  • Systolic blood pressure (top number) is at least 130 mmHg and/or

  • Diastolic blood pressure (bottom number) is at least 90 mmHg.

When blood pressure becomes too high, the risk of damage to the body increases. For example, high blood pressure can increase heart attacks and may even lead to heart failure.

Factors causing High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

Hypertension does not have a single, clear cause. Usually, many factors come together and cause high blood pressure. Some common causes of Hypertension are:

  • Unhealthy diet, including a diet high in sodium.

  • Lack of physical activity and being obese.

  • Tobacco use, this may include smoking, vaping, and using smokeless tobacco.

  • High consumption of beverages containing Alcohol.

One major area of concern is how the consumption of Alcohol impacts blood pressure. Drinking Alcohol, including in small amounts, is common for many. However, even drinking small amounts of Alcohol may contribute to high blood pressure.

H​ow does Alcohol influence blood pressure?

Drinking too much Alcohol raises the blood pressure to unhealthy levels. Having more than three drinks in one sitting temporarily raises blood pressure. Whereas, repeated drinking can lead to long-term increases in blood pressure. To understand how much Alcohol is too much, it may be helpful to know the definitions of excessive drinking.

  • Binge drinking is defined as four or more drinks within two hours for women and five or more drinks within two hours for men.

  • Moderate drinking is up to one drink a day for women, two for men.

  • Heavy alcohol use is defined as more than three drinks a day for women, four for men.

Heavy alcohol users who cut back to moderate drinking can lower their blood pressure reading.

Reasons to cut down on Alcohol:

  • Individuals with high blood pressure must avoid Alcohol or drink Alcohol only in moderation as it may trigger blood pressure.

  • Alcohol contains calories and may cause weight gain, and weight gain is a risk factor for high blood pressure. 

  • Alcohol may interact with certain blood pressure medications and may affect the level of the medication in the body or increase side effects. 

Preventive measures to control Hypertension:

There are certain things that can reduce risk of developing high blood pressure. These may include:

  • Eating Healthy: This is an important step in keeping your blood pressure normal. One must add fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to their diet.

  • Limit Salt Intake. To prevent Hypertension, one must reduce the amount of sodium in their diet. Therefore strictly limit/avoid pickles, papad, cheese, chips, wafers, French fries, mayonnaise, butter, ketchup, sauces.

  • Physically active. Simple physical activities such as walking, can lower blood pressure.

  • Keep a healthy weight. Losing excess weight with diet and exercise will help lower blood pressure to healthier levels.

  • Drink Alcohol in moderation as driking too much alcohol at once can increase the blood pressure.

In a nutshell, Hypertension or high blood pressure can increase the risk of heart disease. Therefore, preventing Hypertension is crucial. One must follow a healthy lifestyle and cut on Alcohol to minimize the chances of developing high blood pressure. In case of any abnormality it is advisable to consult doctor immediately.

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