Let’s see how alcohol and blood pressure are related. High consumption of alcohol leads to high blood pressure levels in people suffering from hypertension or can cause the situation in people with normal blood pressure.
If you have hypertension you should keep in mind that drinking alcohol with blood pressure medicines can lead to increased side effects and can reduce the effectiveness of the medicine.
Is it true that a person with high blood pressure can never consume alcohol? Is alcohol and blood pressure problems a very bad combination?
People suffering from hypertension often wonder if drinking alcohol will affect their blood pressure level. Well, it will. But most doctors agree that it is okay if you consume alcohol in moderate amounts. In fact, moderate consumption of alcohol helps to prevent heart diseases and strokes.
However, if you can’t control your consumption, then it’s best to avoid alcohol in order to live a healthy life. If you have any concerns then a visit to your doctor should be your first port of call.
It is always advisable to avoid alcohol drinking to excess, so if you do drink then it is very important to stay within your consumption limits, as heavy alcohol consumption is likely to affect your brain, heart, and liver.
What is considered moderate drinking?
I’ll split this into the two main regions.
In the US……….
According to doctors moderate drinking means one drink for women and two drinks of men per day. However, as the alcohol content of different alcohol beverages is different, thus the count of one drink also varies depending on the kind of drink you are consuming.
Health care providers recommend one drink. They refer to the one of the examples mentioned below:
- 12 ounces of beer
- 5 ounces of wine
- 1 ½ ounce of 80-proof whiskey
In the UK…………
According to the National Health Service (NHS)
- Men should not regularly drink more than three to four units of alcohol per day.
- Women should not regularly drink more than two to three units of alcohol per day.
Knowing how units equates to actual drinks can be a little confusing but as a guide…….
Half a pint of 3.5% ABV beer/lager/cider is one unit.
However many imported lagers are closer to 5% while extra strong lagers can be as strong as 9% ABV.
One small (125 ml) glass of wine at 9% ABV is one unit.
A large number of pubs now use larger measures and some wines are about 11-13% ABV – check the label or ask when ordering your drink.
A 25ml pub measure of spirit at 40% is one unit.
Beware some pubs now serve 35ml as a standard measure. Also beware of ‘happy hours’ where pubs will often serve you a double unless you specify otherwise.
Effects of alcohol
By now, you know that alcohol can have major effects on your blood pressure level. Let’s have a quick look at how alcohol affects blood pressure.
For a person who is in the habit of alcohol drinking on a regular basis and in high amounts, he/she is likely to have a relatively high blood pressure level. A sudden reduction in alcohol consumption can result in decreased blood pressure. Now how much it is likely to fall depends on a number of factors. They are:
- how much is the present blood pressure level
- how much he/she used to drink previously
- age of the person
Alcohol consumption in conjunction with blood pressure medicines is likely to reduce the effect of the medicine. Therefore, alcohol must be strictly avoided if you are under any medication. Ask your doctor for clarification if you are uncertain.
Heavy drinking leads to many health risks that can be easily prevented by avoiding alcohol consumption or drinking in moderate amounts. After having going through this article you know there is a significant relation between alcohol and blood pressure. Therefore, now that you have a fair idea about how to control your blood pressure level concerning alcohol, you can take educated actions in order to avoid serious complications.
As with all medical information the content on alcohol and blood pressure can be rather general. For specific information and guidance on your own situation, your doctor should always be consulted.