Does Alcohol Cause High Blood Pressure
Alcohol is one of the most common recreational substances in the world. In the United States, more than 80% of people over age 18 have had alcohol at least once in their lives. Since alcohol use is so common and universal, its effects on public health need to be well-understood. Alcohol use is one thing, but alcohol misuse can have an even more potent effect on your health.
Alcohol misuse can affect your health in many ways, causing both short- and long-term complications. As a substance that affects your central nervous system, alcohol can have an impact on certain automatic functions like your blood pressure. But how does it change your blood pressure, and can it cause problems like hypertension?
Learn more about how alcohol can affect your heart health.
Limit Your Alcohol Intake
Regularly drinking too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure over time.
Staying within the recommended levels is the best way to reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure:
- men and women are advised not to regularly drink more than 14 units a week
- spread your drinking over 3 days or more if you drink as much as 14 units a week
Many Factors Drive Blood Pressure
But he pointed out that this is an observational study, so it cant show for certain the health benefits or harms of moderate drinking.
For that, youd need a randomized controlled trial, in which groups of people are assigned to drink a certain amount of alcohol each day for months or years.
For example, people who drink lightly or abstain may also tend to eat healthy, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep all of which can lower their blood pressure.
Grayver said the type of alcohol that people drink could also make a difference. Red wine, for instance, is thought to have anti-inflammatory effects on the body, which may also impact heart health.
And what you eat with your glass of beer or wine or shot of whiskey can affect your blood pressure, too.
All of the pretzels, peanuts, and other snacks that go along with alcohol consumption have a significant amount of salt in them, said Grayver. That in itself could be driving the hypertension.
Even news stories that talk about the heart benefits of alcohol may play a part.
It is possible that once someone receives a diagnosis of hypertension, they may then be incentivized to drink alcohol in moderate amounts, said Marcus.
In a 2015 study, Marcus and his colleagues found that people who believed that alcohol is heart healthy were more likely to drink more, compared to those who thought otherwise.
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More Research Is Needed To Gain Clarity About Tea
More research is needed to gain clarity about tea.
Tea also falls into the unclear category.
There are indications that green and black tea have a positive effect on blood pressure.
This has led to the advice of the Nutrition Center to drink three cups of this tea daily.
Versmissen: “More research is needed on this, but at least the studies point in the right direction.”
Will I Have A Hypo Whilst Drunk
The symptoms of drunkenness can be very similar to a hypo, which can lead to very dangerous confusion.
Furthermore, if you have been drinking heavily, there may be a risk of hypos for up to 16 hours after you have stopped drinking.
Monitoring blood glucose levels closely is an essential part of managing your diabetes in this situation.
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How Alcohol Can Damage The Cardiovascular System
The heart and blood vessels form part of the cardiovascular system.1Blood is pumped around the body by the heart, via these blood vessels through arteries, capillaries and veins.2 The blood delivers nutrients and other materials to all parts of the body, including alcohol, which is absorbed directly into the blood stream mainly via the stomach and small intestine.
The cardiovascular system is affected by alcohol. At the time of drinking, alcohol can cause a temporary increase in heart rate and blood pressure. In the long-term, drinking above the guidelines can lead to on-going increased heart rate, high blood pressure, weakened heart muscle and irregular heartbeat. All of which can increase the risk of alcohol-caused heart attack and stroke.
Increased heart rate
Heart rate is the number of times the heartbeats per minute. Alcohol can cause variability in the way the heart beats the time between heart beats. Studies have found that regular heavy drinking can cause episodes of tachycardia . 6,7Complications due to regular episodes of tachycardia, do vary depending on their frequency, length and severity, but it can cause blood clots that can lead to a heart attack or stroke.8
Increased blood pressure
Weakened heart muscle
Irregular heart beat
Alcohol And Blood Pressure: Final Thoughts
While alcohol may have a profound effect on blood pressure levels, the results of long-term use will vary among individuals and depend on any existing health conditions they may have.
Scientists believe that alcohol increases the force of blood against the artery walls due to its effects on the central nervous system, baroreceptors, sympathetic nervous system, renin-angiotensin system, stress hormones, and endothelial cells. The exact cause behind this is yet to be determined.
Hypertension may be managed and reduced by following a healthy lifestyle, diet, and limiting alcohol intake.
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If You Consume A Lot Of Salt Your Blood Pressure Can Rise
If you consume a lot of salt, your blood pressure can rise.
In addition, the role of table salt is clear.
“Taking a lot of salt raises blood pressure. Eating less salt with high blood pressure has been proven to lower it,” says Versmissen.
“Finally, we know that potassium, another salt, is actually beneficial. This is found in many fruits and vegetables. The DASH diet responds precisely to this by adding less salt and more potassium-rich vegetables. So good for those with high blood pressure.”
Can Alcohol Lower Blood Pressure
There is not a great deal of evidence that alcohol and low blood pressure are linked for most people. Some research has shown that a single drink might have a positive effect on heart health. People who are light or moderate drinkers sometimes have lower rates of hypertension and heart attacks, which previously led many doctors to start recommending that people have one drink per day.
However, more recent research has shown that the link between light drinking and heart health is probably more complicated than it originally seemed. There are likely a lot of compounding factors for example, people with certain healthy habits may be less likely to drink heavily and also may have lower blood pressure because of these other habits. Many doctors no longer recommend a drink a day and are aware that even moderate amounts of alcohol can negatively impact health.
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Does Alcohol Raise Blood Pressure
Studies have shown that continued alcohol use across several days creates a more sustained rise in blood pressure.6Because of this, consistent binge drinking and long-term heavy drinking, can lead to chronic hypertensionitself a risk factor for coronary artery disease.1
According to the journal Atherosclerosis, scientists found that binge drinking increased the development of atherosclerosis, or the hardening and narrowing of arteries, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke.8
Alcohol is high in calories and sugar and may contribute to an increase in body weight and obesity which can further elevate the risk of high blood pressure on a long-term basis.3,9,11
Previous studies have also demonstrated that a higher BMI is associated with atherosclerosis which could compound the risks of stroke or heart attack.10
What Is High Blood Pressure
Every time your heart beats, it pumps blood into the arteries, and blood pressure is the force of your blood pushing against the arterial walls.3 Every time your heart beats, blood pressure is at its highest and is measured as systolic pressure, which is the first number on a blood pressure reading.3 In between beats, blood pressure is relatively lower, which is known as diastolic pressure.3
Blood pressure measures include both a persons systolic and diastolic numbers, with the former coming before the latter. Some important blood pressure thresholds to know include:3
- Normal: Less than 120/80 mmHg.
- Prehypertension : Between 120/80 mmHg and 139/89 mmHg.
- Stage 1 Hypertension: Between 130-139 mmHg/80-89 mmHg.
- Stage 2 Hypertension: Higher than 140/90 mmHg.
- Hypertension Crisis : higher than 180/120 mmHg.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is when a persons blood pressure stays elevated longer than normal.4 When it stays high over time, it causes the heart to consistently pump harder.3
The increased cardiovascular stress may lead to serious health problems such as:
- Heart attack
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Too Much Of A Good Thing
Your age and other risk factors linked to heart and blood pressure health will ultimately aid your decision with your doctor about drinking. But don’t expect any âall clearsâ for anything beyond light-moderate drinking.
Having more than two drinks in a day may raise your blood pressure. Drinking more than one or two drinks in a sitting has been directly linked to a rapid rise in blood pressure, which in someone with very high levels of hypertension can lead to stroke.
âIt doesnât matter what beverage if you have a high risk, itâs all about the amount,â Klatsky says. âThereâs plenty of research that shows heavy beer drinkers, heavy wine drinkers, it doesnât matter, they are all at risk of increasing high blood pressure when drinking in excess.â
Klatsky says his biggest concern is that patients keep an open dialogue with their doctors about their lifestyle to achieve an authentic diagnosis.
âOne rule doesnât fit everyone,â he says, âso talk to your doctor about how your high blood pressure — and the rest of you — can determine your consumption choices.â
Alcohol Hypertension Risk Groups
One of the other known risks relating to alcohol and blood pressure is hypertension. This fact holds regardless of the presence or absence of other common risks for the condition, such as:
- Habitual level of caffeine intake
- Level of involvement in smoking
Since alcohol and high blood pressure are widespread in individuals of a certain race and ethnic group due to culture or way of life, consumption may remain high in people in the affected group, leading to the prevalence of excessive alcohol and hypertension as a societal norm.
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There Are No Good Studies On Chia Seeds Yet
There are no good studies on chia seeds yet.
There is also no consensus about the alleged blood pressure-lowering effect of chia seeds.
“It is difficult to investigate this with chia seeds,” says Versmissen.
“Because who regularly eats a spoonful of chia seeds, is already a lot concerned with health. Someone who does not delve into healthy nutrition, will not take this. In addition, the use of chia seeds is also a sign that someone has more money. We know that people with a lower socio-economic status are unfortunately unhealthier and consume less healthy food, so often more salt.”
Versmissen believes that there are no thorough studies that provide a clear answer to the question.
Chia seed is healthy in any case because of the amount of fiber, Smeekes adds.
“Fibers are good anyway. That’s the power of chia seeds.”
Stretching And Drooping Of The Heart Muscle
Long-term heavy drinking can cause the heart muscles to weaken. This is called alcoholic cardiomyopathy.
If your heart muscle is droopy and stretched it cant pump blood around your body very well. If the blood flow to other parts of your body is not enough, it can damage organs and tissues.
It can also cause symptoms like:
- breathing difficulties
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Spirits Beer And Wine: Is There A Difference
There is a significant amount of data to show that drinking large quantities of alcohol, whether it is a spirits, beer, or wine, can increase the risk of developing hypertension.
It has also become clear over time that no amount of alcohol is considered safe for consumption, regardless of the type of alcohol.
Alcohol And Blood Pressure: Does Drinking Increase Or Lower Bp
Reviewed by Michael Espelin APRN
What is the connection between alcohol and blood pressure ? Ethanol use comes with a long list of health problems affecting every part of the body, from the central nervous system to the organs. The age-old connection between alcohol and hypertension has always been on the debate. Does alcohol raise blood pressure? What about the warnings against using ethanol for people with low BP? Does alcohol lower blood pressure? To elaborate on alcohol and hypertension, BP is a term used to determine the amount of force placed on artery walls during circulation. A range of factors can contribute to an unhealthy increase in this force, including excessive alcohol consumption. The relationship between alcohol and blood pressure is well-documented in various researches, and this article highlights the specific mechanism of alcohol blood pressure. Risks for hypertension appear in people who participate in binge drinking and chronic heavy drinkers with diagnosable symptoms of alcoholism. In turn, anyone diagnosed with hypertension has heightened odds of developing some life-threatening health conditions.
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High Blood Pressure From Alcohol Consumption
A number of factors can contribute to high blood pressure, including alcohol consumption.
High blood pressure is a common health issue in the U.S. that, if not controlled, can increase the risk of serious medical conditions such as heart attacks, stroke, and heart failure.
In the U.S., about 75 million adults have high blood pressure and it accounts for an estimated 54% of all strokes and 47% of all ischemic heart disease events.1,2 Alcohol use can contribute to high blood pressure.
Can Alcohol Misuse Affect Your Blood Pressure
Alcohol does affect your blood pressure, but it does so in a way thats different from certain foods that can increase your blood pressure. Instead, it works by affecting your brain and body through your nervous system.
Alcohol works by influencing the central nervous system. Its in a class of drugs called central nervous system depressants, which work to decrease excitability in your brain and body. This is what causes the desired effects of alcohol like anxiety-relief, relaxation, and release of inhibitions. However, your nervous system controls multiple functions in your body, including many unconscious functions. This is what causes some of the side effects of intoxication, like a loss of motor control and slurred speech.
Some functions controlled by your central nervous system are vital for your survival, including your breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure. Thats why alcohol doesnt just cause plaque buildup like fatty foods it actually affects the control center that decides your blood pressure in the first place.
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Glycyrrhizin In Licorice Increases Blood Pressure
Glycyrrhizin in licorice increases blood pressure.
“The most important thing we know is that licorice contains glycyrrhizin, a substance that directly raises blood pressure,” says Versmissen.
“If you are sensitive to it, a handful of licorice a day can already cause high blood pressure. Sometimes people have already started taking medication and it turns out that it is only the use of licorice and the blood pressure normalizes by stopping licorice.”
Glycyrrhizin is also found in liquorice and chewing gum with a licorice flavour, according to Versmissen.
“It is a substance that causes more salt to be retained by the kidneys.”
New Lower Blood Pressure Guidelines May Explain The Risk Of Moderate Drinking
Past research, including the well-known Framingham Study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, and a prospective study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, suggests that moderate alcohol consumption was associated with a lower risk of hypertension.
Yet these new findings arent necessarily a contradiction of what has been previously shown, in part because unlike previous epidemiological studies, this research used the new, 2017 American College of Cardiology guidelines, which lowered the threshold for defining hypertension, says Vinni Makin, MD, an endocrinologist at Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. Dr. Makin was not involved in the research.
The guidelines were updated after data suggested that people with even slightly elevated blood pressure systolic ranging from 130 to 139 and diastolic ranging from 80 to 89 had a twofold increased risk of cardiovascular disease, says Makin. This change puts the focus on certain factors that may have been considered insignificant before but now might make a difference in overall health by even a minor influence on blood pressure, she says.
Given what is known about type 2 diabetes, alcohol consumption, and high blood pressure, these findings make sense, adds Makin.
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Is Red Wine Good For My Heart
While were on the subject of alcohol, lets talk about red wine specifically. Youve probably heard the saying, A glass of red wine a day keeps the doctor away. But how true is that really? Well, its debatable.
Theres indeed some research that shows that people who drank 1 to 2 glasses of wine daily were less likely to be hospitalized than those who didnt drink at all or those who drank too much. But this doesnt mean that the glasses of wine are directly responsible for the lower likelihood of hospitalization. The belief that alcohol is good for your health may be influenced by other non-alcohol-related factors in those studies.
For example, one study was conducted in Italians who ate a Mediterranean diet, which is generally considered to be more healthy than the standard American diet. Others looked at French and Japanese people whose diets and levels of physical activity are also different from the average American.
The American Heart Association suggests moderation above all else.