Chronic Ailments Hypertension

Alcohol and High Blood Pressure: Are They Related?

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Your heart is responsible for pumping blood to the entire body, and this blood is transported to the different organs through the arteries (blood vessels). To make the blood circulation possible and far-reaching, some amount of pressure is needed. Hence, the heart pumps the blood with a certain amount of pressure. This exerted pressure acts upon the blood vessels. Thus, the force with which the heart pumps the blood is called the blood pressure.

What are the symptoms of high blood pressure?

Sometimes, the symptoms of high blood pressure can go undetected. Hypertension (high blood pressure) usually goes un-noticed during regular health check-ups. A few people may, however, suffer from headaches, dizziness, and excessive sweating as well as uneasiness.

Can alcohol give you high blood pressure?

Studies suggest that excessive consumption of alcohol can increase the blood pressure excessively, and prolonged consumption can result in hypertension. If alcohol is consumed in higher doses, it can also lead to a stroke or heart failure.

However, there is some evidence that suggests light to moderate consumption of alcohol can improve heart health. Reasonably moderate intake of alcohol has shown to cause a drop (very slight) in blood pressure in women. However, the effect is most probably temporary. These changes cannot be generalized.

The topic of having red wine also comes into the picture. Since red wine has antioxidants and polyphenols, its regular and light consumption can aid heart health. However, an occasional glass of red wine will not lower your blood pressure. Nonetheless, it is known that heavy drinkers are at a higher risk of developing hypertension or aggravating it. In such cases, the quality or type of alcohol does not make a difference.

Ultimately, there are specific lifestyle changes that do make a difference. Such changes include cutting down on sodium intake, regular mild exercise, and regular blood pressure assessments.

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