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Alcohol: How Does it Affect Blood Pressure?

Alcohol: How Does it Affect Blood Pressure?

Alcohol’s role in our culture is an interesting thing. It can take on the role of a dangerous and easily abused substance, while equally taking on the role of a social lubricant and complementary pairing to a nice meal. Culturally, alcohol is widely accepted and encouraged. Some of the habits encouraged in pop culture aren’t healthy and can lead to dangerous health risks and habits down the line. This can start with the idea of hardcore partying and binge drinking college years and taper off into a nice glass of wine to unwind after a long day.

There is a common misconception that drinking red wine is good for cardiovascular health. But just like everything in life, too much of a good thing is actually, in fact, a bad thing. Drinking, in general, raises your blood pressure and can have dangerous effects on your heart’s health. Even red wine. Having more than three alcoholic drinks in one sitting can raise blood pressure temporarily, but drinking on a regular basis can lead to increased blood pressure over time.

What Other Factors Contribute to High Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure can be dangerous if not regulated and monitored. Alcohol is only one contributing factor to blood pressure. Other factors can include:

  • Not being physically active
  • Being overweight
  • Consumption of salt in excess
  • Increased stress
  • Smoking
  • High cholesterol
  • Having diabetes and other preexisting medical conditions

Unfortunately, some of the contributing factors to high blood pressure can also include genetically predisposed conditions, age, and family history.

What Can You Do To Manage Blood Pressure?

With the recent shift to being indoors more and working from home, people have turned to alcohol as a hobby. While it may help people to “forget” or “liven up” the current situation, it can be detrimental to health. It is easy to ignore the negative effects of alcohol while under its influence. It is common to have a cocktail or glass of wine with a meal or hanging out with friends. But while we are not paying attention, those drinks can begin to stack up.

If you do have high blood pressure, it is best to be more conscious of your alcohol intake and daily activities. If possible avoid drinking altogether, if not, do you best to drink in moderation.

A standard drink is 12 oz of beer, 5 oz of wine, and 1.5 oz of a distilled spirit. Drinking in moderation is defined as:

  • Two drinks a day for men younger than age 65
  • One drink a day for men age 65 and older
  • One drink a day for women of any age

Alcohol is also known for its capacity of empty calories. It can cause weight gain easily since it even though it is high in calories, generally, it doesn’t leave you feeling satisfied. Unwanted weight gain is another factor for high blood pressure.

Take a Step in the Direction Towards Better Health

At Hillandale Primary Care we understand that health has multiple variables and factors. If you or someone you know is having a hard time with alcohol consumption, we can help you find a program for recovery. Before you experience any serious health effects, we can make sure your body is set up for living a long, healthy life. We can help you understand how to control some of the variables like weight management, high cholesterol, blood pressure, and more. Heart disease can sneak up and is one of the leading causes of adults in the United States. Call or contact Hillandale Primary Care today to get checked out and live healthier today!