High blood pressure, or hypertension, has many causes. Most people are aware of the common culprits, such as obesity, high sodium intake and heredity. It is also common knowledge that high blood pressure puts a person at a higher risk for dangerous, and life-threatening diseases, including heart disease, heart attack and stroke. Therefore, it is crucial to keep blood pressure levels within a normal range. The average person's blood pressure is approximately 120/80, however, these numbers vary from person to person. For some more information on alcoholism and blood pressure visit this link here to the Mayo Clinic article on alcohol.
There are a variety of ways in which blood pressure can be kept in check. The easiest way is to live a healthy lifestyle. This includes a diet low in sodium, and rich in lean protein, fresh vegetables and fruit, whole grains and low-fat dairy products. Exercise is another important component of healthy living. A combination of healthy diet and exercise can keep blood pressure within the normal range. Medication can also help to lower blood pressure. Some researchers, and even doctors suggest that moderate alcohol consumption can also help to keep high blood pressure at bay.
In recent years, much research has been done in an attempt to discover what effect alcohol has on blood pressure. The results of these studies depend on several factors. Below are some of the ways alcohol can affect blood pressure.
Small Amounts May Lower Blood Pressure
Research has shown that in small amounts, alcohol consumption can lower blood pressure by approximately 2-4 mmHG. For women, this means one drink per day, and for men, two. One drink would be twelve ounces of beer, a five-ounce glass of wine, or one and one half ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits.
An Increase From Drinking Large Amounts
The result of drinking more than the amount of alcohol recommended for beneficial use is a temporary rise in blood pressure. After the alcohol wears off, the blood pressure will return to the level it was at prior to drinking.
Long-Term Effects of Drinking Alcohol
While blood pressure can return to normal for the sporadic drinker, chronic, or permanent, hypertension can result from drinking excessive amounts on a regular basis. This condition also contributes to atherosclerosis, a blood vessel disease which puts people at risk for stroke.
Alcoholics, or those who drink regularly, run the risk of a possibly dangerous blood pressure spike if they stop drinking suddenly. It is best to taper off slowly, and under the care of a physician.
As you can see, there is a fine line between healthy alcohol consumption, and the risks involved in excessive drinking when it comes to the effects on blood pressure. The bottom line is: a drink a day may keep the doctor away. But, more than that poses some serious health risks. And, if you are not a drinker, do not start drinking for the health benefits. You will do fine without it!
For more information about the long-term effects of alcoholism, please visit Providence Women's Recovery and they'd be happy to assist you with any questions you might have. Please feel free to comment if you enjoyed this article. And if you have any request that you would like us to write about, just let us know!