BP Basics

Alcohol and Hypertension- Moderation is the Key

Hypertension is a very dangerous situation that may lead to various complications such as stroke, kidney damage or cardiovascular disease. If you have been diagnosed with hypertension, your doctor will suggest you to make changes in your day-to-day lifestyle.  A sedentary and improper lifestyle only aggravates high blood pressure. Timely modifications will help you to control and curb the disease.

You may be habitual of having two or three pegs after a day’s work. You may wonder whether it is advisable to continue drinking. There are certain schools of thought that advocate that alcohol is beneficial in case it is used in moderation. A number of studies in this have been conducted. The benefits of alcohol are there. However if you drink in excess you may experience an increase in your blood pressure besides other health problems.

Let us take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of alcohol

Advantages: Limited and sensible consumption of alcohol will help to reduce cholesterol, lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and help to reduce blood pressure. On the other hand, excessive amounts of alcohol will have the opposite effect. Let us define sensible drinking. For a man a sensible quantity of alcohol is not more than two or at the most three units of alcohol in a day. A unit means half a pint of beer, a small glass of wine or a measure of spirit.

Disadvantages: if you consume heavy amounts of alcohol instead of benefiting you, it will result in an increase in blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure and drink more alcohol than the recommended consumption, reducing your alcohol will definitely reduce your blood pressure.

Studies have revealed that alcohol may interact with medications meant for blood pressure. If you are taking medication for hypertension then you should abstain from using alcohol for the duration that you are taking the medication. After you have finished the prescribed medication, you can resume drinking alcohol as long as it is within the recommended limits.