WHEN IT comes to alcohol and blood pressure, too much alcohol is not a good thing. Experts recommend that men limit their alcohol intake to two drinks each day and to one drink each day.
It does not take much alcohol to interfere with your blood pressure, so it is critical that you know the facts, especially if you have high blood pressure already, or are at risk for it.
What Constitutes a “Drink”?
A lot of bars and restaurants actually serve cocktails in portions much larger than what is considered to be a “drink”. When you are having a beer, a single serving is just 12 ounces. When you are having a glass of wine, a single serving is just five ounces. When you are having an 80-proof distilled spirit, a single serving is 1.5 ounces. An example of an 80-proof distilled spirit would be something like a rum and coke.
How Does Alcohol Impact My Blood Pressure?
If someone is a heavy drinker and they take their alcohol intake back to a more moderate level, they can lower their top number (systolic blood pressure number) by an average of two to four millimeters of mercury. For example, if their top number was 140, they can bring it down to 136. In this same scenario, they can bring their bottom number (diastolic blood pressure number) down by an average of one to two millimeters of mercury.
Why You Should be Concerned
The United Nations data showed 1 in 3 adults worldwide has High blood pressure – the cause of around half of all deaths from stroke and heart disease – and the condition affects almost half the adult population in some countries in Africa. Stroke and heart attack are possible complications of high blood pressure, especially when it goes uncontrolled. Heart failure, vision problems and aneurysm are also possible.
A big problem with high blood pressure is that the majority of people with it have no idea that they have it. This is because it often causes no symptoms, even when it approaches dangerously high levels. When symptoms do occur, they are often vague and not incredibly alarming, such as some dizziness and dull headaches.
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