Doctor insights on:
Alcohol Lowers Blood Pressure
All raise BP: Alcohol increases blood pressure. Each 10 gram of alcohol (less than in a 12 ounce beer) per day will increase BP by 1 mmhg. So 4 beers a day BP will increase by about 5 mmhg. In long term studies that has been shown to increase risk of stroke and heart attack by about 20%. Alcohol at low amounts (1-2 drinks/day) raises good cholesterol which has heart benefits. Best to drink in moderation. ...Read more
Blood pressure is a measurement of the force placed on the blood vessels and is comprised of the "systolic" pressure (the top number on a blood pressure meter) which is the peak pressure when the heart is pumping, and the "diastolic" pressure (the bottom number on a blood pressure meter) which is the pressure during the resting phase ...Read more
Alcohol: Alcohol is a well known vasodilator which in turn will lower your blood pressure in the short term but the chronic use of alcohol will lead to high blood pressure in the long term, so if you have high blood pressure it is best to avoid heavy alcohol use. An exception my be the use of one glass of red wine with dinner whic may lead to cardiovascular benefits if your blood pressure is not an issue. ...Read more
I am diagnosed with general anxiety and if i drink a moderate amount of alcohol my blood pressure lowers from 120-130/80-90 to 110-115/66-75. Why?
Raises it, usually: Acutely, like in alcohol poisoning it can lower your blood pressure to shock levels- in fact many alcohol ods die of shock. Chronically, in heavier drinkers (3/day on average or more), it elevates blood pressure, and in fact is a cause of secondary hypertension. For the most part, people with elevated BP should drink very much in moderation, if at all. I ask my pt's to keep it to special occasion. ...Read more
See below: Only if it's specifically asked for. Not on routine testing. ...Read more
Depends: Too much will increase your blood pressure. A small to moderate amount might decrease it, but other factors (ex. Liver problems, dependence/addiction issues, cancer risk assoc with excess alcohol intake and even weight increase from calories in alcoholic beverages) should be factored into decision on if/how much alcohol to drink. Talk with your doctor about right amount for your health. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Can increase it: Heavy alcohol intake (more than 4 drinks a day, or, after a binge) can increase your pressure a lot, by 20 points or more. I have seen patients whose pressure is 160/110 when they are drinking heavily (pint a day), and then have normal pressure of 130/80 once they go sober. Light alcohol (1-2 drinks per day for men, 1 drink / day for women) should not increase the pressure much at all. ...Read more
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