Does Alcohol Affect your Blood Pressure?: May 23, 2019

It’s checked at every doctor’s visit but if your blood pressure is high doctors say it could be linked to what you drink. “A lot of people drink, and a lot of people have high blood pressure. It’s been shown that alcohol actually increases your blood pressure,” explained Dr. Simon Grinshteyn, a hospitalist with Lee Health.

A healthy blood pressure is considered 120/80, a number that can fluctuate depending on your lifestyle. “Blood pressure is not static, so if we were to put a catheter inside to watch the blood pressure it would go up and down depending on the stress level, depending on your situation, and it does fluctuate, but the body is really good at regulating the norms,” said Dr. Grinshteyn.

Too much alcohol can keep your body dehydrated and keep your blood pressure high. “What it does tend to do is prevent the blood vessels from opening and closing the way that they should,” he said.

 If your blood pressure is consistently high, doctors may recommend making some lifestyle changes. “When we talk about lifestyle modifications—diet, increase in exercise, increase in activity and watching the salt and alcohol intake would make a huge difference,” said Dr. Grinshteyn.

If you drink: doctors recommend doing so in moderation. That means no more than two drinks for men per day and no more than one drink for women per day. Cutting back on alcohol can actually lower your blood pressure by about five points. “Read your labels it’s important to do that. Aerobic activity, a 30-minute walk to get that heart rate up on a daily basis, five times a week, you will see great improvements in your blood pressure,” he said.

Patients living with high blood pressure will have no symptoms and are at risk for heart disease, even strokes. Making it important to know your numbers and limit your alcohol.