Alcohol and hypertension have had an association for a very long time. It is well known heavy alcohol use raises blood pressure readings, often to dangerous levels. Still, it was never thought the antidote for this was to lay off alcoholic beverages altogether. It has always been assumed cutting back on the amount of alcohol consumed would be good enough to get the BP back down to normal. However, is this so?
Studies have shown 3 to 6 drinks a day are enough to put a person into a heavy drinker category. This amount of consumption will raise the blood pressure of just about anyone. Often consuming this amount of alcohol, without any other contributing factors, such as obesity, will drive a person's BP statements into the danger zone.
These studies have shown this to be true whether the person being studied was a male or female. It is also shown that even young people are affected by heavy alcohol intake and the blood pressure readings of young adults are often elevated to the dangerous point after just several months of heavy drinking. However, older adults are affected more quickly than younger ones.
There was a time moderate drinking was considered healthy. Also, the type of alcoholic beverage being consumed was considered a factor. Now, it looks like the latest studies find differently. In other words, it does not matter what alcoholic beverage you consume, what matters is the amount of alcohol itself that is consumed. Whereas it used to be thought red wine would be good for you, it is now found that red wine, only in very small amounts, can have some beneficial effects.
However, any alcoholic beverage consumed in large quantities presents a high risk for hypertension. Beer or whiskey, it does not matter, male or female, the alcohol does not discern. Once a person has developed hypertensive, cutting back on alcoholic consumption a little bit does no good. Changing from a heavy drinker to a moderate drinker also has a limited effect. When lowering blood pressure that was caused by heavy alcohol consumption, it is very helpful to quit drinking alcohol altogether, at least for several weeks. Then, if the blood pressure has become regulated, moderate drinking usually does no harm.
For people who have not had problems with hypertension, moderate drinking has no effect. However, the problem is, some believe cutting back from possibly eight drinks a day to seven will lower their blood pressure accordingly. This simply is not true. Hypertension is not something one should take lightly. So, anyone fighting this problem must follow doctor's orders. Sometimes, these orders will be cut down drastically on alcohol consumption. This will remain a fact until someone can definitively dispel the connection between alcohol and hypertension.