The Benefits Of Red Wine Might Be Overstated
The idea that red wine is good for heart health gets a lot of press, but the full story is more complicated than that, Gilstrap says. The American Heart Association, for example, says that drinking more red wine will generally not lead to a healthier heart.
However, red wine has antioxidant properties and flavonoids, molecules that can benefit heart health, in moderation. A 2017 study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that moderate drinking had a positive impact on cholesterol, and that wine in particular increased levels of good cholesterol, which is an indicator of a healthy heart.
There are healthier ways to get the benefits of antioxidants and flavonoids, which are rich in almonds, berries, apples, citrus, spinach, and black and green tea .
All of the research with different conclusions can be confusing. Yet there are some clear takeaways: heavy drinking can hurt your heart health, while a standard drink over dinner is likely fine for most people. Of course, it’s best to talk to your doctor about your particular situation before indulging.
Does Alcohol Withdrawal Affect Your Blood Pressure
This is a bit of a catch-22 for people who drink. Alcohol consumption increases the risk of developing high blood pressure. However, alcohol withdrawal can also be a scary situation since many do not know what to expect. This anxiety can lead to high blood pressure. For long-term drinkers, having high blood pressure and feeling anxious can be a double whammy. This is when withdrawal becomes dangerous and requires medical supervision. Fortunately, our medical detox programs have a clear process for helping individuals work through alcohol withdrawal symptoms:
- Treatment evaluation
- Detox stabilization
- Aftercare treatment
Thankfully, when you seek out the help of a detox facility or rehab center, you are not going through any part of the withdrawal or recovery process alone. Alcohol withdrawal is difficult, and many people feel nervous when going through them. This is often because they do not know what to expect. Naturally, that leads to an increase in blood pressure. However, when you have the help of experienced rehab staff by your side, your blood pressure can remain normal. They can talk you through the process since they have helped others in your situation before. Talk to them and listen to their advice. Give each item they suggest a try. Not all of them will work for you, but one of them is definitely bound to help.
Prevention And Treatment Of Alcohol
There are few strategies for the control, prevention and treatment of alcohol-induced hypertension as shown in Figure .
Prevention and treatment of alcohol-induced hypertension. ACEi/ARBs: Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor/Angiotensin receptor blockers
Studies have shown that a reduction in alcohol intake is effective in lowering the blood pressure both in hypertensives and normotensives and may help to prevent the development of hypertension. Heavy drinkers who cut back to moderate drinking can lower their systolic blood pressure by 2 to 4 mm of mercury and their diastolic blood pressure by 1 to 2 mmHg. Heavy drinkers who want to lower blood pressure should slowly reduce how much they drink over one to two weeks.
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Alcohol Consumption For Someone With High Blood Pressure
If someone has high blood pressure, they should avoid drinking alcohol as much as possible. Most doctors recommend that people with high blood pressure should exercise and eat a healthy diet. Part of this healthy diet is avoiding alcohol use.
While alcohol does contribute to high blood pressure, it may be safe to use small amounts of alcohol. The American Heart Association says the maximum daily amount of alcohol consumption for people with hypertension is two drinks for men and one drink for women. Ultimately, the less you drink, the better it will be for your hypertension. The AHA recommendations may not work best for everyone, however, so be sure to speak with a doctor about your specific situation.
Treatment Options For Alcohol Abuse And Addiction
Overcoming alcohol abuse or addiction is rarely an easy feat. Luckily, there are several treatment options available for individuals struggling with an alcohol use disorder. Vertava Health has several treatment facilities that offer personalized plans of recovery for those looking to reclaim their lives from alcohol addiction.
To learn more about how alcohol can affect the heart or to explore addiction treatment options, contact an Vertava Health treatment specialist today.
This page does not provide medical advice.
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Measurements Of Blood Pressure And Heart Rate
Details on the methods used for measuring systolic and diastolic blood pressure and resting heart rate in each study are provided in . In cohorts where information about use of blood pressure lowering medication was available a constant was added to SBP and DBP in subjects on blood pressure lowering medication as recommended by Tobin and colleagues. If this information was not available SBP and DBP were analysed as they were. Availability of information on blood pressure lowering medication in each study is provided in . The following dichotomous outcomes were defined: 1) hypertension as SBP > 140 mmHg or DBP > 90 mmHg or taking blood pressure lowering medication, 2) severe hypertension as SBP > 160 mmHg or DBP > 100 mmHg, or taking blood pressure lowering medication. Thus, participants taking blood pressure lowering medication were defined as having both hypertension and severe hypertension. BMI was calculated as weight/height2 . Age was calculated as years at the time of measurements of blood pressure and heart rate.
Moderate Drinking And Blood Pressure
While some people suggest that moderate alcohol consumption improves heart health, several studies found that moderate drinking can cause high blood pressure and other heart problems. Moderate alcohol usage, defined as two or more drinks , substantially increases your risk of developing long-term high blood pressure, or chronic hypertension. However, when people go from drinking heavily to drinking in moderation, both their systolic and diastolic readings will decrease.
Moderate alcohol consumption may be allowable with certain high blood pressure medications, but it is important to consult a doctor or pharmacist before doing so.
ALCOHOL REHAB HELP
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How Much Alcohol Is Too Much
Whether or not moderate drinking is good for your heart is open to debate. However, for most people, it doesnt appear to be harmful to the heart, McEvoy says but the key word is moderate.
Moderate drinking is defined as an average of one drink per day for women and one or two for men. A drink might be less than you think: 12 ounces of beer, 4 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof spirits.
Some people should avoid even that much, McEvoy adds. He advises patients not to drink at all if they have certain heart rhythm abnormalities or have heart failure. There are certain situations where its best the patient doesnt drink any alcohol, he says.
Endothelium And Oxidative Stress
The cells within the inner linings of the blood vessels, known as endothelium cells, may be directly affected by levels of oxidative stress rising due to alcohol-induced blood pressure.
As excessive alcohol consumption may cause inflammation of the endothelium cells, the blood vessels lose elasticity as constriction of the passages is stimulated. The production of nitric oxide, required by endothelium cells, may be reduced.
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Does Alcohol Protect Against Heart Problems
Some studies have shown an association between moderate alcohol intake and a lower risk of dying from heart disease.
But its hard to determine cause and effect from those studies, says McEvoy. Perhaps people who sip red wine have higher incomes, which tend to be associated with more education and greater access to healthier foods. Similarly, red wine drinkers might be more likely to eat a heart-healthy diet.
There is some evidence that moderate amounts of alcohol might help to slightly raise levels of good HDL cholesterol. Researchers have also suggested that red wine, in particular, might protect the heart, thanks to the antioxidants it contains.
But you dont have to pop a cork to reap those benefits. Exercise can also boost HDL cholesterol levels, and antioxidants can be found in other foods, such as fruits, vegetables and grape juice
Limit Your Alcohol Intake
Regularly drinking too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure over time.
Staying within the recommended levels is the best way to reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure:
- men and women are advised not to regularly drink more than 14 units a week
- spread your drinking over 3 days or more if you drink as much as 14 units a week
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Alcohol Consumption: Categories Measurement And Patterns
There are certain factors that are critically important to understanding and interpreting the data related to the health consequences of alcohol consumption. For example, how was alcohol consumption measured? What were the drink sizes and alcohol concentrations? How often did the subjects drink alcohol? What was the pattern of drinking? And was the study prospective or aggregate ?
The way in which alcohol consumption has been measured and categorized varies, sometimes making it challenging to compare data among studies. More studies today report alcohol consumption in terms of either drinks or grams/units of ethanol per day or week, and alcohol consumption is measured by self-report. Most investigators also define the amount of alcohol that constitutes a standard drink as 12 to 15 g .
Advances are being made to address these factors. For example, alcohol consumption typically has been measured through self-report. Future studies would benefit from using direct biomarkers of alcohol consumption, such as phosphatidylethanol , to corroborate self-report of alcohol consumption and distinguish among low, moderate, and heavy alcohol consumption . With this in mind, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism sponsored a biomarker research challenge to discover and develop biomarkers of alcohol consumption . Such a biomarker would corroborate self-reported consumption and bring more uniformity of reporting within and across studies.
Preventing High Blood Pressure
Limiting alcohol consumption can also help to prevent high blood pressure.
If you drink, limit your alcohol consumption to no more than two drinks per day for men and no more than one drink per day for women. A drink is one 12 oz. beer, 4 oz. of wine, 1.5 oz. of 80-proof spirits or 1 oz. of 100-proof spirits.
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What Is High Blood Pressure
Every time your heart beats, it pumps blood into the arteries, and blood pressure is the force of your blood pushing against the arterial walls.3 Every time your heart beats, blood pressure is at its highest and is measured as systolic pressure, which is the first number on a blood pressure reading.3 In between beats, blood pressure is relatively lower, which is known as diastolic pressure.3
Blood pressure measures include both a persons systolic and diastolic numbers, with the former coming before the latter. Some important blood pressure thresholds to know include:3
- Normal: Less than 120/80 mmHg.
- Prehypertension : Between 120/80 mmHg and 139/89 mmHg.
- Stage 1 Hypertension: Between 130-139 mmHg/80-89 mmHg.
- Stage 2 Hypertension: Higher than 140/90 mmHg.
- Hypertension Crisis : higher than 180/120 mmHg.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is when a persons blood pressure stays elevated longer than normal.4 When it stays high over time, it causes the heart to consistently pump harder.3
The increased cardiovascular stress may lead to serious health problems such as:
- Heart attack
- Having diabetes
- Smoking, and other forms of substance abuse, including too much alcohol5
High blood pressure is often characterized as a silent killer because, given the lack of warning signs or symptoms, many people do not know they have it.4
More Alcohol Means More Risk
A recent study found a strong link between drinking one to three drinks a day and getting AFib.
Heavy drinking, or more than three drinks a day, bumps up your risk even more. And it seems to keep going up the more you have. Studies suggest that for every extra daily drink, your risk goes up by 8%.
You don’t have to drink regularly, either. Binge drinking, or having more than five drinks in a row, also makes getting AFib more likely. People in these studies drank wine or hard liquor. It’s not clear if beer has the same effect.
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Recommended Guidelines For Alcohol Consumption How Much Is Too Much
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has outlined the guidelines for safe drinking levels. They have also established the kind of drinking that is considered high risk. Staying within the safe limits of alcohol consumption or not drinking at all is the best way to prevent heart and other health conditions.
The following are the amounts of alcohol consumption that are considered safe:
- Men No more than 14 drinks per week and no more than four drinks per day
- Women No more than seven drinks per week and no more than three drinks per day
Drinking more than the recommended amount per day is classified as binge drinking, and consuming more than the weekly recommended amount is considered excessive alcohol consumption. Both binge drinking and heavy drinking can increase a persons risk for cardiovascular problems.
Alcohol Consumption And Total Stroke Incidence And Prevalence
Many epidemiologic studies also have been conducted to evaluate the association between alcohol consumption and total stroke incidence and prevalence, as well as the separate effects on specific stroke subtypes . In the same systematic review and meta-analysis noted above, systematically examined the relationships between and among different levels of alcohol consumption and incident stroke and stroke mortality. They found a decrease or no effect on relative risk for incident stroke and stroke mortality, respectively, at < 2.5 g and 2.5 to 14.9 g of alcohol/day, and almost no overall associations of alcohol consumption with levels between 15 to 29.9 g and 30 to 60 g of alcohol/day . For heavier drinkers the risk for incident stroke was greater compared with abstainers, and the risk for stroke mortality was about one and a half times greater . A subanalysis of stroke subtypes revealed that when pooling the risk among current alcohol drinkers compared with nondrinkers, the risk was actually higher for incident hemorrhagic stroke than for ischemic stroke .
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Alcohol And Heart Failure
Several studies and meta-analyses have been conducted to determine the relationship between alcohol consumption and the risk of developing heart failure in healthy subjects, as well as in those with a history of MI or CHD. Heart failure is a syndrome that often results from an MI or CHD. Studies also have examined the safety of alcoholic beverage consumption in subjects with heart failure.
In a meta-analysis of prospective studies of healthy people ages 2181, reported that, compared with nondrinkers, the risk for heart failure across different levels of alcohol consumption was greatest for those consuming 12 drinks per week, intermediate for those consuming 3 drinks/week as well as for those consuming 14 drinks/week, and least for those consuming 7 drinks/week. Based on doseresponse analysis, consumption of 7 drinks/week was associated with a 17 percent lower risk of developing heart failure.
More recently, examined the effects of daily wine consumption in subjects enrolled in an Italian trial of heart failure patients , most of whom had reduced ejection-fraction heart failure. Different levels of daily wine consumption had no effect on fatal or nonfatal outcomes . Subjects who drank wine more often, however, were less likely to have symptoms of depression and more likely to have a better perception of health status. They also had lower levels of circulating inflammatory markers, such as C-terminal proendothelin-1 and pentraxin-3 .
Summary And Future Directions For Research
Alcohol consumption remains a major risk factor for global burden of disease . Nearly all the data on humans exploring the relationship between alcohol consumption and CV riskincluding some indications of potential CV benefits associated with low-to-moderate alcohol consumption are derived from epidemiologic studies. Therefore, because there are no randomized controlled trials, health care professionals should not recommend alcohol consumption as a primary or secondary lifestyle intervention. Instead, clinicians should continue to recommend strategies such as a healthy diet and exercise. Adults who choose to drink can be encouraged to follow the alcohol consumption recommendations from NIAAA .
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Does Alcohol Lower Blood Pressure
Can alcohol lower blood pressure? This may seem unlikely but, it has been confirmed that moderate intake is deemed beneficial. Does alcohol lower blood pressure temporarily? It is possible to lower pressure by 2 to 4mm Hg, but this means low quantities.
The key is the term moderate:
- Men under retirement age two drinks per day
- Men over retirement age one drink per day
- Women irrespective of age one drink per day
Research indicates that the risk of coronary heart disease lessens when moderate levels of drink are consumed. An individual with hypertension can rapidly reverse the condition through stopping drinking. Alcoholism plays a factor in this. Consider the impact of alcohol withdrawal and blood pressure and the results are encouraging. By gradually withdrawing from this addictive substance, hypertension may be helped.
Can Alcohol Lower Blood Pressure
There is not a great deal of evidence that alcohol and low blood pressure are linked for most people. Some research has shown that a single drink might have a positive effect on heart health. People who are light or moderate drinkers sometimes have lower rates of hypertension and heart attacks, which previously led many doctors to start recommending that people have one drink per day.
However, more recent research has shown that the link between light drinking and heart health is probably more complicated than it originally seemed. There are likely a lot of compounding factors for example, people with certain healthy habits may be less likely to drink heavily and also may have lower blood pressure because of these other habits. Many doctors no longer recommend a drink a day and are aware that even moderate amounts of alcohol can negatively impact health.
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