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High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) Controllable Risk Factors: Excess Alcohol — an article on the Smart Living Network
January 21, 2010 at 4:07 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) Controllable Risk Factors: Excess Alcohol

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High Blood Pressure (hypertension) Controllable Risk Factors: Excess Alcohol This eight-part series continues with the controllable risk factor of high blood pressure: excess alcohol.

Excess alcohol

Excess alcohol is linked to elevating blood pressure levels. Plus, it can interact with blood pressure medication adversely. There is no debate. Studies have proven over and over again the harmful side effects of excess alcohol as it relates to blood pressure. Excess alcohol varies from person to person. Since there aren't any real guidelines, you should keep a log of your alcohol consumption. This log is recommended because it may be easy to forget what you drink. It's important to know the real facts. All alcohol is not created equal. One 5-ounce glass of wine, a 1.5-ounce shot of whiskey, and a 12-ounce can of beer equal one drink serving.  Heavy drinkers should avoid total elimination of alcohol at once because this will have a startling effect on the body, specifically high blood pressure. Cut back in gradual steps. Seek professional guidance when you decide to make this healthy decision. Drinking four or more drinks at one time is called binge drinking. This type of drinking causes huge and abrupt elevations in blood pressure, which can lead to other health complications. If you don't drink through the week, don't think it's safe to drink excess alcohol on the weekend.

The great debate

There are studies out there, though inconclusive, that seem to promote alcohol drinking in moderation for health. Though it may sound convincing and promising, it's important to realize that no medical professional will suggest you start to drink if you're a nondrinker just for the potential health benefits. The line is simply too thin to cross. And if you're tempted to drink more than what's considered moderate, you will put your health at unnecessary risks.

The final note

If you must drink, moderation is the key. Remember moderate drinking is one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men. Even though these allowances are allowed for those who suffer with high blood pressure, if you are prone to drink more than the suggested recommendations, perhaps you should abstain altogether. It's important to not drink alcohol in excess. If you drink excess alcohol, have high blood pressure, and are overweight, you're living life on the edge unnecessarily. Your health isn't worth the risk. Be smart. Don't be too preoccupied with alcohol that you lose focus on your high blood pressure. High blood pressure is caused by uncontrollable risk factors, as well as controllable risk factors. When something beneficial is within your control, and your control only, why not take advantage? With so little things within our control these days, why not usurp that control when you, and only you, can? Do it for yourself. You deserve a healthier life.

Sources:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/high-blood-pressure/HI00027

http://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/prevention.htm

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