Exactly what is the relationship between alcohol and high blood pressure? Science has shown that there is a link, and excessive alcohol consumption can increase the blood pressure in a number of different ways. An occasional drink is usually considered acceptable and is not harmful for most individuals, but if there is concern about blood pressure levels then alcohol use should be strictly controlled. The usual limit is considered one ounce of alcohol daily, and that is a maximum limit. If high blood pressure is a problem then a better range would be a couple of drinks each week at the most.
One link between alcohol and high blood pressure is kidney function. Regular and excessive consumption of alcohol can damage the kidneys, and this means that more pressure is needed for these organs to function properly. This additional pressure can cause hypertension, and if the kidneys are damaged badly enough from regular alcohol use a special diet or even dangerous drugs may be required to lower this pressure. A high blood pressure diet restricts sodium and many common food choices, but if followed diligently this diet can help lower blood pressure naturally. When caught early on a special diet has a greater chance of success, so regular blood pressure testing is important.
Another link in the relationship between alcohol and high blood pressure concerns body weight. Drinking alcohol regularly means lots of empty calories, and these additional calories almost always cause a weight gain. Even being slightly overweight can cause an increase in blood pressure, and if the drinking is excessive the weight gain may be substantial. More body fat and weight means the blood requires increased pressure to effectively circulate, and this can lead to high blood pressure. The blood pressure medication side effects can be dangerous, and many who suffer from hypertension would not require medication if a normal weight was reached and excess weight was eliminated.
The relationship between the regular use of alcohol and high blood pressure has been scientifically proven, which is why many physicians warn patients who suffer from hypertension to use alcohol sparingly, if at all. Avoiding alcohol, maintaining a healthy weight, and the use of herbal remedies for high blood pressure can all be part of a lifestyle which keeps the blood pressure low and healthy. Anyone who has borderline or high blood pressure should try to eliminate alcohol from their diet and daily activities as much as possible.