"Having a few drinks helps me relax, and relaxing lowers my blood sugar, so alcohol should be good for my hypertension, right?” Unfortunately not.
If you have hypertension you need to limit your consumption of alcohol, which has been shown to elevate blood pressure by up to 10 percent in people with hypertension. It causes constriction of the blood vessels and reduces the heart’s ability to pump efficiently, which can contribute to enlargement of the heart muscle.
If you have essential hypertension you need to take particular care with alcohol. Men with hypertension should consume now more two drinks (about one glass of wine, 300ml of beer or one tot of spirits) daily. Hypertensive women should have no more than one drink a day.
There’s a temptation to bend the rules a bit, especially over the festive season, or to “save up rations”, enabling you to have a bit of a binge. Doctors warn against this, as sudden, heavy drinking is particularly harmful.
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