High blood pressure and alcohol consumption

High blood pressure and alcohol consumption

Is overweight affect blood pressure ? and what is the relation between, High blood pressure and alcohol consumption?

Yes, without a doubt. Overweight influences the level of systolic and diastolic blood pressure significantly.

Losing weight is one of the recommendations before the indication of drug treatment. A suitable diet, with your doctor and regular physical activity, is very important for weight loss.

Is it possible to drink alcohol with high blood pressure?

Drinking alcohol is not very harmful in the presence of high blood pressure. Alcohol has a demonstrated direct effect on blood pressure levels. Minimizing alcohol intake is very helpful as an initial measure to lower blood pressure before initiating drug therapy.

Is it possible to play sports with high blood pressure?

High blood pressure and alcohol consumption

Regular physical activity and some sports are part of the non-drug treatment for high blood pressure, that is, the treatment that is offered before prescribing medication. 

Your doctor will eliminate any contraindications to practice sport and if your hypertension is controlled, you will continue the practice. However, some sports such as scuba diving or combat sports will not be recommended.

Should I continue to take medication when I have no symptoms?

Hypertension is a disease that does not cure, that is always present and that most of the time does not give symptoms. 

It is therefore silent. Every second spent with high blood pressure puts you in danger because the efforts it requires from the heart are constant, as is the risk of vascular rupture. A stroke or a heart attack can happen without you ever having any symptoms. Treatment is therefore necessary and for life.

For the record, the seven councils of the French Committee to fight against hypertension  :

At any age, working out is useful to treat your blood pressure, even if it is treated with medication.

A little exercise each day is more helpful for your health than a lot of activity once a week.To be beneficial for health, physical activity must make spend 2000 Kcalories per week.

A hypertensive who resumes a sporting activity after 40 years should speak with his doctor. Endurance activities – swimming, cycling, brisk walking, jogging, golfing – should be preferred by people with high blood pressure who want to exercise.

Physical activity that allows you to speak during exercise respects the limits and is not risky. Let your doctor adjust your antihypertensive treatment when you return to regular physical activity.


There is a positive link between alcohol and hypertension, however, the form of the relationship remains disputed; it would be either linear, or in the form of a J or a U.

The pathophysiological mechanisms are multiple:

  • The direct action of alcohol on smooth muscle cells
  • indirect action by stimulation of the hormones involved in hydro-sodium regulation, and arterial vasoconstriction of the organism.

The amount of alcohol causing hypertension is not clearly defined, it is around two to three standard drinks. In addition, consuming alcohol without meals increases the risk of hypertension.

Thus alcohol-related hypertension is secondary hypertension which justifies as a first treatment the reduction,

Cessation of alcohol consumptionwill help you to control HTN.


The health problems associated with excessive alcohol consumption have been widely studied due to their severe public health implications.

In fact, we estimate that in Western countries, around 10% of the population over the age of 14 have risky consumption of alcohol

Alcohol dependence is responsible for ” about 4% of diseases in general, as much as tobacco (4.1%) and hypertension (4.4%). 

 In Switzerland, the annual mortality from alcohol about 3000 deaths with a social cost of 6.5 billion francs to the community. 


The main factor responsible for hypertension in patients who are heavy consumers of alcohol is the activation of the sympathetic nervous system which completely suppresses the vasodilating effect of alcohol. 

This activation is due to the increased production of hypothalamic corticoliberin (CRF, corticotropin-releasing factor).

 This hypothesis by the suppression of alcohol-induced hypertension during the simultaneous administration of dexamethasone which exerts a retro-inhibition on the secretion of CRF by the hypothalamus. 

 This results in hypersecretion of catecholamines (in the CNS and in the kidneys), cortisol, plasma angiotensin, and aldosterone by increasing the plasma renin activity. 

more information about High blood pressure and alcohol consumption

Furthermore, alcohol would have a direct effect on smooth muscle cells. Indeed, there would be an addiction to the acute vasodilating effect of alcohol with an exaggerated awareness of the vasoconstrictor effects of vasomotor amines thus resulting in an increase in peripheral vascular resistance and high blood pressure.

  • Finally, on an experimental level, the ionic movements in smooth muscle cells modified under the effect of alcohol
  • particular an increase in calcium entry into muscle cells
  • The decrease in the amount of magnesium within these cells, calcium having an extremely important constricting role. 

In people who are heavy consumers of alcohol, there is an increase in insulin resistance which induces sodium and water retention, an enlargement of the wall of the vascular smooth muscle and an increase in cytoplasmic calcium levels which, like as we saw above is responsible for vasoconstriction and therefore an increase in blood pressure. 

Little is known about the link between hypertension and alcohol withdrawal, a common phenomenon in alcohol-dependent patients, and in which sudden changes in vital functions including blood pressure and heart rate.

 During alcohol withdrawal, the ion channels suddenly open under the effect of certain neurotransmitters including aspartate which induces neuronal depolarization and therefore neuronal excitation. 

The adrenergic cerebral nervous system activated, leading to an increase in catecholamine and cortisol levels. 

Thus, during alcohol withdrawal, there is a transient increase in blood pressure.

which must initially treat hypertensive patients in order to initiate temporary treatment.

drug information

diabetes news

Leave a Reply