Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

Alcohol and diabetes raise the risk of hypertension

Dr. Pradeep Dalwadi explains how alcohol intake and diabetes affect your blood pressure

Published: Jan 22, 2020 10:26:56 AM IST
Updated: Jan 22, 2020 04:10:10 PM IST

Alcohol and diabetes raise the risk of hypertension

For millions across the world, alcohol constitutes a regular part of the dining experience. It is often an important component of social events, celebrations, and milestones.  As per a recent study by German researchers, the total volume of alcohol consumed globally per year has risen by 70 per cent since 1990. In India, annual alcohol intake increased by 38 per cent between 2010 and 2017. It has been demonstrated that excessive alcohol consumption can lead to disorders related to blood pressure, liver, heart, brain and nervous system, and may also lead to anemia and cancer. Studies suggest that chronic ethanol consumption (more than three drinks per day, 30 g ethanol) is associated with an increased incidence of high blood pressure (hypertension) and an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Excessive drinking can lead to an average increase of 5-10 mmHg in the blood pressure. Alcohol impacts your blood pressure in several ways such as contributing to unwanted weight gain due to its calorie content and appetite stimulant properties, which in itself is a risk factor for high blood pressure. Moreover, alcohol can interfere with the effectiveness and increase the side effects of some blood pressure medications. Thus it is suggested that even if you are drinking less than the recommended limits, lowering your alcohol intake will still be beneficial.

Issued in Public Interest by USV PVT LTD 

Reportedly, people with diabetes are about twice as likely to have high blood pressure than the non-diabetics. At an average every two of the three diabetics will have hypertension too. In diabetes, an over supply of sugar and insulin in the body causes inflammation, which then damages and stiffens your artery lining, allowing plaque to build up. This process eventually increases your risk of hypertension, heart attacks and strokes. It is widely believed that someone who has high body fat content, is obese, eats high-sodium diet or follows a sedentary lifestyle is vulnerable to both these conditions. Diabetes along with hypertension can be lethal as they heighten the risk of further complications including heart attack or a stroke, kidney diseases and visual impairment.

People with diabetes must make conscious efforts to keep their blood pressure levels in control. Making small changes to your lifestyle goes long way in maintaining your blood pressure and taking control of your life and health. Prevention is the only cure for these complications. It is important to take regular diabetes test and blood pressure check, and adopt a healthy and stress-free lifestyle complete with balanced diet, exercise, yoga and meditation.

Disclaimer: The views, suggestions and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Forbes India journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.