The Use of Alcohol and the Effects on Health and Blood Pressure

The use of alcohol and the effects on health and blood pressure has prompted many controlled studies on this subject. The consensus is that moderate alcohol consumption, which is a maximum of two drinks for males and one drink for females, has certain benefits.The benefits include:Sensitivity to insulin, it prevents the formation of small blood clots. In addition, these blood clots can potentially block arteries in the heart, neck, and brain.These small blood clots are the main cause of many heart attacks and strokes.The Dark Side of AlcoholIt is unfortunately a fact that a lot of alcohol user does not limit them to the maximum mentioned above. If drinkers stick to the limit of two drinks for males and one for females, many cardiologists, liver specialists, mental health professionals and substance abuse counselors will be without a job.Very few alcohol users and abusers stop at these limits. There are many moderate users of alcohol, however there are many millions of alcohol abusers.It is also a known fact that the excessive use of alcohol has a devastating effect on the body if used and abused over a long period.

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The most common are:· Inflammation of the liver (alcoholic hepatitis)· Scarring of the liver (cirrhosis),· Can increase blood pressure· Can cause damage of the heart muscleIt has also been linked with several cancers, of the: · Mouth· Pharynx· Larynx· Esophagus· Breast· Colon· Rectum in men· Liver cancer· Colorectal cancer in women.The risks are multiplied for drinkers who also smoke tobacco.Abusers of alcohol cause devastating problems for their families, friends and communities.According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and others:

2 million Americans meet standard criteria for alcohol abuse or alcoholism.
Alcohol plays a role in one in three cases of violent crime.
More than 16,000 people die each year in automobile accidents in which alcohol is involved.
Alcohol abuse costs more than $185 billion dollars a year.
Even moderate drinking carries some risks. Alcohol can disrupt sleep. Its ability to cloud judgment is legendary. Alcohol interacts in potentially dangerous ways with a variety of medications, including acetaminophen, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, painkillers, and sedatives. It is also addictive, especially for people with a family history of alcoholism.The Bottom Line: Balancing Risks and BenefitsKeeping the above in mind and alcohol’s effects on the body, plus the complexity of the people who drink it, blanket recommendations about alcohol use cannot be safely issued.Due to our individual histories, alcohol use and effects are different for each person. If we drink alcohol for “medicinal purposes,” you need to consider all of the benefits and risks.If you do not drink, why start, considering all the risk factors? The same benefits you can potentially get from the limited use of alcohol, you can get from physical exercise, the correct diet and incorporation of certain herbs for blood pressure.

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I the case of males with no history of alcoholism who is at moderate to high risk for heart disease, a daily alcoholic drink could reduce that risk.A maximum of two drinks might possibly be of benefit to you if you have low HDL that you find difficult to raise with the correct diet and exercise.If you are a woman with no history of alcoholism who is at moderate to high risk for heart disease, the possible benefits of a daily drink must be balanced against the small increase in risk of breast cancer.If you are not using alcohol and planning to start, consider all the risk factors and stick to the limits. There are many broken people because of alcohol abuse.If you do not drink, why start, considering all the risk factors? The same benefits you can potentially get from the limited use of alcohol, you can get from physical exercise, the correct diet and incorporation of certain herbs for blood pressure.