Can Alcohol and Smoking Cause Hypertension?

Medically reviewed by | By

Update Date 25/07/2020 . 3 mins read
Share now

Can alcohol and smoking cause hypertension?

First of all, it helps to know how hypertension, or high blood pressure, arises.

Hypertension is caused by a variety of factors, from age, genetics, to lifestyle, which is the only cause we can still fairly control.

And so making certain lifestyle changes, like giving up smoking and moderating alcohol consumption can help minimize the risk of hypertension in the future. 

This is because both of these lifestyle factors can increase the risk of developing hypertension, or high blood pressure, which in turn increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease later on in life.

Whether you have already been diagnosed with high blood pressure or have hypertension risk factors, it is always best to be one step ahead to maintain heart health.

And the first step is to know exactly what you should be protecting yourself against.

How can alcohol and smoking cause hypertension? 

can alcohol and smoking cause hypertension

What smoking can do to blood pressure

Smoking causes an immediate spike in blood pressure. The nicotine in tobacco products stimulates the release of chemicals that can constrict blood vessels and contribute to high blood pressure.

Smoking also causes long-term damage to blood vessels, by constricting flow and circulation to other organs over time. This further increases the chance of developing heart problems in the future. 

And so the combination of smoking and hypertension puts you at greater risk of having a heart attack, stroke, or other cardiovascular event compared to non-smokers with hypertension.

What drinking alcohol can do to blood pressure

Alcohol consumption, around three or more drinks in one setting, can cause increased blood pressure levels.

When done habitually, heavy alcohol consumption can lead to long-term hypertension.

And so moderating alcohol consumption can help keep blood pressure in check and prevent health problems.

The recommended amount is to have no more than one alcoholic beverage per day for women, and no more than two drinks per day for men. 

Moderating alcohol consumption and quitting smoking

It can be quite challenging to moderate alcohol consumption or quit smoking. But it can be done.

The key is taking the first step, and getting the right support and motivation to help you along the way.

Here are some good ideas to get started. 

Commit to quitting

It could help to be very firm with your intention to quit smoking or lessen alcohol intake.

Some tips would be to set a date and eve, sign a contract, to condition your mind on the track of giving up these long-held habits.

Getting rid of all of your tobacco supplies – cigarettes, lighters, ashtrays, anything related to smoking – and checking with your doctor about trying a nicotine patch or gum can also help.

Avoid known triggers

Do you find yourself craving a cigarette while watching TV, after eating, or during a phone conversation?

Keeping yourself busy to avoid those triggers can help. You can try taking a walk after meals, instead of watching TV or meeting up with friends for coffee, instead of drinks. 

Stay busy

To make the transition easier, engaging in a fun activity to take your mind off smoking and drinking – going to the mall to shop or watch movies or staying in to learn a new hobby and skill give you a sense of enjoyment and satisfaction.

Make alcohol a limited indulgence

Instead of settling in on the couch with a six-pack or a bottle of wine, try limiting alcohol consumption to one drink per day. Be sure to remember serving sizes – a serving of wine is 5 ounces; a serving of beer is 12 ounces; and a serving of liquor is 1.5 ounces.

Recognize the signs of dependence

If you have a difficult time limiting alcohol, you might need extra support.  Seek out trusted relatives and friends to help you through it.

And when alcohol starts affecting work, school, or relationships, it is time to seek professional help. Support groups can help, but a detoxification program (complete withdrawal from alcohol use) and rehabilitation may be necessary if you are a heavy drinker.

And most importantly, be gentle with yourself.

Give yourself permission to falter once in a while. And when you do, get back up and try again tomorrow.

The road to better health can be filled with obstacles. And quitting smoking or regulating alcohol consumption isn’t a one-time thing. It often requires constant commitment and continuous motivation to be able to stick to it.

But with the right information, resources, and support the process of minimizing these risk factors of hypertension can be a whole lot easier.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Read also:

    Was this article helpful for you ?
    happy unhappy"
    Sources

    You might also like

    Everything You Need to Know About E-Cigarettes

    More are giving up smoking and using e-cigarettes insteadto curb their addiction. But is it really safe? Here are some vaping facts you should know.

    Medically reviewed by Marie Bianca Angelica Tech, M.D.
    Written by Kip Soliva
    Quit Smoking 25/08/2020 . 4 mins read

    Understanding Endocarditis (Heart Infection)

    Endocarditis is the infection of the inner lining of your heart chambers and valves. What happens in endocarditis? How does it affect health? Find out here.

    Medically reviewed by Marie Bianca Angelica Tech, M.D.
    Written by Kristel Dacumos-Lagorza
    Heart Infections 11/08/2020 . 4 mins read

    Understanding the Types of Heart Valve Stenosis

    Heart valve stenosis affects blood flow throughout the body and overall health. Here's all the types of heart valve stenosis, explained.

    Medically reviewed by Mike Kenneth Doratan, M.D.
    Written by Kathy Kenny Ylaya Ngo
    Heart Valve Disease 11/08/2020 . 4 mins read

    10 Ways to Prevent Atherosclerosis

    Atherosclerosis can affect the heart and overall health. What are some of the best health tips to prevent atherosclerosis? Find out here.

    Medically reviewed by Mike Kenneth Doratan, M.D.
    Written by Jan Alwyn Batara
    Atherosclerosis 11/08/2020 . 4 mins read

    Recommended for you

    facts about congestive heart failure

    Important Facts About Congestive Heart Failure

    Medically reviewed by Mike Kenneth Doratan, M.D.
    Written by Den Alibudbud
    Published on 19/09/2020 . 4 mins read
    Ashitaba

    Ashitaba

    Medically reviewed by Stephanie Nicole G. Nera
    Written by Stephanie Nicole G. Nera
    Published on 16/09/2020 . 4 mins read
    Labetalol

    Labetalol

    Medically reviewed by Stephanie Nicole G. Nera
    Written by Stephanie Nicole G. Nera
    Published on 08/09/2020 . 5 mins read
    how to stop heart palpitations

    10 Ways to Prevent Heart Arrhythmias

    Medically reviewed by Mike Kenneth Doratan, M.D.
    Written by Jan Alwyn Batara
    Published on 05/09/2020 . 4 mins read