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When I was having a rare alcohol binge at the weekend, I found quite an interesting observation when I came to measure my blood pressure during that period. All of you who have read my various posts on this forum will know that I have had a bit of an issue with high pressure, particularly with my systolic blood pressure which was consistently coming in at the 130s or 140s (high end of prehypertension to low end of full hypertension) up until last weekend.

When I consumed all of that alcohol on Saturday though, my blood pressure took a sudden plunge all the way down to 112/62 which is only a couple of points away from being a hypotension reading (one which is below the healthy range and therefore, considered ro be too low). This morning, my blood pressure then shot up all the way to 155/85 which is higher than at any time since I stopped that latest experiment with coming off blood pressure tablets.

Because of this, I would like to pose this question to Carorees (the forum's main expert on blood pressure issues) or anyone else who can shed some light on this subject. The observations that I have seen is that after a couple of days after taking too much alcohol, the blood pressure does go up which is in line with what the experts in the media have always said about the effects of alcohol on blood pressure.

However, I was wondering if it is also common to get such a large and rapid temporary drop in blood pressure before that happens, or whether my situation is a one off one in that regard. If such a drop in blood pressure on a temporary basis is common after a large intake of alcohol, it would be good to know a bit about the science behind that (perhaps someone could send some links to some scientific studies for that) so that I have a better understanding of what actually happened during that period.
izzy wrote: I'm no expert John, but just wonder if it was dehydration which caused your BP to drop. I know back in the summer, when it was very hot, mine plummeted a massive amount! The doc put it down to dehydration. Doesn't alcohol cause dehydration?


Yes, dehydration can cause a temporary drop in BP.
My husband is on BP drugs and sometime when they kick in he is unable to stand up without falling over and feeling light headed as his BP has plummeted so drastically and quickly so he has to have a tiny, and I do mean TINY, nip of scotch to regulate things. Like the others I tend to think it may have been the result of alcohol induced dehydration

Ballerina x :heart:
izzy wrote: I'm no expert John, but just wonder if it was dehydration which caused your BP to drop. I know back in the summer, when it was very hot, mine plummeted a massive amount! The doc put it down to dehydration. Doesn't alcohol cause dehydration?


I already knew that alcohol causes dehydration. I find that if I drink beer in particular (which I wasn't in this case), I will usually find myself running to the toilet all the time after my first pint. I have read that this is because of the fact that alcohol is a diuretic. What I haven't been able to understand is the relationship between that and blood pressure, although I do know that there is a class of blood pressure drugs that are used to treat hypertension because of the very fact that they are diuretics.

When I first started getting treated for high blood pressure, I was actually put onto those diuretic tablets to begin with. However, these tablets can also cause other side effects that can lead to the onset of gout. That is what happened to me (and that was extremely painful when it happened) and it is because of that, that my doctor then took me off those tablets and instead, put me onto the Lisinopril tablets (which are a form of ACE inhibitor) that I currently take for that.

I am also thinking that this might also help to explain this morning's sudden rise in my blood pressure, if that is caused by the same water retention that probably caused my weight to jump all the way up to 75.5kg (I was quite shocked by that, because that had meant that I had gained almost half a stone in just two days (from 11 stone 6 pounds on Saturday morning, to 11 stone 12 pounds this morning), and I know that it would be impossible for me to eat anywhere near to being enough calories within such a short period of time, to be able to gain that much in body fat).
Now surely dehydration causes an increase in blood pressure?
If you are dehydrated then your blood is low in water too which means you have an overall decreased blood volume.This leads to an increased blood pressure to allow circulation to carry on at the same rate.
I am sure that it is much more complicated than my explanation but that would be my understanding.
Good question though! x
spanner wrote: Now surely dehydration causes an increase in blood pressure?
If you are dehydrated then your blood is low in water too which means you have an overall decreased blood volume.This leads to an increased blood pressure to allow circulation to carry on at the same rate.
I am sure that it is much more complicated than my explanation but that would be my understanding.
Good question though! x


Of course, that doesn't tie in with the water retention that has caused the massive weight gain in my case. I can easily guess that dehydration means that the blood water content is low. However, I would have thought that if it is water retention that has caused the sudden increase in my weight, that would have meant that the water content in my blood would be quite high, so I'm a bit confused about that one.

However, I'm sure that Carorees will be along at some point to put us all right on that one.
@Carorees is on her way home from holiday. I'm sure she'll be along when she can to "unconfuse" the blood-pressure question. ;)
Alcohol causes your blood vessels to expand. This creates more space for blood, thus lowering your blood pressure. I suffer from Raynauds, which is an over-contraction of the blood vessels in extremities in response to cold, and a wee dram is recommended as a way of helping with an attack :)
Heucherella wrote: Alcohol causes your blood vessels to expand. This creates more space for blood, thus lowering your blood pressure. I suffer from Raynauds, which is an over-contraction of the blood vessels in extremities in response to cold, and a wee dram is recommended as a way of helping with an attack :)

That to me, sounds like another reason why they say that alcohol can actually be quite good for you when it is taken in moderation.
Heucherella wrote: Alcohol causes your blood vessels to expand. This creates more space for blood, thus lowering your blood pressure. I suffer from Raynauds, which is an over-contraction of the blood vessels in extremities in response to cold, and a wee dram is recommended as a way of helping with an attack :)


Yes it does. I had similar experience. I usually made use of the blood pressure calculator to monitor my blood pressure. After 6 months of heavy drinking, I discovered my BP increased. But that's in the past though. Happy I am not in that zone any more
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