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It is known that what we eat and drink can have a major impact on our bodies. Specifically, alcohol is one type of beverage that carries with it a host of health risks. The Stroke Association has explained how booze heightens your chances of developing five problems linked to strokes.
It said: “Research shows that drinking large amounts of alcohol can greatly increase your risk of having a stroke.
“This is because alcohol contributes to a number of medical conditions that are risk factors for stroke.”
According to the charity, these are the conditions alcohol can make worse and why that increases your chance of a stroke.
High blood pressure is the most important risk factor for stroke, contributing to over 50 percent of all strokes in the UK.
Drinking too much alcohol raises your blood pressure.
Diabetes doubles your risk of stroke.
Drinking alcohol can change the way your body responds to insulin – a hormone that helps use up the sugar in your blood.
This can lead to type 2 diabetes.
Being overweight increases your risk of having a stroke.
Alcoholic drinks tend to be very high in calories, so regularly drinking lots of alcohol can make it more difficult to maintain a healthy weight.
Atrial fibrillation and alcohol.
Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can trigger atrial fibrillation – a type of irregular heartbeat.
Atrial fibrillation increases your risk of stroke by five times, because it can cause blood clots to form in the heart. If these clots move up into the brain, it can lead to stroke.
Liver damage due to too much alcohol can stop the liver from making substances that help your blood to clot.
This can increase your risk of having a stroke caused by bleeding in your brain.
The UK’s chief medical officer recommends that men and women drink no more than 14 units of alcohol a week.
One unit is equivalent to 10ml of pure alcohol – one drink does not equal one unit.
14 units is equivalent to six pints of average strength beer or six 175ml glasses of average strength wine.
According to the NHS, you can also “significantly” reduce your risk of stroke by:
- Eating a healthy diet
- Taking regular exercise
- Not smoking.
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