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"Does alcohol constrict blood vessels?"

ZocdocAnswersDoes alcohol constrict blood vessels?


I've noticed that when I'm out drinking with my friends, my circulation tends to get worse. Is that due to alcohol constricting your blood vessels? I'm pretty sure the constricting blood vessels is what upsets my skin, too ? does that make sense? Is the only solution to quit drinking?


Drinking alcohol has a complex effect on your circulation. In moderate amounts, alcohol can cause blood vessel dilation which actually improves circulation. This is why people report feeling warmer while they are drinking. Excess drinking can cause an increase in your blood pressure, but is not specifically associated with poor circulation. Therefore, the association of your drinking with poor circulation is peculiar Nevertheless, It sounds like from your description that you may have some poor circulation in your hands and feet (from your question it sounds like you may be having some skin issues?). This is something that may need looked at. Poor circulation in the fingers is sometimes caused by something called Raynaud's phenomenon where fingers can turn blue from constriction of arterioles. It is most often associated with other conditions such as lupus or scleroderma. Another condition that causes poor circulation is Thromboangiitis obliterans. This is typically found in males who smoke. quitting smoking is the first step for treatment. I think the next best step for you is for you to schedule and appointment see your primary care physician. He or she can perform a more detailed history and physical exam which may be needed to rule out dangerous causes to your symptoms. Good luck.

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