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It is a rather common sight to have people high after drinking and then falling unconscious. However, there is a discrepancy in the viewpoints with respect to fainting and alcoholism. While some experts do not believe in designating blackouts due to alcoholism as a true form of syncope; there are others who canvass a definite relationship between excessive drinking and passing out.
Fainting after drinking alcohol is usually characterized by staggering and then falling unconscious. Under normal circumstances, every time we stand to an erect position, gravity decreases the blood supply to the heart. The body copes with this situation by a reflex feedback process, which constricts the blood vessels and enhances the pressure of blood in the vessels.
Studies conducted in this respect at the University Of Iowa College Of Medicine and the Mayo Clinic highlighted the fact that alcohol has a negative effect on the body’s natural mechanism of control of tightening the blood vessels, which in turn is responsible for maintaining the individual’s blood pressure. The study was conducted on 13 healthy and young male adults and 1 woman. The average age of subjects was about 26 years. During the study, the subjects were expected to lie down in a metal cylinder in which pressure on the lower parts of their bodies was decreased by applying vacuum to the cylinder. Such an action helped to replicate the effect of gravity felt on the body while standing up.
The procedure was carried out once after making the subjects consume a non-alcoholic drink and a second time under the influence of mild alcohol. The results exemplified normal narrowing of the blood vessels and moderate fluctuation in the blood pressure in the former case, while in the latter situation the blood vessels were unable to constrict resulting in reduced blood pressure. There are many other medical conditions that could be responsible for dilation of blood vessels as well such as old age, diabetes and intake of certain medications. If such people consume alcohol, it can further aggravates the situation and probability of fainting increases.
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