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  • Writer's pictureDr. Kathleen Jones

Is Dehydration Causing Your High BP?

If you are low in nutrients it may take months to see the effects, but if you are dehydrated the results can be felt within hours. What are the signs of dehydration? It could be a dry mouth, thirst, decreased urination, dark urine or a headache. Research is showing that frequently being dehydrated may lead to high blood pressure. Most Americans drink less than 44 ounces of water, way less then what is suggested.

Women should drink at least 74 oz of water a day and men should drink 100 oz or more. That means over 9 glasses for women and 12 glasses for men. Water, not coffee, tea, milk or juice is needed. Other fluids do not hydrate like water.

If you don't drink enough water the body does the following:

Blood volume decreases( water makes up half of your blood volume)

Sodium increases in the blood( should be 135-145mEq/L)

Sensing this, it makes you thirsty

Increases ADH (anti-diuretic hormone or vasopressin)

ADH tells the kidneys to retain fluid in the body

ADH constricts blood vessels leading to high BP

This helps blood circulate throughout the body

If the above issues occur too often they can lead to many issues, including: obesity, type 2 diabetes, dementia, kidney disease, IBS and high blood pressure.

Blood pressure over 130/80 is considered too high and must be addressed.

Studies show dehydration leads to changes in the vessels and regulation of blood pressure. Over time this may lead to not only blood pressure issues, but blood clots, strokes and coronary heart disease. Also, studies showed that high levels of sodium due to dehydration can lead to a 40% increase risk of heart failure.

Bottom line, don't let your body get dehydrated. Drink WATER throughout the day, every day! Your heart is depending on it!


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