Optimum Health
Natural Healthcare Center


Dehydration & High Blood Pressure

What is dehydration?

Dehydration is defined as the excessive loss of body fluid. Symptoms generally become noticeable with mild dehydration which is the loss of 1- 2% of one's normal water volume.


What causes dehydration?

At Optimum Health, the main cause for dehydration is drinking less water than is needed.  Your need is based on your size and the amount of sweating you do.

Can Dehydration Cause High Blood Pressure?

Absolutely.  Think of cooking oatmeal with plenty of water in the pot. Once the oatmeal is cooked, you can turn the pot upside down and the oatmeal will run out of the pot.  Why?  Because gravity is strong enough to pull the oatmeal from the pot.  If you put too little water in the pot when cooking the oatmeal, the oatmeal will not run out of the pot when you turn it upside down.  Why?  Because gravity is not strong enough to pull the thick oatmeal from the pot.

This is what happens when you don't drink enough water and end up dehydrated.  When you don't drink enough water, you don't put enough water in your blood causing your blood to become too thick.  When the heart squeezes and pushes the thick blood up into the aorta, the blood has to fall down out of the aorta where the aorta bends.  This is the equivalent of turning the pot of oatmeal upside down. 


BEND OF THE AORTA


If the blood is too thick, gravity will not be strong enough to pull it down to your feet.  Therefore, the muscles have to begin squeezing to push the blood down to your feet.  Once these muscles squeeze, they increase the pressure inside the blood vessels causing increased or high blood pressure.

 

How Do I Know if Dehydration Really Can Lead to High Blood Pressure?

When I first heard Dr. Anset explaining how dehydration leads to high blood pressure, I remember thinking, "This sounds good, but as my professor used to say, "There is nothing like an ugly little fact to mess up a perfectly beautiful theory".  As if reading my mind, Dr. Anset went on to explain that chinese medicine represents the heart as wood that is burning.  If a wood fire is burning too high (the heart working too hard) what do you do to slow it down?  You put water on the fire.  In the same way, you would drink more water to slow the burning of the wood or, in other words, lower the blood pressure.

Well, how does western medicine view it?  When a person has high blood pressure, they are often given diuretics to make them urinate.  Drinking more water will make you urinate.  They are also given blood thinners.  Drinking more water will thin your blood.  Finally, they are often given calcium channel blockers to prevent the muscles from squeezing the blood vessels.  Drinking the water to thin the blood will prevent the need for these muscle to squeeze.  Makes sense doesn't it!

Please know that this does not mean that you should drink lots of water and stop taking your high blood pressure medicine.  High blood pressure is known as the silent killer because it kills without notice.  Therefore, keep taking your medicine until your physician tells you that you do not need it anymore.  Increase your water to the proper amount.  Tell your physician what you are doing and that you want him/her to be on alert that your pressure should be monitored closely and that your medicine may need to be decreased.  As time goes by, your pressure should keep dropping too low and, unless you are one of the few that has additional reasons for your high blood pressure, your physician will, eventually, take you off of all of your high blood pressure medicines.  We have this happen time and time again at our center.



Dehydration and High Blood Pressure:
Related Topics


What are the symptoms for dehydration?


How much water should I drink each day?


Should I drink water with my meals?

Why don't I like to drink or crave water?

What might make me drink more water?

           

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