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question on dehydration & bood pressure

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Old 10-10-2005, 05:53 AM   #1
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questions on dehydration & bood pressure

I read in the book "Your Bodies Many Cries for Water" by Fereydoon Batamanghelidj, that high blood pressure is caused from dehydration. Which makes sense because they have linked salt to high blood pressure and water is what dilutes salt in the body.
If this is this true, why do they give diuretics to people to get rid of the salt instead of making them drink more water to get rid of it naturaly? and since the body regulates a balance of salt and water why cant we just increase the amount of water we drink instead of reducing the amount of salt we eat?
The book says that the present way of treating hypertension is wrong to the point of scientific absurdity. Diuretics maintain the body at an expanding level of deficite water management. They don't cure hypertension; they make the body more determined for salt and water absorption. After a while, duiretics are not enough and supplimental medications are forced on the patient.
I know the book was last revised in 1995 and it stated that no tests have been done on the effects of chronic dehydration. I am curious if any new research has proved this theory wrong. thanks for any help.

Last edited by Rickypedros; 10-10-2005 at 07:58 AM.

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Old 10-13-2005, 06:55 AM   #2
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Re: question on dehydration & bood pressure

One of the MAIN symptoms of moderate to severe dehydration is LOW BLOOD PRESSURE...often dangerously so.

High blood pressure is often caused by the inability to get rid of sodium as fast as we eat it. For people who DO have trouble getting rid of the excess sodium the body uses the thirst response to dilute the blood so that the electochemical effects of the sodium don't cause even more severe problems. What happens then is that. although the sodium is diluted, the volume of the bloodstream is increased and this results in high blood pressure.

Though LOTS of water can flush sodium in many people, there are a considerable minority that winds up holding on to BOTH.

If I have a high salt day, excess water only gives me excess bloat AND high blood pressure that lasts for a couple days.

But it really isn't possible that "chronic dehydration" causes blood pressure...that's just a gimmick to sell a book!

Old 10-17-2005, 06:25 AM   #3
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Re: question on dehydration & bood pressure

Here are some interesting things to read that might make you think twice about categorizing a mans attempt to help society with 20 years of research as "just a gimmick to sell a book!".

Salt and High Blood Pressure

The view that salt is bad for health and leads to high blood pressure was based on outdated research. Many more recent research pointing to this conclusion has been ignored, even though it has been verified by independent researchers.

This whole concept of sodium being the "bad guy" is based on the water-loving characteristic of sodium. The theory is that an excess of sodium will cause retention of water in the intra- and extra-cellular fluids and thus raise the pressure on the blood vessel walls. The basis for low sodium consumption was started with a poorly designed study in rats wherein the rats were fed the equivalent of over eighty times the amount of salt a human would eat under normal conditions. This is clearly ludicrous, as even the most excessive consumer of salt would use only twice as much salt as the average person. There should be no parallels drawn between this study and the actual effects on humans.

In the majority of the time, high blood pressure is a symptom of underlying chronic dehydration that is unnoticeable to us and not due to excessive salt intake at all. As the body becomes dehydrated (consumption of less than 6 to 8 glasses of water a day), the pressure in the vascular system falls due to insufficient fluid. The body reacts by secreting hormones that constrict the blood vessel. This is the body's compensatory mechanism to increase blood and therefore oxygen to the brain. If the body is well hydrated, the constriction signal will be shut off and blood pressure will return to normal.

Separate studies published in 1982 and 1984 analyzed nutrient intake and concluded that sodium is harmless, but calcium, magnesium and potassium protect against hypertension. These three minerals are also powerful medicines that can help to lower blood pressure.

In 1997, a large scale study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. It reported that those subjects who were given a diet low in dairy products and vegetables, which are high in calcium and other minerals, had higher blood pressure compared to those who had sufficient quantities of those foods. The difference can be as much as 5-6 mm of pressure among those who had normal blood pressure to start with and can go up to 11-22 mm of pressure among those who already had mild hypertension initially. Clearly salt is not the culprit, but deficiency in key minerals can play a significant role.

Therefore, if one is to look for the roots of hypertension in the diet, then the focus should be on calcium, magnesium and potassium, not sodium. A diet excessively low in sodium can instead lead to negative effects like decreased blood volume, low blood pressure (because of the loss of fluid volume of the blood), an upset in the acid base balance in the body, constipation, just to name a few.

Excessive loss of sodium in the body can lead to lethargic, coma, and ultimately death. When people have low blood pressure together with chronic fatigue symptoms, it can be at least partly relieved by adding salt back into their diets.

Last edited by Rickypedros; 10-17-2005 at 08:00 AM.

Old 10-17-2005, 01:28 PM   #4
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Re: question on dehydration & bood pressure

Well Ricky,

If you feel that you should eat LOTS of sodium, the typical American convenience diet is LOADED with it. THere will be no danger that you get too little.
If you suspect you had a low sodium day you can always at a Tbsp. of salt before bedtime if you wish.
I think it's a DREADFUL idea but if you feel you need extra sodium, it's a very cheap supplement...454,000 mg. (a pound) for about $.50. Go for it.
I wouldn't though.

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