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High Blood Pressure

Blood pressure

01/05/2009

Question:

Can not drinking enough water elevate blood pressure?

Answer:

The body usually regulates salt and water very well.  If a person doesn't drink enough water, he/she will become thirsty and start taking in fluids.  As long as a person is healthy with normal kidneys, there should be no problem.  However, if a person becomes water depleted (e.g. if one gets stranded in the desert), the blood pressure will ultimately come down.

Water has very little effect on blood pressure, which makes it different from salt.  Eating too much salt over a prolonged period of time (many years) can lead to high blood pressure in some (but not all) people. 

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Response by:

Max C Reif, MD Max C Reif, MD
Professor of Medicine
Director of Hypertension Section
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati