How Water Helps Fight Hypertension
I have known for a long time that if I don’t drink enough water my body will be dehydrated which might result in elevated blood pressure. But I never took the time to find out what exactly was happening inside my body to cause that reaction!
Well, I became more interested in that process after my last checkup when my doctor indicated she was concerned about my blood pressure reading… it was not up just a few points like some other times when that result was ascribed to ‘white coat effect’ something that happens when a person is a little flustered by the whole doctor set-up… the systolic number was 178!
So I started doing some investigating into what possibly causes this kind of change in the human body and here are some facts you might be interested to know about if you need to drop your blood pressure! When we don’t drink enough water our body goes into a state of dehydration… it switches to emergency water-conservation mode. It attempts to reduce loss of water through the skin and lungs… it uses emergency procedures to make sure blood can still deliver oxygen and nutrients to all the tissues in our body.
To achieve those goals our whole vascular system contracts… veins and arteries narrow down and blood pressure goes up to make sure that fresh blood gets delivered everywhere… to tissues that are in constant need of new supplies and waste removal.
High pressure is needed to squirt water through cell walls to keep vital cells filled with the water they need.
During all this the heart is working extra hard to keep pushing blood through the whole system. With less water in the system the blood is thicker… more sluggish and of course blood pressure is rising to handle all this! The ratio of packed blood cells to total blood volume rises and this puts our body at a far greater risk for strokes and heart attacks.
High blood pressure is a factor in hardening of the arteries… which can lead to a blockage and a heart stopped dead in its tracks!
The heart is forced to work harder to circulate blood… enlarging part of the heart and weakening the muscle. One day… there is big trouble! Over time, high blood pressure weakens artery walls, leading to a bulging blood vessel… or, even worse, a burst artery… a stroke!
Knowing how much stress dehydration puts on our body, drinking enough water seems like a fairly obvious and inexpensive solution! And it has to be water, not sweet pop drinks because sugar causes a different bunch of problems in our body! Not a lot of caffeinated or alcoholic drinks either… they cause dehydration… and an extra 10 to 12 oz of water is needed to compensate for every 6 oz. alcoholic drink! I have a glass of water handy when I’m having an occasional glass of wine.
As I’m writing this, I am wondering again how I could possibly put my body through all this… will learning some facts keep me more mindful about taking care of the only body I have?
I hope so! there is a lot we can do to keep healthy without resorting to drugs if we can avoid them… there are side effects to most of them… for instance if you’re a guy high blood pressure drugs may cause loss of libido and that is no fun!