High blood pressure is a serious condition where the force of the pumping blood strongly pushes against the walls of the blood vessels. Left untreated, high blood pressure can cause deterioration of the vascular walls. Heart attack, stroke, or poor circulation often follow depending on severity.
So much of healthy blood pressure depends on diet and lifestyle choices; but since the most critical aspect of day-to-day health is proper hydration, it’s not a stretch to say that drinking water can positively affect blood pressure. Interestingly, though, whenever we consider the health of the human body, we often assume proper hydration is present, when in actuality most people do not drink nearly enough water.
At 247Health, we unabashedly advocate for simplicity in health, and as such, we believe the daily wellness journey begins with water. Skip it (or replace it with juice, soda, or coffee) at your own peril.
When the body is dehydrated, it releases higher amounts of vasopressin, a chemical which helps your kidneys retain water. Vasopressin tries to prevent you from losing more water through urination during times of water scarcity. Basically, elevated levels of the chemical indicate that the body is entering survival mode, which will fundamentally change its composition and functionality. Adrenaline will increase, internal resources will be hoarded to vital organs, and the blood vessels will constrict. High blood pressure is almost guaranteed.
FYI: poor hydration can also cause low blood pressure by decreasing the volume of your blood
High blood pressure is also caused by a variety of other health issues, like obesity, smoking, too much salt, alcohol use, diabetes, kidney problems, and some medications. Ironically, though, every “other” health issue listed will also slightly improve with better hydration. So by drinking more water, you’re not only keeping the body from entering a survival fight-or-flight mode, but you’re also safeguarding it against other risk factors, as well.
“Dehydration is a possible cause of high blood pressure,” says Dr. Jason Varghese, a family medicine physician with Healthcare Associates of Texas. “But most people don’t know when they have high blood pressure because high blood pressure doesn’t usually show any symptoms.”
In other words, you’ll likely only face the perils of high blood pressure once it’s began — and at that point it will be tougher to reverse. Therefore, as with most wellness initiatives, it’s best to live a healthy life on the front end, rather than try to deal with illness after the fact (this is how modern medicine treats people, rather than trying to teach them good habits).
Nothing in the wellness repertoire is easier than simply drinking more water — you can start right now without much effort and absolutely no inconvenience. It’s time to stop putting off your hydration and start combatting high blood pressure before it even starts.