Can Dehydration Cause High Blood Pressure?

Not drinking enough water could lead to hypertension. 

Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, can be caused by dehydration. 

If you’re not drinking enough fluids, your blood becomes thicker (less water content). This means it takes longer for your muscles and vital organs to receive essential nutrients.

Furthermore, this also results in higher blood pressure – your heart has to work overtime.

There are other long-term consequences of dehydration too, including urinary and kidney problems, risk of seizures, low blood volume shock, and heat injury, as mentioned by MayoClinic.

The remainder of this blog post will discuss more on high blood pressure and dehydration, including the causes, how much water you should be drinking, and what symptoms to watch out for.

What causes high blood pressure?

There are many causes of high blood pressure, some of which are somewhat hereditary, while others are more lifestyle-based.

WebMD mentions several causes of high blood pressure:

  • Lack of physical activity
  • A diet containing too much sodium
  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Sleep apnea

What is dehydration?

According to the Cleveland Clinic, dehydration is a lack of water within the body. Water is lost naturally via sweat, breathing, and urination. 

If you feel thirsty, then you’re likely already dehydrated. Therefore, you should aim to drink before you feel thirsty to keep dehydration at bay.

Although not as serious, mild dehydration can cause headaches, general fatigue, tiredness, dizziness, and other side effects.

But longer-term dehydration can be much more severe, causing high blood pressure and a host of other issues.

What are the symptoms of dehydration?

Okay, now that we’ve explained what dehydration is, how can you spot it?

Symptoms of dehydration include:

  • Thirst
  • Yellow or strong-smelling urine 
  • Peeing less than four times a day
  • Feeling lightheaded, dizzy, or tired

You may not experience all of these symptoms, but you’ll likely have at least one or two.

Can dehydration cause high blood pressure and heart rate?

As your body becomes more dehydrated, there is less water content in the blood.

With less water content, this means your blood pressure increases, and your heart must work harder to pump the blood around the body.

By not drinking enough and being dehydrated, you are causing blood pressure spikes.

For most people, drinking the recommended volume of water is enough to prevent dehydration. So, don’t overlook the importance of drinking water.

Can drinking water lower your blood pressure?

If your blood pressure is high temporarily, then drinking water might help lower your blood pressure.

But if your hypertension is caused by other factors such as obesity or too much sodium in your diet, then drinking more water won’t be an instant fix.

You should be drinking enough water anyways for general health and well-being – so if this doesn’t apply to you, it doesn’t mean you have an excuse not to drink enough water.

Proper hydration is essential for proper health snd bodily functioning. But how much water should you drink daily? 

How much water should you drink per day?

We naturally consume water in foods and other drinks, including tea and coffee. But you should also try to consume actual water, ideally upwards of 2 liters per day.

You can use the hydration calculator to find your target water intake. 

How to lower your blood pressure

If your blood pressure is normally high, not due to dehydration, then you need to take action.

High blood pressure puts you at risk of heart and cardiovascular problems, an Aneurysm, and other very serious issues.

For most people, lowering your blood pressure involves:

  • Cutting down on sodium 
  • Exercising more often
  • Eating a well-balanced diet
  • Reducing stress & improving sleep

For the best advice, we always recommend speaking to a medical professional. 

Keep on track of your hydration to prevent high blood pressure

Dehydration can cause high blood pressure temporary and over the long term.

It is recommended to drink approximately 2 liters of water per day, as a general guideline. But if you’ve been suffering from high blood pressure for a while, then other changes are likely required, such as a drastic lifestyle change.

Always seek professional medical attention when considering a lifestyle change or if you think you have high blood pressure.

If you think you’re severely dehydrated (not urinating at all), then you should seek immediate medical attention. 

Check our other blog posts for more tips on living a healthy lifestyle.