How Dehydration Affects Blood Pressure
We become dehydrated when our bodies do not get enough fluids. This happens when the body loses fluids at a faster rate than it can be replenished, or when we don’t hydrate ourselves throughout the day. Dehydration shouldn’t be ignored as it can have serious consequences if left untreated. For instance, it may contribute to harmful fluctuations in your blood pressure and can lead to life-threatening complications.
Does dehydration affect blood pressure? Our straightforward answer: Yes.
Let’s explore the different symptoms of dehydration and their effects on blood pressure.
Also see: When to go to the ER for IV fluids
Dehydration and High Blood Pressure
Dehydration can contribute to the development of high blood pressure, medically referred to as hypertension. When the body lacks sufficient fluids, it experiences a decrease in blood volume, triggering the release of hormones like vasopressin. These hormones cause the kidneys to retain more water and the blood vessels to constrict, leading to a blood pressure increase.
Also, dehydration stimulates the production of angiotensin, a hormone that raises blood pressure and constricts blood vessels. Dehydration can also negatively impact the function of the inner lining of blood vessels, which plays a crucial role in regulating blood pressure. Furthermore, it can cause the body’s sodium to accumulate, further elevating blood pressure.
Also see: 9 Tips to Lower Blood Sugar Naturally
Dehydration and Low Blood Pressure
When the body loses more fluids than it consumes due to inadequate fluid intake, vomiting, excessive sweating, or diarrhea, the body’s delicate balance of fluids and electrolytes is disrupted. This can lead to hypotension or low blood pressure. This reduction in fluid volume circulating through the blood vessels ultimately causes a decrease in blood pressure.
Dehydration also affects the body’s capacity to regulate blood pressure effectively. It interferes with the constriction and dilation of blood vessels, as well as the release of hormones that help in maintaining proper blood flow. These factors combined can make blood pressure drop too low.
Signs of Dehydration
Recognizing the warning signs of dehydration is important as it can often be overlooked. Familiarizing yourself with these common symptoms can help keep yourself safe. Here are some common signs of dehydration:
- Thirst – Experiencing excessive thirst is one of the initial signs of dehydration.
- Dry mouth and sticky saliva – Insufficient production of saliva can lead to a dry, sticky sensation in the mouth.
- Fatigue and weakness – Dehydration can result in a lack of energy and an overall feeling of weakness.
- Dizziness or lightheadedness – Reduced fluid levels can affect blood pressure and can cause dizziness.
- Dark-colored urine – Dehydration often leads to concentrated urine that appears darker in color than usual.
- Reduced urine output – Decreased fluid intake can lead to a decrease in both the frequency and volume of urine.
- Dry skin – Dehydration can cause the skin to become dry, less elastic, and more prone to irritation.
- Headache – Dehydration can trigger headaches or worsen existing ones.
- Muscle cramps – Dehydration can cause electrolyte imbalances and can lead to muscle cramps or spasms.
- Rapid heartbeat – Dehydration can cause palpitations or an increased heart rate.
Also see: When to go to the ER for Dehydration
When to Seek Medical Attention
In case of severe dehydration or any of the following conditions, it is important to seek emergency medical help.
First, if you experience persistent vomiting and cannot retain fluids, it can worsen dehydration and require medical intervention.
Second, if you have diarrhea that persists for more than 24 hours, particularly if it is accompanied by intense abdominal pain or includes blood, it is important to seek medical attention.
Also, if you see signs of severe dehydration, like dizziness, confusion, fainting, rapid breathing or heart rate, it is essential that you seek medical care. Also, if you have been exposed to extreme heat, have a high fever, or are unable to urinate for an extended period, visit your local ER right away.
Seeking medical attention for dehydration is important to ensure proper rehydration and prevent complications.
ER of Texas is here to help
To protect yourself against overheating and dehydration, familiarize yourself with the common symptoms to avoid severe complications like significant changes in blood pressure.
We understand that emergencies can still happen unexpectedly. During such times, you can rely on ER of Texas, our emergency room emergency center, to provide the exceptional care you deserve. Our team of board-certified doctors will ensure that you receive fast and comprehensive care at our facilities and that you are in and out of our doors in the best possible shape you can be.
We have ER locations across the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area that are open and here to help you 24/7 If you or your family have a medical emergency.
We have 9 facilities spread across the DFW area with average wait times of less than 10 mins that are OPEN 24/7 located in Hurst, Colleyville, Frisco, Highland Village, Hillcrest, Uptown, Little Elm, Mansfield, and Texoma.