Ask the Expert: What is the Impact of Dehydration on Blood Pressure?

Ask the Expert: What is the Impact of Dehydration on Blood Pressure?

Most of us have heard that old saying. Blood is thicker than water. 

While it refers more to family than anatomy, blood and water are related in a critical way.

At least 60% of your body is water, so hydration affects everything, including your heart, digestive system, brain, muscles, and skin. Every cell depends on water and blood is your transporter. 

So we asked our expert, Dr. Joshua Thurman: what is the impact of dehydration on blood pressure?

“Blood pressure is the force that delivers oxygen and nutrients to the body. The heart is the “pump” that maintains this pressure. As a person becomes dehydrated, there is less fluid for the heart to pump. The heart can compensate for this somewhat, pumping harder and faster. At a certain point, though, dehydration leads to a fall in blood pressure.”

And that’s something to pay attention to before it becomes serious.  

“A mild fall in blood pressure makes you feel lightheaded. A severe fall in blood pressure is, of course, very serious.”

So, drink up and stay healthy - there’s no secret: it’s in the water!


Dr. Joshua Thurman, MD is a board-certified nephrologist and Professor of Medicine specializing in renal medical diseases and hypertension at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. He received his medical degree from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine and his undergraduate degree from Harvard University. He has been in practice for more than 22 years.

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