Dehydration and blood pressure: A doctor takes a patient's blood pressure

Dehydration occurs when the human body loses more fluid and electrolytes than it takes in. When you don’t get enough water and the proper ratio of electrolytes, your blood pressure can be negatively impacted. This can lead to dangerous side effects and have long-term implications for the health of your organs. 

When left untreated, dehydration can be life-threatening and may cause cell death or brain damage. The effects of dehydration on blood pressure can result in complications for people with underlying medical conditions. 

Here, we’ll go over the connection between dehydration and blood pressure. Plus, we’ll show you the best way to prevent dehydration using DripDrop ORS.

What Is Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure is the measurement of the force of blood against the walls of arteries. Blood pressure is measured using two numbers: diastolic and systolic blood pressure. The top number, or systolic blood pressure, indicates the force your blood exerts on arteries when your heart muscle contracts. The diastolic blood pressure, or the bottom number, refers to the force of blood when your heart is in between beats.

According to the American Heart Association, normal blood pressure is around 120/80 mm Hg. When blood pressure numbers are consistently above 130/80 mm Hg, you may have hypertension — a condition known as high blood pressure. When blood pressure numbers are lower than 120/80 mm Hg, you have low blood pressure

Both of these conditions can impact your overall health. Unfortunately, when you’re dehydrated, you may also experience changes in your blood pressure. When left untreated, these changes can become life-threatening. Blood pressure medications and blood pressure conditions are risk factors for dehydration. This means you’ll need to be extra careful about addressing dehydration if you have blood pressure problems or take medications.

So, does dehydration cause high blood pressure or low blood pressure? Read on to learn more about the impacts of dehydration on cardiovascular health.

The Connection Between Dehydration and Blood Pressure

Dehydration and blood pressure: A nurse takes a woman's blood pressure

When you get dehydrated, your natural fluid balance is thrown off. The body begins losing more water and electrolytes than it's able to replenish. When this happens, you start to develop symptoms of dehydration, including dark urine, headache, and rapid heartbeat.

As the water content in your bloodstream decreases, your blood pressure is affected. In most cases of acute dehydration, people will experience a rapid drop in blood pressure. That’s because blood volume — the amount of fluid in blood vessels — drops dramatically when you're dehydrated. 

In severe cases, blood pressure may drop so low that your body goes into shock. Shock is a life-threatening condition that occurs when your organs don’t get enough oxygen. Low blood volume caused by dehydration is one of the main causes of shock. Without oxygen, the brain, kidneys, liver, and other organs stop working properly. If untreated, low blood pressure can cause irreversible damage to cells, tissues, and organs.

One of the best ways to avoid low blood pressure and damage to organs is to avoid dehydration. Next, we’ll show you the main causes of dehydration and the best ways to prevent it.

Causes of Dehydration

Dehydration and blood pressure: Fire fighters work to put out a brush fire

There are many reasons why your body may become dehydrated. Dehydration can occur when you are sick and have diarrhea or are vomiting. During this time, your body loses electrolytes and fluid through the waste system before it’s able to absorb essential fluids in the intestines. The risk of dehydration increases if your illness includes a fever.

You also lose fluids and electrolytes when you sweat. This is most common when you perform strenuous physical activities in high temperatures. Dehydration can also occur when you work outside during heat waves. It's also a symptom of heat-related illnesses such as heat exhaustion.

Some people have an increased risk of dehydration. Young children, including infants and babies, are particularly susceptible to dehydration. Their low body weight makes them increasingly sensitive to even small changes in body fluid concentrations.

Older adults are also at higher risk of dehydration as they may not recognize symptoms quickly. People with underlying health conditions have a higher risk of blood pressure changes associated with dehydration. These include kidney disease, diabetes, and other disorders that affect blood pressure and blood sugar.

Athletes, laborers, military service members, and firefighters are also at increased risk of dehydration due to the nature of their jobs. Other risk factors for dehydration include alcoholism and taking certain medications such as diuretics and anti-depressants.

The Dangers of Dehydration and When To Get Help

Dehydration and blood pressure: An older man dehydrated from running outside

Dehydration is dangerous when left untreated as it can lead to kidney problems, heart attack, and death. 

Without enough fluid, dehydration causes crystals to form in the urine. These concentrated solids become lodged in the kidneys resulting in kidney stones. In cases of severe dehydration, kidney function may be damaged permanently, resulting in kidney disease or kidney failure

Changes in blood pressure can damage the heart muscle and cause blockages in arteries. Without enough oxygen, cells start to die off and the brain is unable to transmit signals. If electrolyte and water loss aren’t addressed promptly, brain damage can occur.

Warning signs of severe dehydration include confusion, sunken eyes, irritability, and fainting. In young children, watch for crying that doesn’t produce tears and high fever. Head to the doctor’s office if your infant has a dry diaper for more than three hours.

Mild dehydration and moderate dehydration can be easily treated by using DripDrop ORS, which contains a medically-relevant ratio of electrolytes and water. If you’re suffering from severe dehydration, seek medical advice from a qualified health care practitioner immediately. 

In mild cases, symptoms of dehydration include:

  • Muscle cramps
  • Constipation or decreased frequency of urination
  • Extreme thirst 
  • Dry mouth and dry skin
  • Fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Irregular heart rate
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Increased body temperature
  • Children may develop a soft spot on the top of the skull

Prevent Dehydration With DripDrop ORS

When you're in a state of dehydration, no amount of water is enough. Your body needs the perfect balance of sodium and glucose to help absorption. With the precisely balanced ratio, you're able to replenish vital electrolytes and fluids to relieve dehydration quickly. Plus DripDrop ORS supplies vitamins like zinc, potassium, and magnesium which are essential to support your overall health.

DripDrop ORS was developed by a doctor on a mission to defeat life-threatening dehydration. The patented formula provides medically relevant electrolyte levels, improving on the World Health Organization’s Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) standards—and what's more, it tastes great. By comparison, sports drinks contain about 1/3 the electrolytes of DripDrop ORS, and two times as much sugar. 

For cases of mild to moderate dehydration, DripDrop ORS is a fast, effective, and great tasting remedy. With convenient packaging that allows you to have DripDrop ORS when you need it, where you need it. Get started with a trial or our most popular multi-flavor pouch for dehydration relief fast.