Sodium, high blood pressure and stress


About 30% of African Americans retain too much sodium--close to the amount found in a small order of fries--when they are stressed, a new study shows.

Increases blood pressure load

“This response pattern puts you under a greater blood pressure load over the course of the day and probably throughout the night as well, increasing your risk of cardiovascular disease,” said Dr. Gregory Harshfield, a researcher of hypertension at the Institute of Publish and Preventive Health at Georgia health Sciences University.

Stress is bad; sodium can make it worse

“Everybody knows stress is bad for you and everybody has the perception that a high salt diet is bad for you, and both are particularly bad for these individuals. Every time they are stressed, they hold onto as much salt as you get eating a small order of French fries and this can occur many times over the course of even a good day,” said Harshfield.

Blood pressure may increase throughout the day

According to the research when African Americans are stressed, they tend to keep about 160 milligrams of salt, and their normal top blood pressure escalates by seven points. Throughout the day, this reaction increases sodium loads into potentially dangerous levels. This can create high blood pressure especially while sleeping which is when the body should be in a natural recovery state.

Lifestyle choices make the difference

People who retain sodium would likely benefit from pharmacological intervention, but a change in diet would be best and safest. An increase in exercise would also help people for whom salt retention is an issue.

Source: MedicalNewsToday, George Health Sciences University


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