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"Can eating too much salt trigger high blood pressure?"

ZocdocAnswersCan eating too much salt trigger high blood pressure?


My last physical shows that my blood pressure was higher than normal. This is the first time. However, I?ve also been eating out a lot, thus consuming more sodium. Could this be the problem?


I recommend discussing this with your primary care physician. Studies indicate that eating a higher sodium diet can lead to higher blood pressure. This is why we recommend people avoid high salt food such as canned soup and minimize the times when they consume other highly salted foods. However, sodium is not the only cause of high blood pressure. By far, the most common cause is simple genetics, though we don't understand the specific factors that well. Another factor is inactivity and being overweight. Thus when someone presents to me with high blood pressure, I usually try to correct the dietary (salt) and weight factors if I can. Cutting down on salt from the typical American diet of 9 grams per day to 2 grams per day will usually result in a reduction in blood pressure of several points (not a huge number). I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she can take your blood pressure and determine whether your blood pressure requires immediate attention or not. If your blood pressure is only mildly elevated, then your doctor might consider just seeing how you do with dietary and lifestyle modifications. If it's too high, then you might need the help of a blood pressure medication. Good luck.

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