High Blood Pressure, Prescription Diuretics, and Gout
What is high blood pressure?
High Blood Pressure, also called hypertension, is when blood puts too much pressure against the walls of your arteries. About 1 in 3 adults have high blood pressure, usually with no symptoms. But it can cause serious problems such as stroke, heart failure, heart attack, and kidney disease.
What lifestyle changes can help lower high blood pressure?
Healthy lifestyle changes can help reduce high blood pressure:
Being physically active
Reducing sodium in your diet
Avoiding alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs
Getting enough sleep
What if lifestyle changes alone cannot lower blood pressure?
Sometimes lifestyle changes alone cannot control or lower your high blood pressure. In that case, your health care provider may prescribe blood pressure medicines.
How do blood pressure medicines work?
Blood pressure medicines work in different ways to lower blood pressure:
Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) keep your blood vessels from narrowing as much.
Calcium channel blockers prevent calcium from entering the muscle cells of your heart and blood vessels. This allows the blood vessels to relax.
Diuretics remove extra water and sodium (salt) from your body. This lowers the amount of fluid in your blood. Diuretics are often used with other high blood pressure medicines, sometimes in one combined pill.
Beta blockers help your heart beat slower and with less force. This means that your heart pumps less blood through your blood vessels. Beta blockers are typically used only as a backup option or if you also have certain other conditions.
Often, two or more medicines work better than one. While taking the medicines, it is still important to keep up with your healthy lifestyle changes.
The Diuretic and Gout Connection
Diuretics can increase your risk of developing Gout.
This may happen because diuretics increase urination, which reduces the amount of fluid in your body. But the remaining fluid is more concentrated, which can increase the risk that you’ll develop the crystals that cause gout. Some types of diuretics also reduce the kidneys’ excretion of urate, a component of uric acid.
In addition to the concerns above, prescription diuretics can also cause sodium, potassium, magnesium and other mineral imbalances. Believe it or not, too LITTLE sodium can be just as problematic and too much. Mineral balance is essential to Gout control, as well as your health and inflammation control in general.
Potassium is crucial to several functions in our body from regulating blood pressure to aiding muscle growth. Potassium is also very important to maintaining healthy uric acid levels. Diuretics can be quite counterproductive when you consider that one of the side effects can cause low potassium which is also an issue for healthy blood pressure.
Healthy levels of potassium will go a long way towards stabilizing both the blood pressure and healthy uric acid levels. The recommended dosage is between 3500-4000mg/day. The higher the better, especially if you are taking a diuretic of any sort. There are plenty of fruits and vegetables to help you achieve this goal. Lean more towards the vegetables if you have Gout and aim to remain under 25g of fructose per day. This can add up quickly with high fructose fruits. Foods high in potassium include baked potato, squash, lima beans, coconut water, plain full-fat yogurt, halibut, spinach, sweet potato, bananas, and carrot juice.
Sodium imbalances can also be problematic to Gout, HBP, and general health. When you combine diuretics and a low sodium diet, the levels can actually dip too low. Sodium is an essential electrolyte aiding to regulate the amount of water around your cells and can lead to Hyponatremia. Hyponatremia occurs when the concentration of sodium in your blood is abnormally low.
Mineral deficiency symptoms include:
Constipation, Bloating, Abdominal Pain, Vomiting, Diarrhea
Loss of appetite
Slow would healingPoor concentration
Numbness/Tingling in the extremities
To offset the loss of minerals and thiamine, take a good multi-vitamin and mineral supplement with thiamine and other B vitamins.
Minimize processed or fast food, which is high in salt and woefully low in potassium and magnesium.
Avoid coffee and alcohol as these also deplete potassium and magnesium.
Limiting beverages that are sugar sweetened and limiting foods and beverages that contain high fructose corn syrup.
To counteract depletions be sure to consume a well-balanced diet. pH balance in each meal is extremely helpful.
To help manage gout, it’s also important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.