Cutting down salt can help control blood pressure

Los Angeles, May 28 (IANS) Cutting down salt is more effective in reducing blood pressure in kidney patients than using anti-hypertensive medications, reveals a new study.

Researchers Rajiv Agarwal from Indiana University School of Medicine and Matthew Weir from the University of Maryland Medical Centre found that restricting salt intake can help control blood pressure and make it easier for patients to get down to a proper dry-weight.

Dry-weight is a kidney patient’s weight immediately after dialysis, when he or she does not carry the excess fluid that builds up between dialysis treatments. Dry-weight is the lowest weight one can safely reach after dialysis without developing symptoms of low blood pressure such as cramping, which can occur when too much fluid is removed.

If a patient lets too much fluid build up between sessions, it is harder to get down to a proper dry-weight. Achieving and maintaining dry-weight can improve blood pressure between dialysis sessions and limit hospitalizations.

The authors concluded that ‘medication-directed approaches for blood pressure control should be a secondary consideration to manipulating the diet and dialysis prescription in order to achieve dry-weight.’

Agarwal did his degree from the New Delhi-based All India Institute of Medical Sciences.