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High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure and salt

08/18/2008

Question:

I have high blood pressure and I have not eat or cook with salt. But today I had salt and vingar chips and can soup. Both were very high in salt. About a hour after eating this my face turned red and flush. I also have pressure on the top of my head. I am at work so I can`t check my blood pressure until I get home. How long might this feeling last and should I drink more water to get rid of some of the salt in my body?

Answer:

High salt intake can increase blood pressure, but this effect takes days to weeks.  It is unlikely that the symptoms that you describe were due to the salt in the food.

It is possible that something else, e.g. MSG (monosodium glutamate) caused your flushing.  MSG can cause a variety of symptoms in susceptible individuals, among others:

You should check if the food you ate contains MSG.  If so, it may be the culprit and your should avoid it in the future.

For more information:

Go to the High Blood Pressure health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Max C Reif, MD Max C Reif, MD
Professor of Medicine
Director of Hypertension Section
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati