Cut The Salt And Ditch The Drugs, Controlling Blood Pressure In Dialysis Patients

(Medical News Today) For kidney patients trying to control their blood pressure, reducing fluid build-up in the blood is more effective than using antihypertensive medications, according to an analysis appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society Nephrology (CJASN). The research suggests that lowering salt intake may help reduce build-up.

Dry-weight is a kidney disease 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. This appears to be an effective but forgotten strategy in controlling and maintaining blood pressure control among hypertensive patients on dialysis.

Rajiv Agarwal, MD (Indiana University School of Medicine and Roudebush VA Medical Center) and Matthew Weir, MD (University of Maryland Medical Center) looked to see what information is available in the medical literature related to dry-weight and its use in achieving blood pressure control. Their goal was to provide an overview of the concept of dry-weight: how to assess it and how to achieve it.

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