Post vacation hypertension

Q: After a delightful vacation, I developed unpleasant headache, felt tightness in my chest, and my blood pressure was higher than ever. I already take 2 meds, walk, and am a vegetarian, but what could have precipitated an increase after a vacation?

A: The most likely source of your increased blood pressure after a wonderful vacation is what you ate. Restaurants liberally use salt to enhance flavor in cooking, even with vegetables. Some people with hypertension are very sensitive to the amount of salt in foods. My guess is that you consumed more salt than usual while on your vacation. However, chest tightness should be immediately evaluated by your physician.

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