The effect of salt solutions on blood pressure.

Q: When preparing for a colonoscopy, the doctor requests a person to drink a solution that contains 5500 mg sodium. He maintains it passes right through and won’t affect blood pressure. My mother had a heart attack after consuming the solution. Your comments please?

A: The concern with using salt solutions for bowel preparation for colonoscopy is not high blood pressure. These solutions contain phosphates (sodium phosphate) which can cause long lasting kidney problems. It is important to maintain your fluid balance while you are preparing your bowel for a colonoscopy. You have to drink liquids to keep up with the loss of fluid from stooling. This will help protect your kidneys. Make sure your doctor is aware of all medicines you take. Some blood pressure medicines increase the risk of kidney problems when using a salt solution to cleanse the bowel. To learn more about this go to this page on the U.S. National Library of Medicine site.

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