I recently received a call from a woman who has kidney disease.  She had a history of high blood pressure, diabetes and HIV, all of which can cause kidney damage, and lead to kidney disease.  However, the one that appeared first was high blood pressure.

The first doctor she went to see for blood pressure told her that they thought her high blood pressure was being brought on by flying.  So they decided to not prescribe any medication and instead tell her to stop flying.

Her blood pressure was highly elevated and unmedicated for an entire year before she was placed on medication.  This is enough time to start impacting kidney function.

When you are higher in the sky, your body carries less oxygen, and this can lead to higher blood pressure.  However, if you typically have normal to low blood pressure, this will likely not affect you.  If you tend to have higher blood pressure, you may be at greater risk.  But it does not necessarily mean you can’t travel by plane.  Instead, taking extra precautions while flying will be important: stand up and move around; avoid consuming salty foods, alcohol or sedatives; bring your blood pressure medication with you to take as needed.  More on this can be found at PennMedicine.org.

Therefore, if you have high blood pressure aggravated by flying, it is likely that you already had high blood pressure, and the doctor was incorrect to not offer the woman medication.  And in this day and age, who wants to stop flying and traveling?!

High blood pressure is a risk factor for kidney disease and life-threatening cardiovascular conditions.  If a doctor only advises you to stop flying, I encourage you to quickly get a second opinion.

If you are seeking help with prevention, blood pressure, kidney function, or digestive issues (bloating, gas, constipation, nausea, diarrhea, heartburn, food sensitivities), schedule a consultation by:

  • Clicking HERE
  • Calling 281-231-2811

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