Raise The Pressure – Treat Low Blood Pressure Naturally
While many of us are aware of the hazards of high blood pressure, low blood pressure is equally prevalent and dangerous.
When blood pressure falls below the normal pressure level, which is 120/80 mmHg, it is regarded as low blood pressure or hypotension.
Hypotension occurs due to the insufficient supply of oxygen (via the blood) to the heart and brain.
Consequently, these vital organs cannot function properly, and as a result, they may be suffer damage that could be temporary or even permanent.
What is Blood Pressure?
The heart pumps blood around the body through the blood vessels. Blood pressure is the amount of force exerted on the artery walls by the pumping blood.
So, is low blood pressure as bad as high blood pressure?
A low BP lowers the risk of stroke, kidney disease, and heart diseases but while this may make it appear to be almost desirable it does pose very serious health risks when it is considered low.
If low blood pressure is accompanied with related signs and symptoms, it could lead to organ damage.
What is a Low Blood Pressure Reading?
A low blood pressure reading is having a level that is 90/60mmHg, or lower.
Only one of the numbers has to be lower than it should be to count as low blood pressure. In other words:
- If the top number is 90 or less (regardless of the bottom number) this may be low blood pressure
- If the bottom number is 60 or less (regardless of the top number) this may be low blood pressure.
Symptoms of Low Blood Pressure
Most people with low blood pressure show no symptoms.
For such people, there are no underlying conditions causing the low blood pressure and hence no treatment is necessary.
However, medical attention is vital when low blood pressure also leads to insufficient supply of blood to the brain and other vital organs.
In such a scenario, underlying health conditions lead to hypotension.
The common symptoms of hypotension are as follows:
- Blurred vision
- Increased thirst
- Pale skin
- Shortness of breath
- Irregular heartbeat
Inadequate blood supply to the brain due to low blood pressure results in dizziness, fatigue, and lack of concentration. These are the most common symptoms of hypotension.
Changing positions such as going from a seated position to a standing position can lead to dizziness or lightheadedness as well.
When one is standing, the blood moves toward the lower body, and this can lower blood pressure.
Since the blood pressure of hypotension patients is already low, standing can lower the pressure even further, manifesting in symptoms such as lightheadedness and dizziness.
Causes of Low Blood Pressure
Some of the common causes for low blood pressure include the following:
Medications: Some medicines such as diuretics that treat high blood pressure, heart medications like beta blockers and angiotensin may cause low blood pressure. Medicines used to treat anxiety, depression, and central nervous disorders can increase the risk of orthostatic hypotension.
Heart Problems: Some heart conditions such as extremely low heart rate, heart valve problems, and a heart attack can lead to low blood pressure. These conditions prevent the body from circulating enough blood, thus resulting in hypotension.
Pregnancy: Many women experience low blood pressure during pregnancy as a women’s circulatory system expands during this time.
Other Causes Include:
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Endocrine problems
- Blood loss
- Severe infection
- Allergic reaction
Diet and Lifestyle Tips for Living with Hypotension
Depending on the reason for your low blood pressure, you may be able to take certain steps to help reduce or even prevent symptoms.
Some suggestions include:
1. Drink more water, less alcohol. Alcohol is dehydrating and can lower blood pressure, even if you drink in moderation. Water, on the other hand, combats dehydration and increases blood volume.
Adding electrolytes to your water is also another way to keep your blood pressure within the normal ranges. An electrolyte powder like can be added to water and also has a pleasant taste. A formula which is higher is sodium is better suited to raise blood pressure.
2. Follow a healthy diet. Get all the nutrients you need for good health by focusing on a variety of foods, including complex carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, and lean meats.
Adding iodised salt to your meals may have a positive effect on your blood pressure. If you don’t like a lot of salt on your food, try using natural soy sauce.
Caffeine has been proven to increase blood pressure, so drinking 1-2 cups daily could safely become a daily habit.
3. Go slowly when changing body positions. You may be able to reduce the dizziness and lightheadedness that occur with low blood pressure on standing by taking it easy when you move from a prone to a standing position.
Sleeping with the head of your bed slightly elevated also can help fight the effects of gravity.
Before getting out of bed in the morning, breathe deeply for a few minutes and then slowly sit up before standing.
If you begin to get symptoms while standing, cross your thighs in a scissors fashion and squeeze, or put one foot on a ledge or chair and lean as far forward as possible.
These maneuvers encourage blood to flow from your legs to your heart.
4. Eat small, low-carb meals. To help prevent blood pressure from dropping sharply after meals, eat small portions several times a day and limit high-carbohydrate foods such as potatoes, rice, pasta and bread.
Adding heating herbs like turmeric, cinnamon, ginger and pepper to your cooking, will also help to increase your blood pressure. These herbs will also support the renal system (kidneys).
5. Consider changing your medications. If your hypotension is a side effect of your current medications, you can consult with an Emed Practitioner today and we can work with your prescribing GP to finding safer alternative options for you.