How Can I Control My Blood Pressure
You can often lower your blood pressure by changing your day-to-day habits and by taking medication if needed. Treatment, especially if you have other medical conditions such as diabetes, requires ongoing evaluation and discussions with your doctor.
Lifestyle changes you can make to help prevent and lower high blood pressure:
In addition to recommending lifestyle changes, your doctor will likely prescribe medication to lower your blood pressure to a safe level. Isolated systolic hypertension, the most common form of high blood pressure in older adults, is treated in the same way as regular high blood pressure but may require more than one type of blood pressure medication. You may try several kinds or combinations of medications before finding a plan that works best for you. Medication can control your blood pressure, but it can’t cure it. If your doctor starts you on medication for high blood pressure, you may need to take it long-term.
How To Monitor Your Blood Pressure
You can monitor your own blood pressure at home using a home blood pressure monitor. The American Heart Association recommends using an automatic, cuff-style bicep monitor. Make sure you buy a monitor that has been validated and with a cuff that fits properly around your upper arm. Then follow these simple steps:
- Dont exercise, eat, drink caffeinated beverages, or smoke within 30 minutes of measuring your blood pressure.
- Sit still with your back straight and your feet flat on the floor. Follow your monitors instructions or ask your doctor how to use it correctly.
- Make sure you check your blood pressure at the same time each day.
- Check your blood pressure two or three times each time you sit down to measure it. Wait one minute in between each reading. Be sure to track your measurements, either writing them down in a journal or using an online tracker.
You may be wondering how to lower blood pressure. Below are my top natural ways to lower blood pressure, and by the way, it should happen fast! Some plans can take months to see results. With my tips, some of which revolve around anti-inflammatory foods, you can see results in just one day.
If You Notice A Sudden Decline In Blood Pressure
A single lower-than-normal reading is not cause for alarm, unless you are experiencing any other symptoms or problems. If you experience any dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea or other symptoms, its a good idea to consult with your healthcare provider. To help with your diagnosis, keep a record of your symptoms and activities at the time they occurred.
Is low blood pressure related to low heart rate? Find out.
Written by American Heart Association editorial staff and reviewed by science and medicine advisers. See our editorial policies and staff.
Last Reviewed: Oct 31, 2016
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What Can You Do To Help Relieve Symptoms Of Low Blood Pressure
Depending on the type of low blood pressure you have, you may be able to relieve some of your symptoms by:
- Eating a healthy diet with fewer carbohydrates and smaller meals.
- Drinking more water and avoiding alcohol.
- Getting up slowly after youve been sitting or lying down.
- Focusing on breathing a few times before you change position.
- Wearing compression stockings.
How Low Blood Pressure Is Treated
Low blood pressure is typically not a serious problem unless it causes symptoms and complications like fainting, dizziness, confusion, and shock. In many cases, simple adjustments to lifestyle, diet, and habits can treat low blood pressure successfully. Sometimes medication may be prescribed to raise the blood pressure to a normal range.
If your blood pressure suddenly drops due to a medical condition, such as bleeding, you will need urgent medical treatment,
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Exercise Dos And Donts
When exercising, take precautions to help stabilize your blood pressure. Because your body needs blood to digest food, eating smaller meals before exercise can help, according to Natasha Trentacosta, MD, a sports medicine specialist and orthopedic surgeon at Cedars Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute in Santa Monica, California.
She also recommends changing positions slowly, such as standing up after doing exercises on a bench or the ground, to prevent orthostatic hypotension.
“If you’re doing exercises like bicep curls on a bench, for example, and you suddenly stand up to switch weights, your blood vessels don’t have enough time to adjust their pressure,” she says. “That can bring on symptoms like dizziness, headache and even blurry vision.”
Also remember to drink plenty of fluid. If you’re dehydrated, it means that your body is losing more water then you’re consuming, and not only can that worsen low blood pressure, but NLM notes that dehydration symptoms can also mean dizziness, fatigue, excessive thirst and dry mouth.
If you have hypotension and plan to work out, make sure you hydrate properly, Dr. Trentacosta says. If you are participating in vigorous exercise, you may need to drink a sports drink that contains electrolytes as well. Each person’s need for water is different, so your doctor can recommend the proper fluid intake based on your personal health.
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Exercise For Low Blood Pressure
Everyday exercise such as a 30-minute walk or light running can serve to improve circulation and alleviate any existing symptoms of low blood pressure. It is best to go with a companion if already a patient of hypotension, in case episodes of blurry vision, giddiness, or fainting happen during these times.
It is necessary to avoid undue stress to the body and sudden, jerky movements through heavy lifting and other strenuous exercise so that the flow of movement is smooth. Discipline and consistency regarding exercise aids the underlying causes of low blood pressure, while alleviating its symptoms as well.
High Blood Pressure Foods To Avoid
It is important to know which foods improve circulation and which high blood pressure foods to avoid. Eating a clean diet free from highly-processed foods is one of the best ways to stay healthy. High blood pressure is considered a major contributing factor to cardiac difficulties. But eating plant-based foods that support a healthy heart may help us live longer and more energetic lives.
According to theCenters for Disease Control and Prevention , heart disease is responsible for one in every four deaths in the United States each year. This means that there are about 659,000 deaths per year. In fact, heart disease is the leading cause of death for nearly every racial and ethnic group within the United States. Diet plays a vital role in managing blood pressure and these are the 7 high blood pressure foods to avoid.
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Foods High In Vitamin B12 And Folate
According to the , a deficiency in vitamin B12 and folate can cause anemia, leading to low blood pressure. A doctor can test a persons blood to see whether they are deficient in these essential nutrients.
Vitamin B12 foods
Good dietary sources of vitamin B12 include meat, eggs, fish, and dairy products, such as milk and cheese. People can also select foods fortified with vitamin B12, such as breakfast cereals and plant-based milks.
People can get folate by eating leafy green vegetables, broccoli, legumes, eggs, beets, citrus fruits, nuts, seeds, wheat germ, and liver.
Diet And Nutrition For Low Blood Pressure
A balanced meal with complex carbohydrates, fish, lean meat, fruits and cooked vegetables goes a long way in preventing hypotension. Changing meal patterns to make them more frequent and less heavy prevent as well as address postprandial fatigue and hypotension.
On diagnosis of a dip in BP, a low blood pressure diet that supplies adequate sodium, and potassium while maintaining blood sugar levels is generally recommended for patients.Increased consumption of non-alcoholic beverages helps maintain adequate hydration and is recommended. Increasing salt quantities or addition of soy sauce in everyday cooking is a simple change that combats effects of low blood pressure and may be suggested by your doctor.
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When Should You Call Your Doctor About Low Blood Pressure
If you have recurring dizziness or fainting, or other symptoms of low blood pressure, you should visit your doctor. Sudden drops in blood pressure can be dangerous. It is important for your doctor to determine why your blood pressure is dropping and treat the cause.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 10/08/2019.
Natural Steps To Manage Low Blood Pressure
Natural ways to achieve a healthy blood pressure depend on the cause of your hypotension. Its not always bad to suffer from hypotension indeed, in some cases its totally harmless and goes unnoticed. But when it causes annoying or dangerous symptoms, you can usually take simple steps to bring your blood pressure up or avoid future dips altogether.
1. Stay hydrated
Having a low volume of blood in your body is part of the problem in hypotension. By staying hydrated, you can help make sure there is enough fluid in your body to have a strong blood supply and to help your tissues and organs work the way they should. Simple ways to stay hydrated include:
2. Pay attention to body positions
Sitting up, standing up and standing for long periods of time can all trigger low blood pressure symptoms. Many people can use these tips and strategies to avoid or reduce their symptoms when changing positions:
3. Make simple lifestyle changes
In many cases, knowing what causes hypotension can help you avoid symptoms. Low blood pressure can happen when your blood vessels expand or when your blood pools during inactivity. Heat, inactivity and physical strain can lead to dips in blood pressure. You may benefit from some of these simple changes in lifestyle:
4. Eat for healthy blood pressure
Dietary suggestions for increasing blood pressure include:
5. Consider herbs and supplements
Herbs and supplements that may increase blood pressure or help you achieve a healthy blood pressure include:
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Ayurvedic Remedies For Low Blood Pressure
According to Ayurveda, low blood pressure is caused by vitiation of vayu in the body. It considers a nutritious, balanced diet with proteins and carbohydrates to be helpful for people with this condition. Dry fruits, chicken, rabbit, mutton, soups of black gram and meat, legumes, and fruits like mangoes, apples, bananas, and grapes are especially recommended. People with low blood pressure are also advised to avoid strenuous exercise.17
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When Is Low Blood Pressure An Emergency
There are many cases where low blood pressure is completely asymptomatic and the person may not even be aware of the condition. Additionally, there is no specific reading or range for low blood pressure but generally anything below 90/60 mmHg is considered to be low blood pressure as a standard practice. There are many people who have low blood pressure chronically but still lead a healthy life.
According to American Heart Association, low blood pressure should be considered an emergency only if there are other symptoms associated with it. These set of symptoms come on out of the blue and are quite variable and differ from individual to individual. These symptoms include dizziness, problems focusing and concentrating, loss of consciousness, fatigue, nausea, blurry vision, shallow breathing, and pale skin. In such a scenario, it is best to take the patient to the emergency room for treatment.
Low blood pressure should also be considered as an emergency if the drop is sudden and very significant. This sudden drop in blood pressure indicates that proper blood and oxygen is not reaching the vital organs of the body and there is high likelihood that these organs may start to malfunction or even fail resulting in shock which is an extremely serious condition requiring immediate treatment. There are also certain medical conditions that cause low blood pressure that needs to be regularly monitored and at times may need an emergency room visit.
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Q What Can Cause Low Blood Pressure
- Nutrition deficiency in the diet
- Certain antidepressants
Boost Your B12 Intake
Vitamin B12 performs a critical role in helping the body produce healthy red blood cells. Lack of this important vitamin can result in anemia, which lowers blood pressure and can result in excessive bleeding as well as organ and nerve damage. Foods that are rich in vitamin B12 include eggs, chicken, fish like salmon and tuna, and low-fat dairy products.
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Underlying Causes Of Low Blood Pressure
There are several causes of low blood pressure. Some are temporary and can be easily fixed. Low blood pressure may also be a sign of a health issue or emergency condition. Treatment may be necessary.
Several health conditions can cause low blood pressure. These include:
- Addisons disease
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Diagnosing and treating these conditions can help balance blood pressure. Your doctor may recommend simple tests such as:
- blood tests to check hormone levels, blood sugar levels, and for infections
- an electrocardiogram or Holter monitor to check heart rhythm and function
- an echocardiogram to check your heart health
- an exercise stress test to check your heart health
- a tilt table test to check low blood pressure due to changes in body position
- the Valsalva maneuver, a breathing test to check for nervous system causes of low blood pressure
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How Does Blood Pressure Work
During relaxation of the heart , the left ventricle of the heart fills with blood returning from the lungs. The left ventricle then contracts and pumps blood into the arteries . The blood pressure in the arteries during contraction of the ventricle is higher because blood is being actively ejected into the arteries. It is lower during relaxation of the ventricle when no blood is being ejected into the arteries. The pulse we feel when we place our fingers over an artery is caused by the contraction of the left ventricle and the ejection of blood.
Blood pressure is determined by two factors:
Generally, blood pressure tends to be higher if more blood is pumped into the arteries or if the arterioles are narrow and/or stiff. Narrow and/or stiff arterioles, by resisting the flow of blood, increase blood pressure. Arterioles may become narrower when the muscles surrounding them contract. Arterioles may become stiff and narrow when older patients develop atherosclerosis.
Blood pressure tends to be lower if less blood is being pumped into the arteries or if the arterioles are larger and more flexible and, therefore, have less resistance to the flow of blood.
The heart rate increases and the forcefulness of the hearts contractions increase, pumping more blood through the heart.