What To Eat To Help Raise Low Blood Pressure
Low blood pressure can be caused by a variety of factors, including medication side effects and conditions like diabetes. What you eat also has a notable impact on your heart health and blood pressure. Here are eight diet tips that might help raise your blood pressure back up to a healthy level.
What Can You Do To Lower Your Blood Pressure
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What Are The Treatments For Low Blood Pressure
The treatments for low blood pressure depend on what caused the condition. Your doctor will work with you to address the cause of the hypotension. In severe cases of hypotension, your doctor may give you IV fluids to raise your blood pressure.
Depending on a variety of factors, such as your age and the type of hypotension, your doctor may recommend one or more of the following: dietary changes, lifestyle changes and/or medications.
To make dietary changes, your doctor might tell you to:
- Stay hydrated by drinking more water throughout the day.
- Drink less alcohol.
- Increase your salt intake slightly because sodium raises blood pressure.
- Eat smaller, healthy meals and limit carbohydrates.
You can take several steps to avoid a sudden drop in blood pressure. Your doctor may recommend that you make the following lifestyle changes:
- Wear compression stockings.
- Get up slowly after youve been sitting or lying down.
- Avoid standing for long periods of time.
- Sit up and breathe deeply for a few minutes before getting out of bed.
Your doctor might prescribe medications like:
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Where Can I Get My Blood Pressure Checked
You can get your blood pressure measured
- By a health care team member at a doctors office.
- At a pharmacy that has a digital blood pressure measurement machine.
- With a home blood pressure monitor that you can use yourself.
Take this form pdf icon with you on your first blood pressure visit to record important blood pressure-related information.
What Is High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure or hypertension is the silent killer that affects 80 million Americans. As many as 16 million Americans are unaware of the condition. Untreated hypertension can increase the risk of heart diseases or strokes. High blood pressure occurs due to the tightening of very small blood vessels called arterioles. As a result, the heart has to pump harder to overcome the resistance in the narrowed blood vessel bed. This leads to elevated pressure inside the vessels.
- High blood pressure or hypertension is when readings consistently range from 140 or higher for systolic or 90 or higher for diastolic.
- Blood pressure readings above 180/120 mmHg are dangerously high and require immediate medical attention.
High blood pressure is more likely to cause
- heart attack
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Causes Of High Blood Pressure
Theres no single cause of high blood pressure, but rather many contributing factors. Some are out of your control, such as age, race, gender, and family historyblood pressure tends to increase over the age of 70, affects more women than men over the age of 55, and is more common in African Americans than Caucasians, perhaps due to a genetic sensitivity to salt.
Many other risk factors for hypertension are within your control. Being overweight, eating a poor diet high in salt, smoking, drinking excessively, and not getting enough physical exercise can all impact your blood pressure.
There are also specific substances that can raise your blood pressure, such as:
- Caffeine, including coffee, tea, soda, and energy drinks.
- Prescription medications, including some of those used to treat ADHD, birth control pills, corticosteroids, atypical antipsychotics, MAOIs and SNRIs used to treat depression, and some cancer drugs.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as aspirin and ibuprofen .
- Cough and cold medications containing decongestant or NSAIDs.
- Herbal supplements, such as ephedra and yohimbine.
- Recreational drugs, such as cocaine and methamphetamine.
- Licorice found in some candies and gum.
Eat Garlic Or Take Garlic Extract Supplements
Fresh garlic or garlic extract are both widely used to lower blood pressure.
A meta-analysis found that for people with high blood pressure, garlic supplements reduced their systolic blood pressure by up to about 5 mm Hg and reduced their diastolic blood pressure as much as 2.5 mm Hg .
According to a 2009 clinical study, a time-release garlic extract preparation may have a greater effect on blood pressure than regular garlic powder tablets .
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How Can I Prevent High Blood Pressure
You can help prevent high blood pressure by having a healthy lifestyle. This means:
If you already have high blood pressure, it is important to prevent it from getting worse or causing complications. You should get regular medical care and follow your prescribed treatment plan. Your plan will include healthy lifestyle habit recommendations and possibly medicines.
NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Herbs For Low Blood Pressure
Many herbal supplements and commercial beverages can cause vasoconstriction that elevates blood pressure substantially, which is why people who take medicine for high blood pressure must use caution when taking over-the-counter decongestants and supplements. Even if you are otherwise healthy, you should stop taking any supplement that produces symptoms of , such as a .
To treat symptoms of hypotension with herbs and other substances, try:
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Good Sleep Can Prevent And Manage High Blood Pressure
Most people experience a dip in blood pressure during the deepest stage of sleep , which is the body’s normal and healthy reaction to sleep. Not having that nighttime dip is a risk factor for heart disease and may increase daytime blood pressure.
Typically people spend 90 minutes to two hours in slow wave sleep per night. A recent study published in Hypertension found that men who got less slow wave sleep each night were a higher risk for hypertension than men who got more deep sleep.
While sleep disorders, like sleep apnea, and age can both affect the amount of deep sleep you get, there are steps you can take to ensure a good night’s sleep. Getting seven to eight hours of sleep a night, maintaining a consistent sleep schedule and being more active during the day can help improve the quality of your sleep.
Lowering Systolic Blood Pressure More May Cut Health Risks
One major study found that lowering systolic blood pressure to well below the commonly recommended level also greatly lowered the number of cardiovascular events and deaths among people at least 50 years old with high blood pressure.
When study participants achieved a systolic blood pressure target of 120 mmHg compared to the higher target of 140 mmHg recommended for most people, and 150 for people over 60 issues such as heart attack, stroke and heart failure were reduced by almost one-third, and the risk of death by almost one-fourth.
“That’s important information, because more lives may be saved and more deaths may be prevented if we maintain lower blood pressure in certain patients,” says Lynne Braun, NP, PhD, a nurse practitioner at the Rush Heart Center for Women.
Braun cautions, however, that your personal blood pressure target depends on a variety of things, including your current blood pressure, lifestyle, risk factors, other medications you are taking and your age. “Every person has to be evaluated as an individual,” she says. “Realistically, we can’t get everybody down to 120, and trying to do so may create unintended problems.”
It can be dangerous, for instance, to keep an older person on medications that have unsafe side effects, such as diuretics , which can cause dehydration and dizziness in older adults.
And there can be other issues involved with taking multiple medications, such as cost and compliance.
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How Is Fluctuating Blood Pressure Treated
First, a doctor will determine the underlying cause. They will ask about a persons history and discuss their lifestyle and current medications. The doctor may also order or conduct tests.
Medications can lower blood pressure and prevent dangerous fluctuations. A person may also be able to achieve this goal by making changes to their lifestyle.
Whos Currently At High Risk For Serious Illness
According to the CDC, the
You may have read about concerns for two of these drugs, ACE inhibitors and ARBs, and COVID-19 risk. These concerns stem from the fact that these drugs may increase the amount of ACE2 in your body. ACE2 is the receptor that the new coronavirus binds to.
Because of this, several studies have focused on these drug types and COVID-19 risk. So far it appears as if theres little evidence to support the concerns related to ACE inhibitors, ARBs, and COVID-19.
Lets look at the findings so far:
- A study of more than 18,000 people with confirmed COVID-19 that was published in JAMA Cardiology found that there was no association between taking ACE inhibitors or ARBs and having a positive COVID-19 test.
- Two studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that ACE inhibitors and ARBs werent associated with the risk of getting COVID-19 or having severe COVID-19 illness.
- A study of individuals hospitalized with COVID-19 that was recently published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases found that ACE inhibitors and ARBs may actually improve outcomes when continued during hospitalization.
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Finding And Treating Underlying Causes And Making Lifestyle Changes Will Help
Many people have high blood pressure in older age, and sometimes its hard to control. That problem is called resistant hypertension blood pressure that stays above a set goal, such as 140/90 millimeters of mercury , despite taking three classes of blood pressure drugs at the highest tolerable doses. The condition is a major risk factor for stroke, heart disease, dementia, and more. What can you do to tame it?
How Is Low Blood Pressure Treated
If your blood pressure is naturally low and isnt causing you any problems it probably wont need any treatment. If you have symptoms and your doctor or nurse feels that you would benefit from treatment, they will try to find the cause of your low blood pressure so that they can find the best way to treat it.
The treatments will vary depending on the cause.
- A change in medications. If your GP thinks that your blood pressure is caused by a medication youre taking they might want to try an alternative medication or a different dose.
- Hormone replacement. If your low blood pressure is caused by a change in certain hormones, for example if your adrenal glands have been damaged, you may be referred to a specialist called an endocrinologist. They might prescribe hormone replacement medication.
- Medicines to stimulate your nerves. If you have a neurological condition, you may be given medicines to stimulate the nerves.
- Medicines for low blood pressure. These medicines narrow your blood vessels or expand the volume of your blood to raise your blood pressure. These are very rarely needed, as the treatments listed above and the changes you can make for yourself are usually enough.
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Treatments For Sudden Rise In Blood Pressure
A rise in already high blood pressure requires immediate medical attention. You can expect to have intravenous therapy and tests to determine what caused the spike in your pressure. Once your pressure is stabilized to a satisfactory level, then your doctor will discuss further treatment. Depending on your current health condition and any issues aside from high blood pressure, your treatment will vary.For example, if there is fluid in your lungs, you will be treated with prescribed diuretics to remove the fluid. If there is damage to your heart, you will be prescribed specific heart medication. Medications you may be taking may need to be adjusted or changed to another type, depending on your test results. Any kidney damage or tumors may require surgery.
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Reduce Stress Through Meditation And Rest
Chronic stress can lead to chronic elevations in the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline, says Dr. Desai. These hormones constrict the arteries and cause weight gain, which further increases blood pressure.
He recommends reducing stress by using breathing exercises, practicing meditation, completing physical exercise, practicing yoga, logging quality sleep, taking breaks throughout the day, spending time in nature, listening to music and eating a balanced diet.
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Should A Person Only Rely On Eating Salty Foods To Raise Low Blood Pressure
Eating too much of these highly-processed, super salty or fatty foods can be harmful to your health over time, cautions Dr. Patel. Instead of relying on these foods to add salt into your diet, he advocates for the purchasing of salt tablets.
But there are plenty of other ways to raise your blood pressure other than just salt, he says. Other methods include:
- Drinking more fluids
- Limiting or avoiding your alcohol intake
- Eating smaller meals
How Many People Are Affected By High Blood Pressure
The role of blood pressure is to maintain adequate blood perfusion to every tissue and organ in your body. Blood needs to fight against gravity, and your body is especially adept at maintaining a level of equilibrium for normal functioninga healthy blood pressure is a huge part of that. Over time, however, the mechanism that pushes blood may weaken, resulting in your body having to work extra hard to push blood through the vessels. This leads to blood pressure rising and it can wreak havoc on the vascular system.
High blood pressure puts you at an increased risk for heart disease and stroke, which are leading causes of death in the United States. It is estimated that about 75 million American adults currently have high blood pressure roughly one in every three Americans. High blood pressure contributes to more than 1,100 deaths each day.
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Habits That Prevent Hypertension
Salt can be a cause of hypertension. So watch that your daily intake of salt does NOT exceed 2300 mg per day. It is also very good to walk or do some sport. Remember not to eat too many sausages, beers or cured cheese. These foods have high levels of amines that promote hypertension.
Among the foods that improve your blood pressure are watermelons, kiwis, bananas, blueberry juices and skim milk. Hibiscus tea, coconut water, tofu and soy will also be very helpful. Generally, a healthy and balanced diet is one that will help you prevent dangerous rises in pressure.
If you think this article might be useful for other people, do not hesitate to it. There are lives at stake that, simply by making this information known, you can save.
Facts About High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure affects your health at every level
There’s a good reason why every doctor’s appointment starts with a blood pressure check. While one in three American adults has high blood pressure, about 20% of people are unaware that they have it because it is largely symptomless.
In fact, most people find out they have high blood pressure during a routine office visit.
Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of arteries as the heart pumps blood. High blood pressure, also referred to as hypertension, is when that force is too high and begins harming the body. If left untreated, it willl eventually cause damage to the heart and blood vessels.
Your blood pressure is measured in two numbers: The top systolic blood pressure measures the force pushing against artery walls when the heart is contracting. The bottom diastolic blood pressure measures pressure in the arteries when the heart is resting between beats.
Normal blood pressure levels are 120 mmHg/80 mmHg or lower. At risk levels are 120-139 mmHg/80-89 mmHg. Readings of 140 mmHg/90 mmHg or higher are defined as high blood pressure.
Here are six other things you should know about high blood pressure.
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