When To Contact A Medical Professional
If low blood pressure causes a person to pass out , seek treatment right away. Or call 911 or the local emergency number. If the person is not breathing or has no pulse, begin CPR.
- Black or maroon stools
Hypotension Blood pressure – low Postprandial hypotension Orthostatic hypotension Neurally mediated hypotension NMH
Cut Down On Rapidly Digested Carbs
Foods like white rice, white bread, sugary drinks, and potatoes are quickly digested and passed from your stomach to your small intestine. This leads to postprandial hypotension. So cutting back on foods like this and adding more foods that are slowly digested for instance, protein, beans, and whole grains can help prevent your blood pressure from dipping too low after a meal.11
How Is Resistant Hypertension Diagnosed
- Full history and physical exam, which includes letting your doctor know about all medications and supplements, whether they are prescription, over-the-counter, herbal or recreational. Its important to mention if you skip doses of daily medicines.
- True measurement of your blood pressure using correct technique and calibrated equipment.
- Home blood pressure measurement during the day and 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring to record your blood pressure throughout a regular day. It may be used if your physician suspects your blood pressure readings in the office dont tell the whole story.
- Tests for secondary conditions, which may include special blood work and imaging studies. Identifying and treating these conditions may eliminate hypertension or at least make it more treatable.
- Tests for organ damage caused by hypertension, which may include:
- Electrocardiogram to measure your hearts size and rhythm
- Echocardiogram to measure your hearts size and function
- Fundoscopic eye exam to check for damaged blood vessels inside the eye these tiny blood vessels come in from the brain and are a unique opportunity for your doctor to judge the health of similar blood vessels in your brain, heart and kidneys
- Urinalysis to check for kidney damage
- Other blood tests
- Chest X-ray
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How To Lower Blood Pressure Naturally
The term lifestyle changes implies you will need to change your habits to bring your blood pressure down. Broadly speaking, these modifications are natural non-pharmaceutical ways of lowering blood pressure. Six methods have been proven effective in clinical studies, and two others are recommended:
What Do The Numbers Mean
When a healthcare professional takes your blood pressure, its expressed as a measurement with two numbers, one number on top and one on the bottom , like a fraction. For example, 120/80 mm Hg.
Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury. Thats what the mm/Hg stands for. Heres what the numbers mean:
- Your systolic pressure is the pressure of the blood in your arteries when your heart contracts or beats.
- Your diastolic pressure is the pressure of the blood in your arteries between beats, when your heart relaxes.
Both numbers are important in determining the state of your heart health.
Numbers greater than the ideal range may be a sign that your heart is working too hard to pump blood to the rest of your body.
For a normal reading, your blood pressure needs to show:
- a systolic pressure thats above 90 mm Hg and less than 120 mm Hg, and
- a diastolic pressure thats between 60 mm Hg and less than 80 mm Hg
The American Heart Association considers blood pressure to be within the normal range when both your systolic and diastolic numbers are in these ranges.
If youre in the normal range, no medical intervention is needed. However, its important to maintain a healthy lifestyle and moderate weight to help prevent high blood pressure from developing.
You may need to be even more mindful of your lifestyle if high blood pressure runs in your family.
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How To Stay Motivated
Starting an exercise routine can be scary. But Gray has some tips to help you stay motivated and on the right track toward your health goals.
Dont forget about being consistent with your workouts aiming for those 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week by making your exercise plan a regular part of your life, says Gray.
In order to keep up a lifestyle and see those true lifestyle changes, you want to make sure you have that planned exercise rather than just physical activity, she says.
Eat More Foods High In Magnesium
A small study in the International Journal of Hypertension found magnesium supplementation can reduce blood pressure in small amountsNguyen H, Odelola OA, Rangaswami J, Amanullah A. A Review of Nutritional Factors in Hypertension Management. International Journal of Hypertension. 2013 698940. . Talk to your doctor before taking magnesium supplements, especially if you have kidney disease. You can also safely incorporate high-magnesium foods into your diet. Dr. Desai recommends foods like leafy green vegetables and unsalted almonds.
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Complications Of High Blood Pressure
Untreated or poorly managed high blood pressure can cause serious and even life threatening issues. It can damage your blood vessels as well as your organs. The longer your hypertension goes untreated, the more it can damage your body and affect your health.
Potential complications of high blood pressure include:
What Foods Raise Blood Pressure
Since low blood pressure can cause dehydration, you should make sure you drink more water before making any other changes to your diet. Jo advises: Because of the prevalence of dehydration, I always recommend increasing fluid intake before doing anything else.
But when it comes to raising blood pressure, salt is actually a great way to bring it back to a normal level long term. But you should be careful before introducing more salt into your diet. Jo adds, Salt is the key dietary component to raise blood pressure long term. But always check with the GP before doing this because there can be adverse side effects.
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Causes Of Low Blood Pressure
Your blood pressure can vary depending on the time of day. It gradually increases throughout the day.
What you’re doing and how you’re feeling can also affect it.
There are many possible causes of low blood pressure. It may be low because you’re fit and healthy, or you may have inherited it from your parents.
Some people develop low blood pressure as they get older.
It can also be caused by:
- being pregnant
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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Low Blood Pressure Diet: What To Eat To Help Raise Low Blood Pressure
If your blood pressure is low, it can lead to health problems like feeling weak or dizzy, feeling confused and fainting. But there are changes you can make to your diet to help raise your blood pressure to a healthy level.
A low blood pressure diet isnt too difficult to follow and can help raise low blood pressure just by eating certain foods.
Low blood pressure is a reading of less than 90/60mmHg on a sphygmomanometer . Having low blood pressure can impact your every day life as it can cause people to feel weak, confused, and unlike themselves. This is often accompanied with feelings of sickness and even fainting. So it can be detrimental to daily life. Thankfully though, theres some simple ways to help raise your blood pressure, including some changes to your diet.
We spoke to registered nutritionist Jo Travers, founder of The London Nutritionist and author of The Low-Fad Diet, about what causes low blood pressure and what you can do to help.
What Is Low Blood Pressure
Low blood pressure occurs when blood pressure drops below the normal range. Doctors generally define low blood pressure as 90/60 mm Hg or below, commonly said as 90 over 60 Usually, doctors only treat hypotension if it is severe enough to cause symptoms.
Low blood pressure can be temporary, or it can be a chronic condition. The main types of hypotension are:
- Orthostatic hypotension: People with orthostatic hypotension feel faint or lightheaded when they stand up or change position suddenly.
- Postprandial hypotension: This condition causes people to feel lightheaded or dizzy after eating a meal because their blood pressure drops suddenly.
- Neurally mediated hypotension: People with this disorder feel faint, dizzy, and nauseous after exercising or standing for a long time.
- Severe hypotension linked to shock: Shock is the most extreme form of hypotension. When a person is in shock, blood pressure drops to dangerously low levels, and the brain and organs cant get enough blood to function.
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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.
Serious Injuries And Shock
Low blood pressure can also be caused by serious injuries or burns, particularly if you have lost a lot of blood. This can mean that there is less blood being pumped around your body. Low blood pressure can also occur if you go into shock after having a serious injury.
Other kinds of shock are described below.
Anaphylactic shock, or anaphylaxis, is caused by an allergic reaction to something – for example, a wasp sting or a peanut. During an allergic reaction, your body produces a large amount of a chemical called histamine, which causes your blood vessels to widen and leads to a sudden, severe drop in blood pressure.
Cardiogenic shock occurs when your heart cannot supply enough blood to your body, so your blood pressure drops. This can happen during a heart attack.
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If I Have Low Blood Pressure What Should I Do
Dr. Patel recommends establishing a close, trustworthy relationship with your health care team. Everyone has a support circlewhether that includes family, friends and/or colleagues, he says. Your doctor should also be a part of that inner circle for regular support and expertise.
Dr. Patel is located in Hoboken and is a physician at Hackensack Meridian Health Medical Group, a network of more than 1,000 physicians and advanced providers at over 300 practices throughout New Jersey. Our care network can help you better manage your health. Visit HMHMedicalGroup.org to find a practice near you.
The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.
How Would I Know If I Have Low Blood Pressure
The only way to tell would be to get your blood pressure checked, he confirms. Any reading under 90/60 millimeters of mercury is considered low.
However, there may be signs including:
These symptoms tend to occur more when someone goes from lying down or sitting to then standing, he adds.
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Can Lack Of Food Cause Low Blood Pressure
Sometimes yes, lack of food can cause low blood pressure. But its not the number one cause of low blood pressure.
Jo explains, a lack of nutrients can be a problem such as in the case of anaemia, where the body isnt getting enough iron or B-12 to make red blood cells. This leads to a lower blood volume and therefore low blood pressure.
She adds that: skipping the odd meal isnt going to cause it. However skipping meals can cause dizziness because of low blood sugar which is also a symptom of low blood pressure.
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.
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Wrong Medication Or Wrong Dose
For each person theres an ideal combination of medications and dosages that would best control their hypertension. Some people havent yet received that ideal combination. Its important to work with a doctor who is familiar with the range of medications and who knows what works best for each individual.
What Are Low Blood Pressure Symptoms
If symptoms occur at all, the most common ones are dizziness and lightheadedness, or fainting. When low blood pressure stems from an underlying medical problems, symptoms may include lack of concentration blurred vision nausea cold, clammy, pale skin rapid, shallow breathing fatigue, depression and thirst.
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Foods To Raise Blood Pressure
It is important to increase the intake of fruits and vegetables to improve the state of your blood pressure. These foods contain beneficial nutrients and vitamins, but also help to keep you hydrated. If your blood pressure has dropped due to an iron deficiencysuch as anemia you should increase your intake of lean red meats and legumes like lentils, chickpeas and beans.
While too much sodium will have a detrimental effect on your blood pressure, it can help raise it when low. Eating salty snacks such as peanuts or chips can help give you a quick spike in blood pressure levels. One home remedy for raising low blood pressure is to drink an isotonic drink which will help raise your sodium levels with healthy salts. However, be careful not to drink too much of them or it can raise your blood pressure to unhealthy levels.
These recommendations and homemade remedies can help you avoid drops in blood pressure and improve your circulation. However none of them are a replacement for a doctor’s advice. Consult a doctor to ascertain the right reasons behind your low blood pressure and they will best be able to help you with your problem. They may also be able to see if this is an underlying condition which requires some more aggressive treatment or lifestyles changes.
Go to the doctor to find the underlying cause especially if you also have the following symptoms:
Effective Home Remedies To Treat Low Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is cut out to be a villain, but did you know low blood pressure can be troublesome too? If your blood pressure is below 90/60 mmHg, its considered to be low.1 If blood pressure dips too low, it can reduce the amount of blood that flows to your brain and other organs. This can lead to symptoms like dizziness, fainting, nausea, blurred vision, and palpitations.
Low blood pressure comes in more than one form. For instance, some people experience low blood pressure when they change position for example, when they stand up . You could also experience the symptoms after you have a meal or when you stand for long periods of time .2
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Caveats To Treating Hypotension At Home
Most of the time, doctors decline to treat mild or moderate hypotension because low blood pressure benefits your heart health. In severe cases, doctors may prescribe medications to boost low blood pressure that is causing frequent falling or other undesired effects. Doctors also may treat an underlying condition causing hypotension.
People who have been diagnosed with heart or kidney diseaseincluding anyone who takes medication for or heart failureshould never take steps to raise their blood pressure on their own, as this can have serious negative health consequences. If youre in this group and experience symptoms of hypotension, contact your prescribing physician or primary care provider for guidance regarding how to proceed.
Otherwise healthy adults who occasionally experience symptoms of hypotension can try a home remedy for low blood pressure.
How Is Resistant Hypertension Treated
Treatment options for resistant hypertension or pseudo-resistant hypertension depend on your underlying conditions and how well you tolerate various medications. Treatments include:
- Addressing any conditions that may have caused the hypertension.
- Making lifestyle changes
- Adjusting medications to find your optimal type and dosage
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How To Raise Low Blood Pressure
If youre dealing with hypotension, the first step is making an appointment with your doctor. After discussing your medical history, lifestyle, and other factors, your doctor may change your medication or suggest certain lifestyle changes to get to the root of the issue.
Its important not to stop taking any medications or change dosages without talking to a healthcare professional first. The same is true of dietary or other changes.
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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