Tips For Avoiding Low Blood Pressure
Talk to your healthcare provider or a dietitian about healthy foods to include on your shopping list. There are ways you can modify daily behaviors that may help as well.
If you suspect you may have anemia, be sure to visit your healthcare provider for testing to pinpoint the type of anemia and the best treatment options.
Here are a few other changes you can make to your diet to help raise your blood pressure:
- Eat small meals more frequently. Large meals may cause more dramatic drops in blood pressure, as your body works harder to digest larger meals.
- Drink more water and limit alcohol. Dehydration lowers blood pressure.
In addition to altering your diet, you may also be able to raise your blood pressure by making these lifestyle changes:
- If you exercise outdoors in extreme heat, take frequent breaks and be sure to increase hydration efforts.
- Avoiding spending long amounts of time in saunas, hot tubs, and steam rooms which can cause dehydration.
- Change body positions slowly.
- Avoid prolonged bed rest.
- Wear compression stockings, which help blood move back upward from your legs and feet. You can purchase them online.
Types Of Low Blood Pressure
Medical professionals distinguish between three different types of hypotension. The most common type is primary hypotension . Other examples are secondary and ortho static hypotension.
- Primary hypotension: describes the most common form and usually occurs without a clear cause.
- Secondary hypotension: mostly occurs as a result of an underlying disease such as an underactive thyroid or various heart diseases.
- Orthostasis hypotension: occurs due to volume shift. for example, when you get up quickly from lying down.
What Food To Eat To Raise Low Blood Pressure
If you are searching for an answer for how to increase blood pressure naturally, you should know what you eat has a notable impact on your blood pressure. Consuming certain types of food can help raise low blood pressure. Heres how to increase blood pressure with food.
- Plenty of fluids: As discussed earlier, staying hydrated is crucial to maintain healthy blood pressure. Drink more water and other drinks like coconut water, juices, etc.
- Foods high in vitamin B-12: Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause anaemia, which lowers blood pressure. Foods like eggs, sardines, meat, fortified cereals and nutritional yeast, milk products, etc., are rich in vitamin B12.
- Foods high in folate: Like vitamin B12, low levels of folic acid can also contribute to anaemia. Foods high in folate include asparagus, avocados, citrus fruits, leafy greens, beans, lentils, eggs, and liver.
- Caffeine: Consumption of beverages like coffee and caffeinated tea may temporarily elevate your blood pressure by stimulating the cardiovascular system and raising your heart rate. However, it does not affect everybodys blood pressure in the same way. Also, remember, too much caffeine can be harmful to your health.
- Salt: As prior mentioned, intake of salty foods can make the blood pressure go up. You can try foods high in salt content like olives, smoked fish, cottage cheese, canned soup etc.
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Have a look at the below video where we discuss blood pressure, hypertension & lifestyle.
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How Is Low Blood Pressure Diagnosed And Treated
People quite often dont know they have low blood pressure until their doctor tells them during a routine checkup. Your doctor may advise you at that time to add more salt to your diet.
If more direct intervention is needed, you could be prescribed medication or even given an intravenous line to relieve dehydration.
What Is Low Blood Pressure/hypotension
Low blood pressure or hypotension is a condition where the systolic and diastolic pressure falls below 90 and 60 respectively. Blood pressure is usually measured in millimetres of mercury, and normal blood pressure is usually slightly less than 120/80 mm Hg.
To have low blood pressure is not always a concern however, chronic hypotension can cause a lack of blood flow to the brain, causing dizziness, blackouts or loss of consciousness, and may even be life-threatening in severe cases.
More often, low blood pressure is a symptom of a different concern, such as plaque build-up, a heart disorder or aging related medical conditions, making it necessary to pay attention to signs of low blood pressure in its initial stages.
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Warnings For People With Certain Health Conditions
For people with infections: Taking fludrocortisone can make an infection worse. Before you begin taking and while you take this medication, tell your doctor if you have any signs or symptoms of an infection, such as fever, chills, or body aches.
For people with tuberculosis: Taking fludrocortisone may make an active tuberculosis infection worse. It can also cause tuberculosis to come back if youve had it before. Let your doctor know if you currently have or have ever had tuberculosis.
For people with glaucoma: Taking fludrocortisone for a long time may increase the pressure in your eyes, causing damage to your eyes and vision. Your risk for other eye infections will also increase while youre taking this medication. Let your doctor know if you have glaucoma or any other eye diseases.
For people with ocular herpes simplex: Taking fludrocortisone may cause perforation, or small holes, in the outer layer of your eye . Let your doctor know if you have ocular herpes simplex.
For people with heart disease: This includes high blood pressure and heart failure. Taking fludrocortisone might cause your blood pressure to increase or make heart failure worse because it makes you retain salt and water. Let your doctor know if you have any heart problems.
For people with diabetes: Taking fludrocortisone can increase your blood sugar levels. You should monitor your blood sugar level more closely. Your doctor may need to increase the doses of your diabetes medications.
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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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
Drinking Lots Of Fluids
If one is experiencing dizziness due to dehydration, it is very important to rehydrate oneself by drinking lots of water. The increased fluid level will increase blood volume, which will raise blood pressure. Drinking sports drinks are also advised because they provide the body with sodium and potassium, which will help raise the blood pressure level. At the same time, alcohol consumption should be limited. Intravenous fluids will be required for severe cases of dehydration.
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Yoga Asanas For People With Low Blood Pressure
Practising simple asanas for 4 to 5 minutes daily can help bring the body back to homeostasis. The following yoga asanas are recommended for low blood pressure patients:
- Uttanasana– It can improve blood flow towards the brain and alleviate fatigue and dizziness.
- Matsyasana– This pose ensures that the neck and back muscles are stretched properly. It helps the adequate flow of blood throughout the body and control pressure fluctuations.
- Pavanmuktasana– This pose enhances blood circulation and eases tension in the lower back.
- Sarvangasana– This pose improves the blood flow to the brain and removes the issue of dizziness and fatigue
- Shishuasana– This pose relieves the body of stress and fatigue and calms the brain
- Adho Mukha Svanasana– This pose calms the brain and relieves the body of fatigue.
Apart from the mentioned exercises, activities like swimming or recumbent bicycling are also beneficial for hypotension patients. In addition, practising free hand exercises are a good way to warm up the body before moving to the workout sets.
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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Causes Of Low Diastolic Blood Pressure
There are three known causes of isolated diastolic hypotension:
- Alpha-blocker medications. These blood pressure medications work by causing your blood vessels to open up . Because they lower diastolic pressure more than systolic pressure, they may cause isolated diastolic hypotension. Common brand names include Minipress and Cardura.
- The aging process. As we age, we lose the elasticity of our arteries. For some older adults, arteries may become too stiff to spring back between heartbeats, causing diastolic blood pressure to be low.
- Too much salt in your diet. Dietary salt can decrease elasticity of your blood vessels. If you take in too much salt, you may increase your risk for low diastolic blood pressure.
There are several common causes of overall hypotension, which would include a low diastolic number.
- Overtreatment of high blood pressure. For some people, especially people over age 60, lowering systolic blood pressure below 120 may cause diastolic pressure to fall below 60.
How Is Low Blood Pressure Diagnosed
Like high blood pressure, low blood pressure can be diagnosed easily with a blood pressure check.
If you feel dizzy or faint when you stand up, you might need to have your blood pressure measured when youre lying down and again while you are standing up.
You might be offered a tilt table test. This is where you lie on a table that starts in a horizontal position, then slowly tilts so that youre in an almost upright position as if you were standing. You will have your blood pressure and pulse monitored, and any symptoms you feel will be recorded. You might also have a blood test to check the levels of certain hormones.
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Q What Should You Eat When Experiencing Low Blood Pressure
- Drinking plenty of fluids- hydration is key, and dehydration can severely affect blood volume.
- Drink plenty of water through the day, especially after a workout session.
- Vitamin B12- lack of vitamin B12 can lead to anemia. So, you have to consume foods like eggs, cereals, and beef to avoid a dip in your blood pressure.
- Folate- folate helps keep blood pressure levels at a steady level, and foods like asparagus, liver, and garbanzo beans are rich in folate.
- Salt: Salty foods are known to increase blood pressure, and you can eat food like smoked fish, cottage cheese, canned soup, and olives.
- Caffeine: Caffeinated tea and coffee can spike your blood pressure by stimulating the cardiovascular system and giving your rate a boost.
Low Blood Pressure When You Stand Up
Sometimes, changes in your posture can cause your blood pressure to drop, for example, going from sitting or lying down to standing up. You might feel the symptoms listed above when you stand up, such as feeling dizzy or faint. They will pass quickly as your body adjusts, but can put you at risk of falls.
This is called postural hypotension or orthostatic hypotension. Its caused by changes to your arteries which happen as you get older and if youre taking medications to lower your blood pressure.
The animation below provides information on the causes, symptoms and potential interventions related to orthostatic hypotension.
This film was produced by Newcastle University for work completed by Dr James Frith, supported by the NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre.
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Best Exercises To Cure Low Blood Pressure
Individuals with low blood pressure can feel dizzy while rapidly changing exercise positions. Such movement can also lead to symptoms of orthostatic hypotension. This is why medical practitioners suggest light hand exercises and yoga for an active lifestyle.
Here is a list of exercises to cure low blood pressure
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 deficiency such as anemia you should increase your intake of lean red meats and legumes like lentils, chickpeas and beans.
Ginger is a great ally in improving hypotension as it favors blood circulation. Take a piece of fresh ginger, grate it and place it in a little water. Let simmer for a few minutes and the drink it. If you suffer from low blood pressure you can take this remedy twice daily. You can also have it included in different dishes to make raising your blood pressure tasty as well as effective.
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.
Go to the doctor to find the underlying cause especially if you also have the following symptoms:
- You have hadseveral low blood pressure readings during medical analysis
- You often feel nausea and lightheadedness
- You feel dizzy or have had frequent vertigo
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What Other Medications Can Accidentally Cause Low Blood Pressure
There are a variety of other medications that can unintentionally cause your blood pressure to drop, including cardiovascular drugs, diuretics, and beta blockers that are used to treat high blood pressure. Drugs used to treat erectile dysfunction can also result in low blood pressure, as can certain antidepressants, as well as medications prescribed for Parkinsons disease.
How Do I Know If I Have Low Blood Pressure
Low blood pressure is not always a sign of a problem. But if you have symptoms of low blood pressure, your doctor can diagnose the condition and uncover the cause. Symptoms of dizziness and lightheadedness when you stand up from sitting or lying down — with a decrease in your blood pressure — may indicate a condition called postural hypotension. A wide range of underlying conditions may also cause your symptoms. It’s important to identify the cause of low blood pressure so appropriate treatment can be given.
The doctor will look at your medical history, age, specific symptoms, and the conditions under which the symptoms occurred. They will do a physical exam and may repeatedly check your blood pressure and pulse rate — after you’ve been lying down for a few minutes, right after you stand up, and within a few minutes after you stand quietly.
Other tests may be performed, such as an ECG to measure heart rate and rhythm and an echocardiogram . You may also have blood tests to look for anemia or problems with your blood sugar levels.
More sophisticated home ECG monitoring may be necessary to check for heart problems that come and go or an irregular heart beat that can cause your blood pressure to drop suddenly.
An exercise stress test or, less commonly, an electrophysiology test may also be helpful.
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Dr Rupali Datta Clinical Dietitian At Fortis
1. Eat small portions frequently: Sneak healthy snacking sessions in-between the major meals of the day to avoid long gaps. Eating small portions several times of the day helps in preventing the sudden drop in blood pressure that one may experience after meals. So, if you are eating three full meals a day, it would be better to rather have them distributed in to five small meals a day. This one’s a great home remedy for also people who have diabetes.
Home remedies for low blood pressure: eat small portions frequently
2. Have adequate salt: Excess salt is bad, but on the other hand it is required by your body in moderate quantities. According to the World Health Organisation, your daily diet must contain at one teaspoon of added salt besides what you derive from natural from fruits and vegetables. In summers or if you exercise daily, keep some lime water with a pinch of salt handy. Salt works like an instant pick-me-up. Make sure you do not have too much salt too that may lead to problems like water retention along with high blood pressure.
Home remedies for low blood pressure: Excess salt is bad, but it is required by your body in moderate quantitiesHome remedies for low blood pressure: Drink at least 2 to 3 litres of water every dayHome remedies for low blood pressure: Caffeinated beverages like tea or coffee may help boost your blood pressureHome remedies for low blood pressure: Chew five to six tulsi leaves every morning