Saturday, 8 June 2013

How Can I Raise Low Blood Pressure?

How Can I Raise Low Blood Pressure?

So many doctors, journalists and writers talk about how to lower high blood pressure, but few address the challenges of low blood pressure. 

My blood pressure is often low, not dangerously low, but I do feel low blood pressure symptoms such as:



  • Dizzy upon standing - after sitting.
  • Headache/ head-rush (where you feel spacey upon standing).
  • Cardio exercise can wipe me out. Not just tired, but I need to lie down because I feel sick and ill after doing it.
  • Low mood attributed to low energy.
  • Low blood sugar.

Other symptoms people with low blood pressure experience are:


  • A tendency to faint
  • Pain in the chest
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Headache
  • Wheezing
  • Cold, clammy, pale skin
  • Fatigue
  • Thirst
  • Rapid, shallow breathing
  • Blurred vision
  • Back pain or stiff neck

So what is low blood pressure? (Otherwise known as hypotension - not hyper as that is high blood pressure) 

Low blood pressure is when there is insufficient pressure to pump the blood around the body effectively, leading to a shortage of oxygen for the organs of the body.


What causes it? (General causes)

According to the NHS (UK National Health Service)

Low blood pressure  could be caused by: 
  • The time of day (lower towards the end of day).
  • How stressed or relaxed you are
  • How much exercise you do.
  • Your age.
  • Temperature - warm temperatures cause pressure to fall
  • If you haven't eaten recently

Beyond everyday influences the following may cause it also:

  • Medication (including beta-blockers, alpha blockers, some antidepressants).
  • Dehydration
  • Serious illness or conditions
  • Autonomic disorders (eg. diabetes mellitus, Parkinson's disease).
  • Adrenal gland disorders
  • Serious injury and shock
  • Rare nerve conditions
  • Prolonged bed rest
  • Your genes.

How can you raise low blood pressure? 

Well, I am personally testing these out. I know many people have their own ways. So I will list all options that have worked for me so far and other ways people have tried or researched.

However, I am not an expert. I am just someone who has low blood pressure, experimenting and raising it in my own way.

1.  Drink enough water. My physiotherapist who experiences low blood pressure told me that when I have a dizzy spell getting off the couch, I needed to increase my fluid intake. This is because fluids increase your blood volume and prevent dehydration and this can help hypo-tension.
Water consumption: 
"So how much fluid does the average, healthy adult living in a temperate climate need? The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake (AI) for men is roughly 3 litres (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day. The AI for women is 2.2 litres (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day." The Mayo Clinic

2. Increase salt in your diet. Yes I know, we have been hoodwinked into believing salt is bad for us and this may be the case for those with high blood pressure and certain health conditions, but low blood pressure people need to increase salt. I increase salt by adding it to food and I like Ryvita with my Marmite spread which contains, but it's not to everyone's taste so find your own way. I also add salt to savoury foods I eat now. However, do not go overboard with salt, a little each day should help your blood pressure but I am no expert. Consult your doctor before increasing your salt intake to make sure this is going to benefit you.


3. Emergency – in an emergency situation. Lie down and raise your feet. This will increase the blood returned to the heart and raise blood pressure.

4. Reduce stress levels – exercise but work your way up to cardio. Don't go straight into cardio before a warm-up, we low blood pressure types don't like this

5. Wear compression stockings.

6. Avoid excessive consumption of alcohol as this can cause dehydration.

7. Eat small portions of food but frequently throughout the day. I tend to eat every 3 hours and this does make a difference to both my blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

8. Follow a healthy diet. Reduce your intake of processed foods, especially refined sugar. This will help your blood sugar stay more level.

9. There are herbal supplements which are known as adaptogens, such as Panax Ginseng and Siberian Ginseng (known in US as Eleuthero), which can lower high blood pressure and also raise low blood pressure. Their action is to restore balance to the body. 



What has helped you raise your low blood pressure? 



Disclaimer
The author of this blog is not medically qualified. The information contained in this blog is provided as the author's personal opinion, based on personal experience and research, for your information, education and interest. In no way is it offered as medical advice, as a diagnosis or as a treatment for any physical or mental condition  I recommend that you consult your healthcare professional for advice should you consider using any of this information. 

Under no circumstances should you make any changes to any medication regime that your physician has prescribed without the knowledge and permission of that physician, who is legally responsible for your primary healthcare. 

The author's responses, if any, to any comments made by others, are not, in any way, to be considered as expert moderation. Any such responses are the author's personal opinion, and are not offered as advice.


The author is not responsible for the content of any external site that may be accessed via links contained within this blog.


Photographs:
1st and 2nd photo origin unknown, shared on many sites. If you are the original creator please contact me and I am happy to remove them or add your name to the blog post.

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