Low blood pressure is medically termed hypotension. There are two readings for blood pressure, the first is known as systolic pressure while the second is the diastolic pressure. Systolic is the higher one and it measures the arterial pressure during heartbeats. Diastolic measures the arterial pressure during the rest period of the heart. The general specification of low blood pressure is 90/60 but this varies depending on age, gender, and several other factors. There is a lot of medical information on how to increase blood pressure and this is necessary because hypotension can be fatal if left untreated.
The optimal measure of blood pressure is 120/80 and below, the 120 is systolic while the 80 is diastolic. A healthy individual who experiences low blood pressure with no accompanying symptoms is usually not a source of concern and treatment is not required. But a low reading for the blood pressure may be the side effect of an underlying health issue particularly in old people. It might result in low blood flow to vital organs like the brain and heart.
What To Know About Hypotension
A chronic case of low blood pressure with no accompanying symptoms is always rarely a serious case. But there are health issues that could happen if the blood pressure lowers suddenly cause deprivation of sufficient blood supply to the brain. This results in lightheadedness and dizziness. Blood pressure drops suddenly mostly when a person goes from lying or sitting to a standing position. This is what is called postural or orthostatic hypotension.
There is another kind of blood pressure that happens when a person is in a standing position for an extended period. This is referred to as neurally mediated hypotension. If it causes passing out then it will be known as vasovagal syncope.
Postural hypotension arises when the nervous or cardiovascular system fails to react correctly to sudden and unexpected changes. For example, when you leave your seat to stand up, blood will pool inside your lower region. If this change is not corrected then it will cause the failure of the blood pressure. Your body would normally compensate for this by signaling your heartbeat to increase and for the constriction of the blood vessels. This is what causes the crease in blood pressure. In a situation whereby these changes or adaptation techniques do not occur or if it occurs slowly, then there will be postural hypotension and this can cause fainting.
The chances of getting either high or low blood pressure increases as you get older as part of the signs of aging. Also, there is a decline in the flow of blood to the muscle, brain, and heart muscle with age. Oftentimes this would be the side effect of the buildup of plaque in the blood vessels. Research showed that about ten to twenty percent of people above the age of sixty-five are suffering from postural hypotension.
There is not always a clear cause of hypotension (low blood pressure). However, it is usually associated with these:
- Hormonal issues like hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), decreased level of blood sugar, or diabetes.
- OTC medications
- Prescribed medications for elevated blood pressure, Parkinson’s disease, or depression
- Heart failure
- Abnormal or irregular heart rhythms
- Dilation or widening of blood vessels.
- Heatstroke or heat exhaustion
- Liver disease
How To Increase Blood Pressure
There are some natural ways by which you can increase blood pressure, they include:
1. Your diet
What you eat or do not eat plays a role in increasing the level of your blood pressure. Eating food with a high amount of B12 vitamin is good because a little amount of this vitamin may result in anemia which is one of the causes of decreased blood pressure. You can get this vitamin in eggs, beef, fortified cereal. Food rich in folate can also help like garbanzo beans, liver, and asparagus.
You should also try to consume salty food, it helps in raising blood pressure. Some salty food like cottage cheese, olives, and smoked fish is a good place to start. The temporary rise in blood pressure can be gotten through drinking caffeinated tea and coffee.
Staying hydrated is an essential point to be listed on how to increase blood pressure. This is because when you are dehydrated, your blood volume decreases and this would cause a dip in your blood pressure. To avoid this, drink a lot of water, especially when exercising.
Of course, exercise has to be on this list, amongst the many health benefits that you can get from exercising, the improved blood flow it provides serves you best if you are looking to increase your blood pressure.
4. Careful position change
If you are switching positions, make sure to do it with care, especially as you get older. This helps to improve blood circulation. You can also pump your ankles and feet for a few seconds before you stand up. Then change your position slowly. If you’re getting off the bed, try to sit upright first for some seconds before proceeding to stand up.
Elevate your bed at night, the head portion. You can do this by adding blocks or bricks underneath.
5. Avoid stress
Another way to increase your blood pressure is to avoid stressfully or straining activities like heavy lifting.
The tips on how to increase blood pressure goes beyond lifestyle changes, some medications aid this cause. If you decide to go on medication, make sure to consult a doctor before doing so. And if you think that you are at risk then you can like to start practicing ways to avoid low blood pressure.