You have heard all the bad news about high blood pressure (hypertension). But who would think that low pressure could be a problem too? People are always talking about how to lower their blood pressure. Think about it, about one in every three adults in America are hypertensive. So then, low blood pressure (BP) might be the ultimate goal for many people. However, your BP can become so low that it can cause problems. So let’s take a little turn and talk about how to raise blood pressure. In this article, we will show you diet and lifestyle tips to raise your blood pressure.
Natural solutions work most times in raising blood pressure, but not always. It depends on the cause of the low BP and how low it is. In certain situations, when natural solutions seem not to be working, you may need to get medical and therapeutic interventions. But then, there is no point loading up your body with drugs if you have not exhausted the options of natural remedies. However, if there are severe symptoms, you may need to see your doctor right away for medical attention. Fainting, for instance, is a severe symptom. You should get medical help immediately if it ever happens.
A General Overview of Low Blood Pressure
Low blood pressure is also known as hypotension. How low does your BP have to go before we can say you have hypotension? Well, there are many opinions on that.
A normal BP reads 120/80 millimeters mercury (mmHg). However, there is a healthy range outside this absolute figure. Then again, the normal BP reading for an individual may differ from another. It depends mainly on factors such as age, medical history, and overall health condition.
If your BP reading goes lower than 90/60 mmHg, then it is safe to conclude that you are hypotensive. But then, that may not be enough to make a definitive diagnosis. Other symptoms that prove that you may be hypotensive include the following:
- Blurry vision
- Trouble concentrating
Most doctors won’t diagnose you with low blood pressure if these symptoms are absent even if your reading is low. You have nothing to worry about if you are not experiencing any of the symptoms.
The symptoms occur because enough blood is not getting to your organs. If this is left unchecked, there may be very serious consequences. Complications from low blood pressure include shock, heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure, among many others.
If there are no symptoms, it means enough blood is getting to your organs. And even if your reading is low, there is no cause for alarm.
Fainting is, however, a severe symptom. It shows that your BP dangerously low already. More severe symptoms that require immediate medical attention include:
- Shallow breathing
- Rapid pulse
- Clammy/cold skin
The three symptoms above are usually indications of shock, which is usually treated as an emergency. It is a life-threatening condition.
However, certain things that cause a temporary fall in your blood pressure especially if you have been borderline low. They include an abrupt change in position, stress, vigorous exercise, and so on. Such temporary BP crashes are avoidable by making lifestyle adjustments.
How To Raise Blood Pressure With Diet
Certain foods help raise your BP. Keep a close watch on your symptoms when you eat these foods so that you can easily identify what works and what does not.
Diet tips to raise your blood pressure include the following:
1. Drink more fluids
Dehydration is one of the major causes of low BP. Many of the symptoms of low BP tally with those of dehydration. This is because when our fluid consumption is deficient, your blood volume decreases. This, in turn, leads to a drop in your BP.
You should ensure that you stay hydrated, especially when you are exercising. It goes a long way in preventing your blood pressure from dropping too low.
2. Eat Vitamin B-12 rich foods
Anemia is another common cause of low BP. Meanwhile, vitamin B-12 helps prevent anemia. Foods that offer a high value of B-12 include beef, eggs, and fortified cereals.
3. Eat foods that are abundant in folate
Too little folic acid (or folate) in your diet has similar effects to too little B-12. Both of them cause anemia. Examples of foods that are rich in folate include asparagus, liver, and garbanzo beans.
4. Add more salt to your meals
Salty foods usually cause your BP to rise. Examples of high-salt foods that you can eat to raise your BP include olives, canned soup, cottage cheese, and smoked fish.
5. Drink licorice tea
Licorice can increase your blood pressure because it inhibits the effects of a hormone called aldosterone. Aldosterone regulates how salt impacts your body. By inhibiting the effects of this hormone, your body would respond faster to salty foods, and your BP would rise without having to increase your salt intake.
A few other dietary tips that work are as follows:
- Drink more coffee or caffeinated tea
- Eat small-sized meals but eat more frequently
- Cut down on high-carb foods, especially processed carbs
- Limit your alcohol intake
- Lifestyle Tips to Raise Your Blood Pressure
If you are at risk of having hypotension, the following lifestyle tips would help to keep your BP raised:
1. Cross your legs when you sit
Crossing your legs when you sit can increase your blood pressure. People with hypertension should not cross their legs when they sit. However, it would be helpful for people with hypotension to cross their legs. This is quite effortless and very effective.
2. Put on compression stockings
Compression stockings would help to reduce the volume of blood that is caught up in your lower legs. This means more blood is available for the rest of your body. This, in turn, would lead to a rise in your blood pressure. You can easily get one from an online store.
3. Avoid changing your position suddenly
Whenever you are sitting down or standing up, do it gently. A rapid change in your position can cause a dip in your BP. You may feel lightheaded, dizzy, or even faint as a result if your BP is already borderline low.
How to raise blood pressure is not so difficult. Most times, all it takes is a few diet and lifestyle adjustments.