Having low blood pressure — this is one of the health goals of many people. However, for some, it is something that can keep them from having normal lives, and even put their lives in peril. That’s because having abnormally low blood pressure can be just as dangerous as having high blood pressure.
Known in the medical world as hypotension, low blood pressure is a blood pressure reading of 90 millimeters of mercury or less for systolic blood pressure (the upper value), or 60 millimeters of mercury or less for diastolic blood pressure (the lower value). That’s commonly written by your doctor as 90/60 mm Hg.
Having low blood pressure is not a bad thing per se. In fact, some people have naturally low blood pressures. Athletes, for instance, have low blood pressures because their hearts have become very efficient in pumping blood. The only instance when low blood pressure is regarded as a problem is when symptoms are present.
Some of the unfavorable symptoms of hypotension include lightheadedness, dizziness, fainting, and having clammy and pale skin. It’s not unlikely for someone whose blood pressure is abnormally low to have trouble concentrating, depression, fatigue and extreme thirst. Breathing may also be shallow and rapid.
There are different things that can cause the blood pressure to become very low. It may strike if you are dehydrated or not getting enough nutrients via the diet. Pregnancy is also a usual culprit. Sometimes, certain drugs prescribed by physicians may cause the blood pressure to plunge.
A woman’s blood pressure may become lower than usual during pregnancy. Many different medical conditions may cause hypotension. Some of them include problems concerning the circulatory and endocrine systems. Severe infection, allergic reactions and blood loss can also leave an individual with hypotension.
If there is no accompanying symptom, there is really no need to treat low blood pressure. It is a different story, however, if the individual is experiencing all sorts of unfavorable symptoms. Treating the medical condition that is causing the blood pressure to drop abnormally can usually have the blood pressure normalized.
Did your doctor just give you a clean bill of health but still feel bothered by your extremely low blood pressure? Fret not because some dietary and lifestyle changes may help increase your blood pressure naturally. Here are some of the things that you may do to fight off hypotension:
- Drink lots of fluids. As mentioned before, dehydration is one of the common causes of hypotension. Increase your fluid intake to bump up your blood pressure.
- Be physically active. Something as simple as taking a walk, cleaning the house or gardening can enhance circulation, causing the blood pressure to slightly increase.
- Have a cup of your favorite java. A lot of people with hypotension swear by the efficacy of a strong black coffee in making low blood pressure go away.
- Drink black or green tea. If too much caffeine is giving you unfavorable symptoms like palpitations and lightheadedness, drink tea instead. Herbal teas do not count as they contain no caffeine.
- Avoid drinking alcohol. The dehydrating effect of alcohol can make your naturally low blood pressure to drop further. Even in moderate amounts, alcohol is a definite no-no.
- Go for a low-carb meal. Some people experience a sharp drop in their blood pressures after consuming lots of carbohydrates. If you’re one of them, consider opting for foods low in carbs.
- Eat small, frequent meals. Having small, frequent meals is not only good for those who like to lose weight, but also those whose blood pressures are lower than normal.
- Increase sodium intake. Because salt is something that can increase the blood pressure, including more of it in the diet can be beneficial. However, make sure that you inform your doctor about it.
- Add more potassium in the diet. The said mineral is vital for keeping the blood pressure normal. Some potassium-rich foods include bananas, citrus fruits, legumes and chia seeds.