Unlike high blood pressure, which is extremely dangerous if left unattended, low blood pressure is comparatively less high risk. Hypotension can be managed with a few lifestyle changes without having to resort to medications. Once you have been diagnosed with hypotension, the next step is to find ways to increase blood pressure to optimum levels.
In cases where low BP cannot be improved through lifestyle changes and diet, your doctor might prescribe medication to raise blood pressure.
Medication helps in increasing low pressure caused by any underlying issue. With this medicine, sodium is retained in the kidneys, resulting in fluid retention and swelling, which increases blood pressure.
Medicine to increase blood pressure to a safe level also induces the smallest arteries to increase blood pressure in cases of postural hypotension.
2. Thyroid Levels
Thyroid levels should be checked regularly irrespective of gender. Thyroid problems can hit women as well as men. Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland is underactive and does not produce the optimal amount of thyroid hormone. This impacts the heartbeat of an individual. Once the heartbeat slows down, the pressure of blood also lowers. This causes fluctuation in the blood pressure levels.
Hypothyroidism usually affects people 60 years of age or older.
An endocrinologist is trained to study and provide help in case of any problems with the hormonal glands. If your thyroid tests come back low, your doctor will prescribe medication to stimulate the thyroid gland, which will result in high heart rate and blood pressure.
Any medication should be taken in the correct dosage as prescribed by your doctor for your condition.
3. Salt in Diet
There is a direct connection between your sodium intake and health. Salt, which is a combination of sodium and chloride, helps in retaining water in the body. Liquid retained in the body causes bloating and swelling in ankles and other joints. Increased water in the body exerts more pressure on the heart. If your blood pressure is low to begin with, then increasing sodium intake can increase blood pressure and bring it to normal levels.
It is recommended that an individual with low blood pressure should have at least 6 grams of salt (RDA).
In cases of low blood pressure, doctors generally advise patients to increase the amount of salt they include in their food. Even though salt increases BP, the salt intake needs to be monitored as too much salt could increase blood pressure levels to dangerously high levels and lead to other severe problems. However, if you are experiencing a sudden dip in blood pressure, a salty snack can be a good way to increase blood pressure instantly.
4. Keeping Hydrated
There are instances in which a sudden drop in pressure could be attributed to dehydration. This is because fundamentally, blood is made up of water. The blood volume in the cells determines how much fluid is circulating inside the body.
With dehydration (which can be caused by diarrhoea, excessive vomiting, etc.), the liquid content in blood will reduce, which reduces the blood pressure and causes dizziness and nausea. A huge drop in blood pressure prevents blood from reaching organs and could cause an individual to shock.
In the case of dehydration, the first thing a doctor would suggest is to consume oral rehydration solutions (ORS). ORS is a mix of sugar, salt, and electrolytes, which help the body absorb more water and restore the lost fluids that inhibit blood flow.
The best way to keep hydrated is to drink a tall glass of water every forty five minutes.
5. Eating a Balanced Diet
If you’re wondering how to increase blood pressure, start off with a balanced diet. A balanced diet provides the body with carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, and the required amount of fiber.
People with hypotension are advised to snack in between large meals to avoid a drop in blood pressure due to hunger.
A full plate consisting of fruits, vegetables, legumes, lean meats or plant-based protein, and a portion of rice or other carbs is one of the best-balanced meals to nourish your body and increase blood pressure to normal levels. Usually, a balanced low blood pressure diet consists of a moderate amount of salt as this can increase blood pressure. However, excessive sodium could lead to hypertension and even more severe health conditions, so make sure you don’t go overboard on salty foods and stick to healthy foods to increase your blood pressure.
6. Minimise Alcohol
Alcohol tends to relax the blood vessels, and this reduces the overall blood pressure in the body. The low pressure can make a person feel dizzy and become more prone to accidents.
Alcohol causes deficiencies like vitamin B12 and folate, which are also common in those suffering from hypotension.
Alcohol tends to decrease blood pressure by 2-4 mmHg when it is consumed in moderation. However, this effect is actually reversed when a person drinks alcohol in excess. Too much alcohol increases blood pressure to a dangerous level. Moreover, the body breaks it down into various components that are incredibly harmful to your health in the long run. Thus, minimizing your weekly alcohol intake can go a long way in improving your overall health and maintaining a healthy blood pressure.
7. Treating Bacterial and Viral Infections
Bacterial and viral infections cause harm to the body when left untreated. Severe infections could cause a person to go into septic shock, which could even result in death if left untreated.
In order to fight the infection, the immune system releases cytokines. The cytokines widen the blood vessels to allow more blood to flow around the wounded area. The widening of the blood vessels leads to a drop in blood pressure.
Septic shock is an extremely dangerous condition and needs to be treated at a hospital.
– Hypotension can be managed by following a proper low blood pressure diet and modifying unhealthy lifestyle choices.
– Medicines are only prescribed after lifestyle changes do not improve blood pressure levels.
– Postural hypotension is one of the few types of hypotension that require medication to be treated.
Consult a cardiologist on MFine to discuss ways you can maintain a healthy blood pressure based on your symptoms today!