Low blood pressure, also known as hypotension, is quite common. Low blood pressure also has many variable causes and risk factors including age, medications, diseases (such as diabetes, certain heart conditions, Parkinson’s, Addison’s, hypoglycemia, etc.), pregnancy, dehydration, infections, low nutrition, and blood loss.
A person with long-lasting low blood pressure may have no symptoms, or mild (yet annoying) symptoms. Some common symptoms are dizziness, nausea, rapid and shallow breathing, depression, lack of concentration, thirst, and blurred vision. If you have low blood pressure, you most likely want to know how to raise your blood pressure and rid yourself of these symptoms. You will be happy to know that there are several ways to do this!
Top 10 Most Effective Ways on How to Raise Your Blood Pressure
First, and foremost, check your current prescribed medications. Some medications can cause blood pressure to lower. Talk with your doctor about your medications and their potential side effects.
In contrast, medications can also be prescribed to lower your blood pressure. Two of the most commonly prescribed medications for lowering blood pressure are fludrocortisone and midodrine. These medications are prescribed depending on your side effects. Midodrine is generally prescribed for those who have issues with blood pressure lowing when standing from a seated, or lying, position. Fludrocortisone is prescribed for orthostatic hypotension.
If medications are not the cause of your low blood pressure and you would rather not take prescription medications, you may look into how to raise your blood pressure naturally. Many times, the quickest and easiest way to naturally lower blood pressure is ensuring you are hydrated. Dehydration is one of the most common reasons of low blood pressure. Hydration can be lost by illness (diarrhea, vomiting…), becoming overheated, or simply not replenishing fluid lost by any manner. Medications that help with fluid retention (diuretics) can also cause dehydration.
Drinking water, or water-based non-sweetened beverages, is the easiest (and most efficient) way to rehydrate. Another good way to help with hydration are consuming foods with high water content. Fresh fruit and vegetables can contain up to 60% water and are the best food sources for water and hydration but so are soups and broths, prepared gelatin, sports drinks, and even some meats (such as chicken breast).
If you are wondering how to raise your blood pressure naturally and you are already well hydrated, you may want to adjust the thermostat. If you are generally in an area, or situation, where extreme heat is normal; the heat may be lowering your blood pressure. Try these suggestions:
Stay away from hot baths, including saunas.
If you have an air conditioner, use it! If you do not own, or have a way to use, an air conditioner; try keeping your home dark and closed during the day while opening your home up at night to let the coolness fill your home.
Keep an ice wrap around your neck to keep your body cool.
In addition to the extreme heat directly causing low blood pressure, it may also indirectly cause low blood pressure with loss of fluids by sweating.
Raw Fruits and Vegetables
As stated above, eating raw fruits and vegetables with high water content can help you stay hydrated, which can help you raise your blood pressure. Some diseases that cause low blood pressure are sometimes cause by a deficiency in a vitamin or mineral. Eating produce in its rawest form is the best way for your body to absorb these key life nutrients.
Also, vitamins and minerals are either water-soluble, fat-soluble, or both. Most fruits and vegetables contain trace amounts of fat and vast amounts of water, making them key to both hydration and nutrition. Raw fruits and vegetables tend to be the staple when attempting to cure, or treat, ailments naturally.
More Veggies, Cereal, and Dairy
B vitamins are needed for so many things in the body. Two B vitamins many tend to lack are vitamin B12 and Folic Acid, or Folate (vitamin B9). Increasing these two precious vitamins is one way on how to raise your blood pressure.
Folic Acid (vitamin B9) is helpful for raising blood pressure because it helps reduce circulatory inflammation. Great sources of Folic Acid, or Folate, are dark green vegetables. These vegetables can include any greens, as well as cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, green cabbage, and green cauliflower. Another good source of Folic Acid is fortified cereal.
Vitamin B12 also helps reduce circulatory inflammation and blood circulation. Vitamin B12 has also been shown to regulate blood pressure, whether high or low. This water-soluble vitamin can also be found in most fortified cereals as well as dairy products and fish.
The one thing that assists our bodies in an immense amount of ways is exercise. Thirty minutes of exercise daily is the minimum requirement for health, including cardiovascular health. Exercise helps with cardiovascular health because it encourages and regulates a healthy blood flow. If you have been sedentary, work up to what you can handle. It may take time to get your body where it needs to be, to handle or more strenuous (and lengthy) workout. Make sure much of your exercise includes cardio workouts!
Increase of Salt (NaCl)
One thing those with high blood pressure have to try to avoid is salt. Salt is a culprit for raising blood pressure. That makes salt intake one of the best ways how to raise your blood pressure when you have low blood pressure issues! Salt increases blood pressure by raising blood volume. Many may not know this but one of the best foods out there for high salt content are manufactured canned soups. It is actually quite difficult to find a canned soup that is safe to eat for a person with high blood pressure.
Ginger – Friend or Foe?
Ginger is a bit of a controversial subject when speaking of blood pressure. Ginger is well-known for lowering blood pressure but some believe that it may actually steady blood pressure. Ginger is known to aid blood circulation. If you decide to try ginger, it is suggested to only make a weak ginger-tea twice a day by grating a small amount of ginger and steeping or simmering it in water. Please pay close attention to your blood pressure if trying ginger for the first time.
Ginseng – Another Confusion
Ginseng, like ginger, is another controversial “treatment” for raising or lowering blood pressure; in many studies, ginseng has done both. It is still unknown whether the ginseng just reacts to different people differently, or if perhaps this herb has the capability of creating a sync or steadiness within the body. Ginseng has been used for thousands of years as a Chinese medicine, treating a variety of ailments. Perhaps ginseng is a miracle plant – knowing exactly what the body needs and supplies it. If you do decide that ginseng is how to raise your blood pressure naturally, try making it into a tea as with ginger.
NOTE: It is widely recommended you consult with your doctor first, and definitely monitor your blood pressure while trying ginseng.
Take It Easy
One of the most common symptom of low blood pressure is dizziness/lightheadedness. This generally occurs when sitting up too fast from a lying position or standing up to fast from a sitting position. There are ways to help reduce this symptom by just taking it easy.
When you first wake up make sure to take in a few good deep breaths and slowly sit up. Try sleeping with your head at a slight incline. This will help not only while sleeping but, also when it is time to move to a sitting position. The same helps when moving from a sitting to standing position. Move slowly and breathe deeply.
Standing in a straight position for too long can also cause dizziness/lightheadedness. In high school, choir students are encouraged to reposition their legs periodically. Just simply bending one or both knees can allow blood to again flow freely to your heart from your legs. Think of it as stretching. You can do a squat, raise one bent leg to rest on a higher surface, do a runner’s stretch by bending one knee in front of the other stretched leg and lean forward. All these are simple, yet productive, ways of allowing blood to flow naturally again.