What causes low blood pressure?
Low blood pressure can cause you to feel dizzy, tired, nauseous, dehydrated, cold and clammy. But, unless you are experiencing any negative symptoms of low blood pressure, it is usually not thought of as a major problem. Many people have low blood pressure if they exercise a lot and it is generally thought of as a healthy thing. Other causes of low blood pressure include pregnancy, certain medications, blood loss, infections, heart problems and allergies.
Not necessarily a fix for low blood pressure, but taking it easy when you stand up or change position can help to alleviate the symptoms of dizziness and nausea. Usually when we stand, gravity means that blood falls into our limbs, which takes it away from our brains. This is what causes the dizziness. Usually it only lasts for a minute or so before blood pressure returns to normal but it’s a good idea to get into the habit of moving slowly if you suffer regularly.
Salt replaces electrolytes lost through dehydration and helps to retain water in the body. Slightly increasing the amount of salt in your diet has been shown to increase blood pressure. Usually people are encouraged to stay away from salt for that reason but if you have low blood pressure it may be the way to go. Always check with your doctor before adding extra salt to your diet as there could be other side effects.
Liquorice helps to extend the life of cortisol in your bloodstream. Cortisol is an adrenal hormone that is responsible for maintaining the central nervous system, blood sugar levels and blood pressure. If your cortisol levels are too low your blood pressure will drop so it’s important to find a balance.
- Liquorice tea can be made with 1 teaspoon of fresh liquorice, along with a slice or two of ginger for added flavour. Steep for 5 minutes in hot water, strain and serve.
- Liquorice also comes in supplement form for convenience. Always read the instructions carefully.
Exercise is one of the best cures for many ailments. Strengthening your muscles and ligaments can help to improve blood circulation, thus balancing out your blood pressure. If you suffer from low blood pressure it is important to start out slowly and not push yourself too far. Also, it is best to stay away from exercises that require lots of position changes, such as some yoga positions. Constantly changing from sitting to standing poses for example may cause you to feel dizzy. Some of the best exercises for people with low blood pressure include jogging, cycling, swimming and walking. But don’t worry, as your blood pressure improves you will be able to introduce more vigorous exercises.
Rosemary works by stimulating the nervous system and improving blood flow. It works best as an oil that is massaged into the chest area and can be made easily at home.
- Put a handful of dried rosemary and half a cup of olive oil into a jar and mix well.
- Tighten the lid and place on a sunny windowsill for a couple of days.
- Strain the oil and apply to your chest when necessary.
Alternatively you can use rosemary essential oil.
Improve Your Diet
It’s recommended for people suffering from low blood pressure to eat smaller meals and snacks more often throughout the day instead of fewer bigger meals. This will help to keep blood sugar levels balanced. Also it is thought best to cut back on carbohydrates and introduce more fruit and vegetables.
Caffeine is effective at raising blood pressure quickly and temporarily. Drinks include: tea, coffee and cola. Alternatively you can get caffeine supplements from a pharmacy. It is not recommended to consume lots of caffeine on a regular basis so if you have a long-term low blood pressure problem you should speak to your doctor.
How to prevent low blood pressure?
For most people low blood pressure isn’t a problem. As long as you don’t experience negative symptoms, there is no problem with having lower blood pressure than average. If you do have these symptoms you should get checked by a doctor. Improving your diet and sleeping patterns can help to balance out your blood pressure, as can regular exercise. Get in the habit of getting up or changing positions slowly, this should help combat any dizziness you may experience.