Hello. This is Hypertension Prevention Tuesdays! Today, we’ll talk about treatment for low blood pressure. Low blood pressure, or hypotension can be a difficult condition for the healthcare provider to address. Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the walls of arteries. With each beat, the heart pumps out the blood into arteries, creating pressure. Blood pressure reading has two components, and is expressed as a ratio. Systolic pressure measures the pressure inside arteries while heart is contracting to pump the blood. Diastolic pressure measures the pressure within the arteries while the heart is at rest.
Treatment for Low Blood Pressure
Some people have low blood pressure all the time. For others, the pressure may drop due to a medical condition or some event. Many people feel the symptoms of low blood pressure when they suddenly change the position, or stand up too quickly.
Usually, the low blood pressure that has no symptoms requires little intervention. However, if the blood pressure is associated with shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, syncope (passing out), or occurs due to excessive bleeding, the treatment for low blood pressure must be given immediately in the emergency room.
In the emergency room, oxygen and intravenous fluids may be given, and monitoring of heart must be done. Blood transfusion for the bleeding patient, antihistamine and adrenaline for the patient having allergic reaction and antibiotics for the patient with infection is given. If blood pressure is abnormally low, a doctor will usually recommend observation in the hospital.
Causes of low blood pressure are not always known, so a single treatment may not be effective. The goal is to reduce the signs and symptoms of the blood pressure, and bring it to normal level. Some of the commonly used treatments for low blood pressure include using more salt, drinking more water, wearing compression stockings and using medications.
Healthy Diet for Low Blood Pressure
One of the most effective treatments for low blood pressure is to follow a healthy diet. You must get all the essential nutrients by consuming a variety of foods. Eating small, low-carbohydrate meals is also an effective treatment for low blood pressure. Eat several small portions throughout the day, but avoid high-carbohydrate foods such as breads, pastas, rice, potatoes and so on. Avoid drinking alcohol and caffeinated beverages as they are dehydrating, and can lower the blood pressure. Drink plenty of water as it combats dehydration and increases blood volume.
It is also essential to go slow when changing body positions, like going from the laying down to standing up position. Home treatments for low blood pressure include using Indian Spikenard, Epsom salts bath and beetroot. It is also beneficial to exercise regularly as it promotes blood flow. If you have symptoms of low BP, do not take long hot baths, and do not strain while in the toilet.
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I’m excited to talk about this topic today because not only do I truly believe that you have the power to reverse heart disease and lower high blood pressure to improve your health, but the science also agrees! You can adopt healthy lifestyle practices that improve your health and enrich your life, which can in turn improve the lives of those close to you. You have the power to break the cycle of these chronic diseases so that you can leave a legacy of health to your loved ones.
As you may already know, I use lifestyle medicine as the first line of treatment, before medications, to treat lifestyle-related chronic diseases. Lifestyle-related chronic diseases include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and some cancers, just to name a few. Lifestyle practices, such as eating a whole-food plant-based diet and regular physical activity, can help you improve blood pressure and reverse heart disease. In certain cases, these approaches may even outperform pharmaceutical therapy. But I always tell my patients that conventional medications may be appropriate at this time to prevent catastrophic illness, but over time, you can work to make the necessary lifestyle changes to possibly reduce and/or eliminate medications. Please remember to always consult your physician for your particular needs and circumstances prior to making any decisions whatsoever.
Tools to Improve Heart Health
Blood Pressure Monitoring
Since weight management is very important in blood pressure control, I recommend that you be mindful of your weight and its fluctuations, and that you monitor your weight AT LEAST on a weekly basis. I recommend a scale that includes a body composition monitor.
Remember, healthy lifestyle behaviors–like eating a whole-foods plant-based diet that is low in sodium, being physically active, and stress management are the best ways to prevent and control high blood pressure. Please talk with your doctor about any complementary health approaches, including supplements, you use.
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PS. I am always asked what tools and resources I recommend to help you reach YOUR health goals. Here is the ever-growing, always updated list for you.
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