Although we hear more about how to deal with high blood pressure, low blood pressure can be equally challenging to improve. There could be a number of reasons associated with low blood pressure and any medical condition that can potentially cause it needs to be investigated and excluded before embarking on nutrition, supplementation and lifestyle changes. There are a number of approaches that can be undertaken to increase your blood pressure without prescription drugs.
I have included a few methods that work in my clinical practice:
- Being well hydrated increases blood pressure – it can be as simple as increasing your intake of water per day as dehydration reduces blood volume and leads to a drop in the systemic blood pressure. Check out this article on a study re water’s role in blood pressure control, also find out strategies how to drink and absorb more water daily.
- Blood pressure is an important indication of adrenal function – low adrenal function is arguably the most common as well as the most overlooked cause. If your blood pressure drops when you rise up from a lying position or stand up too quickly, this almost always indicates low adrenals. This drop in blood pressure upon standing is called postural hypotension and it’s also associated with dizziness, loss of balance or feeling light headed.
- During and especially after menopause the adrenals gradually take on the role of producing sex hormones after ovaries stop producing them. If the adrenals are depleted and thus are unable to produce enough estrogen, progesterone and DHEA, women experience more hot flushes, night sweats, low energy and mood, fatigue, foggy brain and weight gain.
- Adrenal glands (there are 2 of them) located above each kidney are pretty amazing and extremely important organs, their overall function is to help the body cope with stress and survive. They enable the body to deal with stress from every possible source such as disease, injuries but also work and relationship problems. Our energy levels, moods, resilience, endurance and our very life all depend on their proper functioning.
- It’s well worth it to familiarise yourself with how adrenals work and how to help them to function well through better nutrition and stress reduction. In a nutshell, the hormones secreted by the adrenals (including adrenaline, noradrenaline, cortisol and DHEA) influence all of the major physiological processes in the body. Find out more about it in my adrenal fatigue post.
- Include more sea/ unrefined salt in your diet – salt helps to increase blood pressure and also assists in restoring some of the causes of sodium loss within the cells. Salt craving is a common symptom of adrenal fatigue. Check out a few dietary strategies to safely include sea salt in your food intake.
- If you are a vegetarian, your blood pressure may be normally lower (around 95/65). If so, then your lower blood pressure does not necessarily mean you have low adrenal function.
- Potassium normalises blood pressure – this mineral absolutely necessary for normal blood pressure. Adequate potassium in the diet is a simple health basic that just can’t be ignored when dealing with cardiovascular issues. High potassium foods include fruits such as bananas, citrus fruits, vegetables, legumes and chia seeds – a particularly high source.
If you are on any medications, always work with your doctor as well as your natural medicine practitioner to help you address this condition.
February 2016 update: Since the publication of the above article, I have received a large numbers of enquiries, comments as well as requests for more detailed natural medicine aids and/or solutions to increase blood pressure with foods and lifestyle modifications. Considering the high level of interest in this subject as well as your needs, I will be publishing an eBook (by the end of February) to answer many of your questions as well as provide more detailed information and possible solutions that may work for you. Stay tuned and/or subscribe to my newsletter to be notified when the book is published on the Naturimedica website! See the newsletter subscription box on the right. Thank you!
Naturopath Herbalist Nutritionist
Check out other relevant posts here:
- Adrenal fatigue treatment: The Kalish Method in Australia
- Magnesium for anxiety, stress, high blood pressure and muscle pain
- Drinking coffee – pros and cons from a medical perspective
- High blood pressure and emotions
- 7 words to heal almost anything
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