If you experience any of these symptoms regularly, it’s important to talk to your GP to understand the reasons behind these tell-tale low blood pressure signs. It could be there’s medication or lifestyle changes that could help.
You may be relieved to hear that a low blood pressure diagnosis is not in itself often cause for alarm. In fact, low blood pressure can even be seen as a good thing, as statistically you’re at lower risk of heart attack or stroke. But, if you experience the symptoms of low blood pressure persistently, you’ll know all too well how inconvenient and unpleasant the symptoms can be.
Very low blood pressure can be dangerous as it can mean that your body, brain and heart isn’t being supplied with enough oxygenated blood. It can also be an indicator of another medical condition. If you experience low blood pressure, you may want to know why you have it, and what you can do to help alleviate the symptoms.
First things first – what is low blood pressure?
Blood pressure is measured in ‘mmHg’, which stands for millimetres of mercury. Low blood pressure is a reading of less than 90/60mmHg.
The measurement looks like a fraction and represents the pressure inside your arteries created by blood moving around your body. The top part of the ‘fraction’ is systolic pressure – when your heart beats and pushes blood out into your arteries. The bottom part of the ‘fraction’ refers to diastolic pressure – when your heart is resting between beats.
If your blood pressure lies within the range between 90/60 and 120/80, you can be happy that you have a healthy blood pressure. High blood pressure is considered to be 140/90mmHg or higher, whilst low blood pressure is considered to be 90/60mmHg or lower
Why do I have low blood pressure?
As you’d probably expect, there’s a host of potential reasons for low blood pressure. For example, your level of fitness, your genes and diet and the amount you’ve been drinking. Even the time of day can make a difference. Sometimes it’s just the way it is. Or it may be down to a health condition or medication you could be taking.
Talk to your GP and see if you can get to the bottom of the reasons for your low blood pressure. You’ll then have a clearer idea about what, if anything you can or should do to help manage the symptoms
Simple ways to help reduce low blood pressure
Most treatments for low blood pressure rely upon managing symptoms with diet and lifestyle choices. Your GP should be able to help guide you on how to raise your low blood pressure safely and effectively. They may recommend simple steps including:
- Watch what you eat- From green veg, to vitamin B12 and super cereals, diet is an important factor in helping regulate blood pressure. You could even enjoy tucking in to a traditional tuck shop treat – research suggests that eating small amounts of liquorice can help increase blood pressure. Increasing salt slightly can also offer similar benefits.
- Start grazing- Swap large meals for smaller, more frequent portions throughout the day. This is especially relevant if you experience postprandial hypotension and typically have symptoms after a meal.
- Stay seated- Don’t rush to get up from the table after a meal. After you’ve eaten, blood heads to your stomach to help with digestion. Give your body time to readjust and your blood to return to your system.
- Drink up- Make sure you drink plenty of fluid to keep your body hydrated. It’s best to avoid caffeine and stick to water, or herbal or decaffeinated drinks. And of course, if you drink alcohol, make sure you don’t exceed the recommended daily amount.
- Stand up slowly – Especially when getting out of bed when you first wake up. Postural hypotension is when you get low blood pressure symptoms when you sit up or stand, so it’s important to be aware of how this affects you. You could even try doing gentle exercise or stretching in bed to help your circulation before you get up.
Can you self-treat my low blood pressure?
When you’ve spoken with your GP and understand the reasons why you’re experiencing symptoms, you can start taking proactive steps to help alleviate your low blood pressure symptoms safely and naturally.