Low blood pressure can be just as harmful and dangerous as high blood pressure 1. It probably has more symptoms, and the consequences include crucial issues like shock and kidney failure. If you have low blood pressure, you may be wondering, what are the low blood pressure treatments?
Low blood pressure treatments include the following:
- Low blood pressure diet
- Compression stockings
- Changing body positions
- Avoid excess alcohol
Most of the time, low blood pressure can be treated with success. Depending on your BP readings, age, medical condition and symptoms, the treatments can vary. If you have low blood pressure without symptoms, your doctor will rarely recommend treatment. Sometimes, there’s another condition causing the low blood pressure. In that situation the doctor will treat the cause 2. This post will dive into each treatment and explain them in detail 3.
BP Tip: Because BP can fluctuate throughout the day and at the physician’s office, home monitoring is highly recommended. Keep a record of your home readings and provide them to your doctor at every visit. The monitor I use at home downloads each reading to your phone and gives you the option of emailing it to you doctor!
Disclaimer: Never start your own treatments or change your diet without approval and consultation from a physician first. The treatments in this article are for informational purposes only. Some of links in this article are affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Blood Pressure Treatments
1. Low Blood Pressure Diet
There are many changes a doctor may recommend to your daily nutrition which can help raise low blood pressure 4. The following are some of the possible recommendations.
Increase Sodium Intake
Typically, most people are told to cut down on salt intake. The truth is, our bodies require sodium and it’s necessary for our bodies to function properly. The American Heart Association recommends approximately 1,250-1,500 mg per day 5. If you are an athlete or have a job where you sweat all day long, you’ll probably require more. Some people consume a whole days worth in one fast food meal, those are the people who need to cut down.
If you sodium intake is on the lower end, a slight increase can raise blood pressure levels. When more fluid is stored in your body, blood pressure increases 6. Some healthy foods that contain a larger amount of sodium include:
- Swiss chard
- Canned tuna
- Cottage cheese
Consume Foods High in B9 and B12
- Beef liver
- Beef, lamb or veal kidneys
- Fortified cereals
- Fortified nutritional yeast
- Lentil beans
Caffeine can boost blood pressure in the short-term for about 30 minutes to two hours 9. For those times in the day where your pressure may be lower, drink a cup of coffee to help give it a slight boost.
Eat Smaller More Frequent Meals
Consuming a large meal may lower blood pressure. Your body will send more blood to the stomach and intestines to help it with the increased digestion demand 10. There’s only so much blood available, so the rest of the body has less.
Eating smaller meals will prevent can prevent the digestive system from requiring a lot of blood at one time. In addition, drink water before every meal. This can help your blood pressure from dropping. Avoiding high carbohydrate meals can have the same effect on the digestion process. If you’re interested in a low-carb diet you may want to check out this Keto 28-day Meal Plan.
If your body is low on fluid, it may help keep your blood pressure lower. Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated 11. Many people worry and plan out their nutrition plan but often forget about water. Carry a bottle of water around with you or in your car.
How much water should you drink? That’s difficult to answer because the following factors come into play:
- Activity level
The Food and Nutrition Board recommends 15, eight ounce glasses for men and 11 glasses for women 12.
If your low blood pressure is more crucial, your doctor may prescribe medication to raise it. In addition, it’s possible that medication you’re already taking is causing blood pressure to lower. If that’s happening to you, the doctor may adjust or change the medication 13. The following medications may lower blood pressure:
- Erectile dysfunction drugs like Viagra
- Drugs used to treat high blood pressure
- Drugs for Parkinson’s disease
- Tricyclic antidepressants
- Some over-the-counter drugs when taken with high blood pressure medicine
The following are common medications prescribed to raise blood pressure:
- Fludrocortisone: This medication is often used for people who have low blood pressure when standing up. It works by increasing blood volume by retaining more sodium.
- Orvaten: People with chronic orthostatic hypotension are given this medicine to help increase standing blood pressure. Orvaten restricts the body’s ability to expand the blood vessels.
4. Compression Stockings
If blood is pooling in your lower legs the rest of your body is low on blood and your pressure may be low. Compression stockings squeeze your lower legs and helps send blood to the rest of the body where it should be 14.
5. Changing Body Positions
Certain body positions can cause pooling of blood. In addition, quick movements can cause a temporary drop in pressure. The following tips may help prevent these situations from occurring:
- Gently raise your body from a sitting, lying down position, bent over or squatting position.
- Don’t sit with crossed legs.
- Take is slow when getting out of bed in the morning and take a few deep breaths first.
- When lying down, sit up first before standing up.
- Avoid standing for long periods of time. If you can’t sit down, cross your legs in a scissor fashion and gently squeeze your legs. This may help push blood up into the body.
6. Avoid Excess Alcohol
Excess alcohol can dehydrate your body. Short-term, alcohol is a diuretic and can cause your body to lose fluid in a short period of time 15. In addition, excess alcohol is unhealthy and causes many issues. Alcohol should be drank in moderation and if it’s consumed at all the CDC recommends up to one drink per day for women and two drinks for men 16.
Read Next for low blood pressure causes, symptoms, diagnosis, consequences and when to know it’s an emergency!
If you found this Blood Pressure topic interesting check out these related blood pressure articles also found in this same website:
- Low Blood Pressure Symptoms – Signs of Low Blood Pressure You Don’t Want
- When Low Blood Pressure Is An Emergency: Call 911
- Causes of Low Diastolic Blood Pressure
- National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: Low Blood Pressure
- MedlinePlus: Low blood pressure
- Cleveland Clinic: Low Blood Pressure (Hypotension): Management and Treatment
- National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: Low Blood Pressure
- The American Heart Association: How much sodium should I eat per day?
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Dietary Salt Intake and Hypertension
- John Hopkins Medicine: Folate-Deficiency Anemia
- American Heart Association: Low Blood Pressure – When Blood Pressure Is Too Low
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Timing of blood pressure measurement related to caffeine consumption
- Harvard Health: Eating can cause low blood pressure
- Oxford Academic: Acute and chronic effects of hydration status on health
- The American Heart Association: We all need water for a healthy life – but how much?
- The American Heart Association: Low Blood Pressure – When Blood Pressure Is Too Low
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Effects of Application of Elastic Compression Stockings on Blood Pressure, Pulse Rate, and Hypotensive Symptoms in Patients with Intradialytic Hypotension
- Cleveland Clinic: Dehydration
- CDC: Frequently Asked Questions