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How to raise low blood pressure?

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  • How to raise low blood pressure?

    I've had BP that was on the low end of normal my whole life (110/70 on average). However, in the past year it's dropped even lower to the point where I'm having trouble: dizziness when standing and fatigue that's possibly related. I now average around 95/60, with it sometimes going a little lower.

    Things I've already tried/ am already doing that have no effect:

    1. Increasing my salt
    2. Increasing my sugar (this increases my slow pulse but not bp)
    3. Excercise - weights and long walks
    4. Drinking more fluids. This gives a very temporary benefit.
    5. Caffeine

    Does anyone have any secret magic tricks for raising bp?

  • #2
    Have you had your thyroid hormone level checked? Low thyroid can suppress blood pressure. The whole reason I finally got diagnosed hypothyroid was my arms kept falling asleep when I slept on my side, freaking me out big time, so I went to a doctor who ran the right tests. One I got on replacement hormone, my HR and BP returned to where they should be for someone as athletic as I am. Resting HR = 41, BP = 100/70

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    • #3
      Bestburner, I've been going through this over the last week! Feeling dizzy, nauseous, getting pins and needles very easily etc. When people go low-carb their blood pressure drops significantly.

      Magnesium is meant to help. Salt does help, but it's easy to go OTT with it (which ends up producing the same effect!) I've also been elevating my legs really high. I'll lie on my bed, and put my legs against the wall, so that they are almost perpendicular to my body. I immediately notice my breath deepening, and my heart beat calming. Sadly it's only a temporary fix. I'm also doing Yoga poses like headstands or shoulder stand (don't try these if you don't do yoga).

      Upping carbs would be the most obvious solution.

      Looking forward to seeing what other people suggest!
      "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

      In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

      - Ray Peat

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      • #4
        Originally posted by BestBetter View Post
        I've had BP that was on the low end of normal my whole life (110/70 on average). However, in the past year it's dropped even lower to the point where I'm having trouble: dizziness when standing and fatigue that's possibly related. I now average around 95/60, with it sometimes going a little lower.

        Things I've already tried/ am already doing that have no effect:

        1. Increasing my salt
        2. Increasing my sugar (this increases my slow pulse but not bp)
        3. Excercise - weights and long walks
        4. Drinking more fluids. This gives a very temporary benefit.
        5. Caffeine

        Does anyone have any secret magic tricks for raising bp?
        There is no magic ... just metabolism! Raising BP would require you to increase your plasma volume, which in turn suggests increasing your hydration levels.

        As someone else has mentioned, increasing carbohydrate intake might do this, as glycogen is stored associated with 2-3 grams of water per gram of glycogen. My only concern would be that this would affect your muscle hydration level, not necessarily your plasma.

        As an alternative, you could try creatine supplementation, as creatine is pretty much ubiquitous throughout your cells. Creatine causes you to retain water, which is good from a plasma volume standpoint, and as an added bonus, you get an excellent phosphate donor for ATP generation.

        You could also try glycerol hyper-hydration which entails drinking a glycerol solution:

        Originally posted by http://faculty.css.edu/tboone2/asep/jan12c1.pdf
        Compared to the ingestion of an equal volume of water, ingestion of glycerol and water providing approximately 1.0 g/kg body weight of glycerol in a total volume of 20 to 26 mL/kg body weight (glycerol hyperhydration, GH) can significantly decrease urine volume and cause a fluid retention of between 300 to 730 mL (1-4).
        The interesting bit is that the water retention is not ADH mediated:

        Originally posted by http://faculty.css.edu/tboone2/asep/jan12c1.pdf
        Pre-exercise GH resulted in fluid retention by reducing renal free water clearance, but through a non-ADH mediated mechanism.
        The reason this is interesting is because ADH ( anti-diuretic hormone ) is how the body generally regulates fluid retention, and it is by interfering with ADH release that caffeine actually acts to promote fluid loss.

        Note that some side-effects of glycerol ingestion include nausea, headaches, and blurry vision. These last two are generally due to hypertension brought about by increased plasma volume, which is precisely the reason you would be doing this, so I don't think that would be a concern for you.

        Lastly, keep in mind that glycerol is a sugar alcohol, so you are looking at the usual carb effects and caloric load of 4 kcal / g. If you weigh 220 lbs, this protocol would entail drinking 100g of glycerol dissolved in up to 2.6 liters of water.

        Hope this is of some use.

        -PK
        My blog : cogitoergoedo.com

        Interested in Intermittent Fasting? This might help: part 1, part 2, part 3.

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        • #5
          Glycogen storage in the muscles has no impact whatsoever on blood volume level. The two are completely compartmentalised separate entities.

          I have super-soft hydrated skin and a tendency for low blood pressure.

          I find that caffeine, a low histamine diet, and salt work well for me with regards to correcting low blood pressure.
          F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

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          • #6
            Get a subscription to Playboy magazine. That might help.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by john_e_turner_ii View Post
              Get a subscription to Playboy magazine. That might help.
              LOL....or go see Magic Mike

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Kelmar View Post
                LOL....or go see Magic Mike
                Yay. I'm booked up to go see that next Thursday. I'm sure it will be therapeutic regarding raising my bp.
                F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

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                • #9
                  Thanks for the suggestions - and thanks Pklopp for giving me a bunch of stuff to research.

                  I've not been low carb in a long time, I eat lots of fruit daily and I eat starches like potatoes and rice several times a week. I also take magnesium citrate daily, so I can safely say I don't have a problem with that.

                  I'm sure there's something wonky with my thyroid, but every test I take puts it in the totally normally range, if anything more toward hyperthyroid end, even though I have every hypo symptom.

                  Thanks for the input, folks!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by BestBetter View Post
                    Thanks for the suggestions - and thanks Pklopp for giving me a bunch of stuff to research.

                    I'm sure there's something wonky with my thyroid, but every test I take puts it in the totally normally range, if anything more toward hyperthyroid end, even though I have every hypo symptom.

                    Thanks for the input, folks!
                    What tests were done? did they check your free t3 and free t4? If they only check tsh this would not tell you everything.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Ncgirl View Post
                      What tests were done? did they check your free t3 and free t4? If they only check tsh this would not tell you everything.
                      These are the thyroid related things I've had tested (not sure of some are the same thing or unimportant):
                      TSH
                      Free T4
                      Total T4
                      Total T3
                      T3 Up
                      T7

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                      • #12
                        How about adrenal fatigue?
                        Don't let anybody tell you, "You can't" just because they can't.

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                        • #13
                          I had a hair analysis about 4 years ago (again, not sure if that is a valid way to measure things, though I read that it is an excellent way to test for presence of heavy metals, which was my main concern) and it indicated I was experiencing adrenal fatigue. Anytime I've looked up info on how to heal that, it's basically what I've been doing for the past year; lower stress, eat healthy, stay away from alcohol and caffeine. Never seems to improve, so I'm thinking that either it's a made up thing, or something that will never improve.

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                          • #14
                            I have low BP, and I once wound up in the ER because I fainted in a public place--dehydration.

                            You mentioned that you drink plenty of fluids--as do I--but my cardiologist told me that if my electrolytes are 'off,' that fluid goes right through me and doesn't hydrate me sufficiently. He recommended a sports drink every morning if my BP seems very low when I wake (as it often does).

                            That has helped me. I also use a lot of salt.

                            Keep in mind that as long as you don't have any 'symptoms' (dizziness, faint), low BP is considered healthy.

                            One more thing--have you lost substantial weight? I have lost close to 200lbs in the past few years, and my cardiologist told me that the vascular system doesn't shrink--i.e., I have to hydrate as much as a 350 lb person, although I weigh only 145. I 'drink' almost constantly all day long.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by BestBetter View Post
                              These are the thyroid related things I've had tested (not sure of some are the same thing or unimportant):
                              TSH
                              Free T4
                              Total T4
                              Total T3
                              T3 Up
                              T7

                              The important things are FREE t3(active hormone) and FREE T4(storage hormone). Free indicates this is what is actually usable. The total and uptakes are pretty much worthless. What was your TSH and Free T4? You also really need to know Free T3 because this is the only way you can know how well you are converting T4 to T3. That could be the root of your problem.

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