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  • Managing low BP with Primal eating?

    Hi all,

    I need some help.

    I naturally have low BP. Have had pressure readings my entire life that hovered around 90/60 without noticeable symptoms.

    Recently, I've felt kind of "floaty" with very occasional vision fluctuations. I have not fainted, nor have I felt close to fainting. Just an accompanying uneasy feeling.

    Last week I was at MD office for an unrelated problem (uterine prolapse just diagnosed; I'm 47) and my BP was 96/45 but I felt pretty good. A bit anxious but I chalked it up to stress from waiting to find out what was wrong with me. Yesterday, I was at the MD and my pressure was 80/45. HR 52. Weight normal. I felt unsteady, but not like I was about to faint. Again, being at the MD can make me anxious (I don't like doctors despite being raised by one and married to one). I do have a cold. It was 10:30AM and I had been IF since 7PM with only a few bites of chicken breast.

    I need to raise this BP now that I am feeling symptomatic. What I've read, dietary-wise, is to eat fruit with Vitamin C at each meal and to add B vitamins. I've virtually eliminated all fruit since August but was not a huge fruit eater prior to going Primal. I've started taking some Celtic Sea salt today (just ate a pinch of it). I drink coffee in the AM but it is decaf. I've been drinking decaf for several years now. I exercise almost daily (well, not for the past 30 days due to medical problem but I'm back to long walks and short runs).

    Any suggestions? I'm trying to avoid a trip for an evaluation to rule out underlying conditions for low BP, but my best thought is that my naturally low BP just can't handle these swings in pressure. I have been practicing IF for about the past 30+ days; typically not eating between 7PM-11AM.

    I appreciate any insight or experience. What I'd love to do is check my pressure various times of the day, but that is a pain without a home device.

    ~Pam
    sigpic
    Age 48
    Start date: 7-5-12
    5'3"
    121lbs
    GOAL: to live to be a healthy and active 100


    "In health there is freedom. Health is the first of all liberties."
    Henri Frederic Amiel

  • #2
    I also have low BP. Last night it was 90/48 p.46 The best thing to do from my experience is to keep well hydrated. I drink 4L of water/fluids per day and notice a big difference when I don't. When the pressure is low, you have to keep the volume up I'd also recommend skipping IF. It can contribute to the swings.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Meghanner View Post
      I also have low BP. Last night it was 90/48 p.46 The best thing to do from my experience is to keep well hydrated. I drink 4L of water/fluids per day and notice a big difference when I don't. When the pressure is low, you have to keep the volume up I'd also recommend skipping IF. It can contribute to the swings.

      Thank you. I am going to stop the IF. I agree it might be the culprit. I typically drink a lot of fluid, but I will increase.
      sigpic
      Age 48
      Start date: 7-5-12
      5'3"
      121lbs
      GOAL: to live to be a healthy and active 100


      "In health there is freedom. Health is the first of all liberties."
      Henri Frederic Amiel

      Comment


      • #4
        If you're eating primal/paleo, up your salt intake too. The sodium/potassium ratio in your body has a lot to do with holding and releasing water and blood pressure. Without processed foods, we have to add a fair amount to our diets.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by jfreaksho View Post
          If you're eating primal/paleo, up your salt intake too. The sodium/potassium ratio in your body has a lot to do with holding and releasing water and blood pressure. Without processed foods, we have to add a fair amount to our diets.
          I really do need to pay attention to this. I have cut out all processed foods, and really only cheat with chocolate or white rice made with coconut milk. I don't cook with a lot of salt, either. I've added quite a bit of salt today to my food. I had another 'floaty/anxious' episode this morning about an hour after eating. I was with a bunch of people, and just put my head down to my shoes and pretended to mess with an itch on my foot to avoid blabbing on about it during coffee talk. I've always blamed these episodes on hormone fluctuations, and I so wish I could check my BP at those moments.
          sigpic
          Age 48
          Start date: 7-5-12
          5'3"
          121lbs
          GOAL: to live to be a healthy and active 100


          "In health there is freedom. Health is the first of all liberties."
          Henri Frederic Amiel

          Comment


          • #6
            Yeah, electrolytes. My BP fell like crazy when I first did this. I had to add salt for a long time, but then (after about six months) my body figured it out! My BP was actually a bit high, so I cut back and now BP is normal. I no longer need to take in crazy amounts of salt. YMMV.
            Crohn's, doing SCD

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Knifegill View Post
              Yeah, electrolytes. My BP fell like crazy when I first did this. I had to add salt for a long time, but then (after about six months) my body figured it out! My BP was actually a bit high, so I cut back and now BP is normal. I no longer need to take in crazy amounts of salt. YMMV.
              Thanks. Hearing someone else's experience is perfect. I don't have much of a leeway to work with, so any lowering of BP is bound to cause problems.

              How much salt? I'm using celtic sea salt and pink sea salt. So far today I've probably used 1/4 teaspoon. I'm a 120ish lb 47 yr old lady. Well, most would not call me a 'lady', but you know what I mean.
              sigpic
              Age 48
              Start date: 7-5-12
              5'3"
              121lbs
              GOAL: to live to be a healthy and active 100


              "In health there is freedom. Health is the first of all liberties."
              Henri Frederic Amiel

              Comment


              • #8
                Another one with low BP here. I do IF on and off and don't find that it affects my blood pressure, but I do drink coffee (two cups a day, not decaf), which does increase hypertension. I am also prone to anxiety attacks (especially at the doctor's office!) and fainting when I'm sick, so my strategy is to keep myself as healthy as possible to avoid colds and blood tests. :-) My suggestions, as others have said, would be to forego the IF and add some salt.

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                • #9
                  the huge downer for me is that I over eat when I feel this way. The anxiety is what gets me and the comfort foods make it better. I just raided the kids' halloween candy. Really raided it.

                  I have fairly good control (I'm not heavy), but I go through spurts of crappy eating. Major crappy eating today! I feel ill.

                  I hope to run today to raise the pressure and work off the sugar. Ick
                  sigpic
                  Age 48
                  Start date: 7-5-12
                  5'3"
                  121lbs
                  GOAL: to live to be a healthy and active 100


                  "In health there is freedom. Health is the first of all liberties."
                  Henri Frederic Amiel

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Next time you go see your Dr, you should get your BP measured lying down vs. standing up. It will help determine whether your hypotension is pathological or normal for your body.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by EyeOfRound View Post
                      Next time you go see your Dr, you should get your BP measured lying down vs. standing up. It will help determine whether your hypotension is pathological or normal for your body.
                      My primary care doc said I'd be sent to a cardiologist for a tilt table test if it persists. I'm really hoping the salt helps. I might even add some caffeine to my decaf again. Also doing the fasting glucose on Monday. I'm getting a cholesterol panel run that morning, too. I'm curious to see how it has changed since going primal in July. I'd love to bump up my total cholesterol; it has always been low. I seem to be low on everything.
                      sigpic
                      Age 48
                      Start date: 7-5-12
                      5'3"
                      121lbs
                      GOAL: to live to be a healthy and active 100


                      "In health there is freedom. Health is the first of all liberties."
                      Henri Frederic Amiel

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I've had BP that was on the lowish end of normal for most of my life. When I started eating paleo/primal, it dropped signifiantly lower (to 90/60 or lower) to the point it started causing problems like lightheadedness and dizzyness when standing up and bending down, and my fatigue also got significantly worse, which I think is connected with the lower BP. So, I began my epic quest to understand how to raise my BP, and here is what I've learned/experimented with:

                        1) Salt rarely increases BP, so you could try adding more salt to your diet, but likely this won't make a difference. On a similar note, being dehydrated will probably cause BP to go lower, and drinking more liquids will raise BP a little, but this is a temporary fix (unless you are chronically dehydrated).

                        2) Having a little too much/not enough blood can cause higher/lower BP. My husband was told by his doctor that he has 1/2 a liter too much blood, which is why his BP tends to be on the higher end of normal. From what I've read, this is not a factor that can be changed.

                        3) Vasodilation (when blood vessels become bigger) causes lower BP, and vasorestriction (when blood vessels shrink) causes higher BP. If BP is too low, it's better to focus on reducing/eliminations things that cause vasodilation (such as alcohol) and try to increase things that cause vasorestriction. This will likely provide temporary relief as blood vessels are constantly expanding or restricting depending on many factors.

                        4) Licorice can raise BP. Not the fake anise-flavored candy that's called 'licorice', but actual licorice, which is hard, black, and shiny, and does not contain any other ingredients. I was able to find this very easily in Italy, but in the U.S. I've only seen it available on Amazon, and it's pretty expensive. Alternatively, you could buy licorice root, and boil it for 20 minutes to make a tea, and consume that a few times a day. I took licorice daily over the summer, and there was a good increase in my BP (up to 110/70, on average) after a few weeks.

                        5) HISTAMINE INTOLERANCE. One of the major symptoms of this is low blood pressure. Other symptoms include digestive upset (like diarrhea, constipation, and general IBS-type symptoms, fatigue, and headaches after consuming wine, beer, or other fermented foods and drinks. I'm suspicious that this is ultimately the cause of my low BP, because when I went paleo, I dramatically increased my intake of histamine containing/releasing foods and drinks (like kombucha and ferments and certain veggies and cured meats).
                        Last edited by BestBetter; 11-10-2012, 01:00 PM.

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                        • #13
                          I try to drink kombucha regularly. Are you sure it lowers BP? That would be cool, since overall mine likes to ride high.
                          Crohn's, doing SCD

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Knifegill View Post
                            I try to drink kombucha regularly. Are you sure it lowers BP? That would be cool, since overall mine likes to ride high.
                            I don't think that kombucha lowers BP, but consuming things that either contain histamines, or triggers the body to release its own histamines tends to cause low BP in someone who has a histamine intolerance (which means they don't produce enough of the enzyme that breaks down histamine). So, as far as I understand, it doesn't just lower BP in people who don't have this problem.

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                            • #15
                              Adding salt to my diet has really helped. I add sea salt to my eggs in the morning and veggies at dinner. I never used to salt anything. But removing bread from your diet likely removed a lot of sodium.

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