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  1. #1
    BestBetter's Avatar
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    How to raise low blood pressure?

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    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?

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    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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    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!

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    Quote 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:

    Quote 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:

    Quote 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.

  5. #5
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    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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    Get a subscription to Playboy magazine. That might help.

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    Quote Originally Posted by john_e_turner_ii View Post
    Get a subscription to Playboy magazine. That might help.
    LOL....or go see Magic Mike

  8. #8
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    Quote 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.

  9. #9
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    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!

  10. #10
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    Quote 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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