Low blood pressure is officially known as hypotension. (High blood pressure is hyper
tension.) The condition is diagnosed when blood pressure levels linger under 90/60 mm Hg and cause troubling symptoms including dizziness, fainting, weakness, confusion, blurry vision, and nausea with or without vomiting. In the worst low blood pressure episodes you may experience shock, which can be life threatening. Seek treatment right away if you experience cold and clammy skin along with rapid pulse and shallow breathing.
There are many potential causes of hypotension, such as dehydration, stress, pregnancy, heart disease, thyroid or endocrine conditions, infection, and allergic reaction. Your doctor may or may not prescribe medication to help manage your hypotension, but he or she will definitely recommend some dietary changes that can help keep your blood pressure at a safe level. Following are the best things to consume if you have hypotension.
Fluids and more fluids
When your body gets dehydrated, it also decreases in overall blood volume. That leads to a drop in blood pressure
. Pay special attention to hydration during exercise, but know that things like running a fever and taking certain medications can also cause dehydration. A long standing rule of thumb is to drink eight 8 oz glasses of water per day, but modern advice says that your body is really good at telling you when it’s thirsty, and you don’t need to drink more than you crave. Just be sure not to ignore your thirst. If you’re concerned about hypotension, tracking your intake can be reassuring.
Foods high in vitamin B-12
A deficiency in vitamin B-12 is a risk factor for anemia, which can result in low blood pressure. This water-soluble vitamin is crucial to the production of red blood cells and plays a role in neurological functioning and DNA, too. Blood pressure is an integral part of these processes. To get more B-12 in your diet, eat foods like eggs, beef, and fortified cereals. Be vigilant about how much you get, though, because too much B-12
can strip your body of calcium and actually push your blood pressure dangerously high.
Foods high in folate
Folate is another B vitamin, in this case, B-9. It is crucial in periods of rapid growth, especially pregnancy. Too little folate has the same effect as a deficiency in B-12, if the lack plays into the development of anemia. Folate or folic acid
is found in sources like asparagus, garbanzo beans, citrus fruits, broccoli, and liver. If your doctor finds that you are low in this critical nutrient, he or she may recommend a supplement.