High blood pressure is one of the most common ailments in the western world. Understandable as most have little opportunity to achieve well-regulated blood pressure. Low blood pressure, the absolute opposite of high blood pressure, is often neglected. Low blood pressure is less common than high blood pressure. But it can also be dangerous if ignored.
In this article we will show you what exactly is behind low blood pressure. You will also find out what causes low blood pressure and how you can increase it. Your values should be in the green range. We have researched various sources and developed solutions from them so that you can turn blood pressure that is too low into good blood pressure.
the essentials in brief
- Low blood pressure is present when systolic values are consistently below 110 in men, 100 in women and diastolic values are below 60 for both sexes. Possible causes can be diseases, environmental influences, medication or movements/physical exertion.
- Most of the time, low blood pressure is harmless, but it can cause certain symptoms that can be dangerous. These are usually palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness, nausea and headaches.
- Blood pressure can be increased with food, drink, exercise and other sports. Here, the mineral balance and the strength of the heart and thus the blood flow play an important role.
Background: What you should know about low blood pressure and measures to counteract it
Before we can show you the best ways to increase blood pressure, we will explain the most important information about low blood pressure and high blood pressure. We have researched various sources and studies on this.
When and why should I raise my blood pressure?
There are a few good reasons why you should increase your blood pressure, the main reason of course being that your blood pressure is too low. However, raising blood pressure is not about bluntly raising blood pressure. It's about raising and maintaining blood pressure at a good level.
You should also pay attention to your blood pressure if you have problems with your circulation, because your blood pressure can be too low. In many cases, low blood pressure will have little to no health impact, but it can be dangerous, especially for those with pre-existing conditions(1).
Here are some ways to increase blood pressure. We would primarily like to show you how to increase low blood pressure to a good value using natural methods such as diet and exercise.
How is blood pressure measured?
Blood pressure is usually measured with a blood pressure cuff, but it can also be measured with some pulse oximeters, which are placed on the tip of the index finger. These electrical devices are best suited for home measurements.
In addition to the pulse, the pulse oximeter also measures the oxygen saturation in the blood. Some models can also measure blood pressure directly. Oxygen saturation affects blood pressure. (Image source: Mockup Graphics / Unsplash)
In order to measure your blood pressure correctly, you should note the following. Measure blood pressure in the morning and evening to check the measurement results. You should be calm and not take any substances that increase blood pressure beforehand. It is best to measure your blood pressure on an empty stomach(2).
When taking the measurement, it is best if you sit upright on a chair, place your feet parallel to each other on the floor and do not speak during the measurement.
When does low blood pressure start and what are the signs of it?
The threshold for low blood pressure is different for women and men. Men have low blood pressure when the systolic reading is consistently below 110. In women, on the other hand, the systolic value must be permanently below 100.
Diastolic readings must be consistently below 60 for both sexes. Permanent means here that the same values are measured repeatedly and thus occur over a longer period of time.
In addition to the readings, there are some signs of low blood pressure that you can check for yourself. These include permanently cold hands and feet because less blood flows there. In addition, frequent heart palpitations can be part of it, since the body wants to counteract the low blood pressure.
What are the health effects of low blood pressure?
Normally, if the level is too low, there is little to no health risk, especially for young and fit people. However, blood pressure that is too low should not go unnoticed, as it can be dangerous, especially for people who are already stressed. Certain symptoms occur when blood pressure is too low. In some cases, low blood pressure is a symptom of a disease.
Having blood pressure that is too low can cause some problems, especially with the circulatory system. For example, frequent dizziness . Other typical features include poor sleep, fatigue and lethargy, and unusual lethargy. Headaches and poor concentration are also associated with low blood pressure. All of these signs must appear more frequently and over a longer period of time(3).
Blood pressure that is too low can also occur due to venous insufficiency. This is often the case with varicose veins in particular. A drop in blood pressure is also a common consequence of heart diseases that reduce the pumping capacity of the heart. In such cases, medical therapy, if necessary surgery, must be used to resolve the conditions and thereby raise blood pressure to normal levels(4).
What increases blood pressure?
Low blood pressure does not have to be a permanent condition. There are many ways and means to increase blood pressure. For health reasons, we omit certain foods such as fast food, cigarettes, alcohol, etc.
Foods that increase blood pressure
To raise your blood pressure with food, you need to eat protein-rich foods and lots of vegetables while cutting back on fat and sugar. Fruits and vegetables are also very good for raising low blood pressure to the right level. Lentils, peas, chickpeas and oats are good sources of protein, which also contain a lot of fiber and minerals/ trace elements.img src="https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0666/4680/2719/files/pexels-vo-thuy-tien-40548501.jpg" alt="many fruits and vegetables"
Many fruits and vegetables contain important nutrients that are important for good blood pressure. A balanced diet helps to achieve good blood pressure. (Image Source: Vo Thuy Tien / Pexels)
When it comes to animal products, you should rely on poultry, as you have a lot of protein with little fat. You shouldn't do without fat completely, but make sure that fat sources always contain good fats and also have other important substances for the body. For example, eggs or high-quality oils are a good source of fat, which also contain important vitamins that help regulate blood pressure.
Drinks that increase blood pressure
Mineral water and unsweetened tea are best for this, but decaffeinated coffee is also a good drink to raise blood pressure. Caffeine is avoided because although it increases blood pressure, it drops sharply after about half an hour. With teas such as hawthorn or mistletoe, you not only take advantage of sufficient fluid intake, you also take in other ingredients that increase blood pressure(5).
Lemonades, fruit juices and cola should be avoided because of the sugar they contain and the caffeine that increases blood pressure, the caffeine does not last long and sugar consumption will not be beneficial for your blood pressure in the long run.
Drugs that increase blood pressure
Previously we showed you foods and drinks that increase your blood pressure, now we will show you which active ingredients such as minerals, vitamins, trace elements, etc. are behind it. In most cases, these active ingredients bind the water in the blood vessels, which allows more blood to be transported in the vessels. Other active ingredients strengthen the power with which the heart and blood vessels work, which means that the circulation works better.
The most well-known blood pressure increaser is salt. This mineral is found in most foods, so if your blood pressure is too low, you can increase the daily dose. If you are unsure or have previous illnesses, you must clarify this with a doctor beforehand. Potassium is also a mineral that helps regulate blood pressure and is found in most fruits and vegetables.
When it comes to vitamins, vitamin B12 and vitamin D are good for blood pressure, they also help to increase blood pressure that is too low. Vitamin B12 is mainly found in animal products such as meat and dairy products. Be careful not to eat too much fat. Vitamin D is also found primarily in animal products such as fish, milk and eggs.
Raise blood pressure: tips, remedies and exercise to raise blood pressure that is too low
Now that we have shown you what low blood pressure is all about and what possibilities and means there are to increase blood pressure, we would now like to explain to you how you can best implement these in order to increase your blood pressure.
Increase blood pressure with diet
With a good and balanced diet, low blood pressure can be combated very well. In addition to what you eat and drink, you should pay attention to the type of food you eat. It's better if you eat several small meals a day than a few large ones. Drink a lot, especially water and unsweetened tea. If that's too boring for you, you can spice up water with different plants and fruits.
When it comes to raising blood pressure with your diet, salt is the easiest choice. But not too much of this either, otherwise you can increase your blood pressure too much. Therefore, you can also boldly access fruit and vegetables, because most varieties contain substances that regulate blood pressure. Animal products can also increase blood pressure well, so you can bring your low blood pressure to a good level with a balanced diet.
Increase blood pressure with supplements
If you do not eat certain foods or do not tolerate them, you can add blood pressure-increasing substances with supplements. You have the choice of whether you only want to use individual vitamins, minerals or trace elements, or take them in combination.
You can also integrate supplements into your existing diet, in many cases you will not suffer from this. If you're unsure whether supplements are the right solution for raising your blood pressure, then you should talk to your doctor about it.
Here we have listed some supplements for low blood pressure (6):
|Vitamin B12||Nutrient that is not produced by the body/ is required for circulatory regulation and blood and cell formation/ clarify intake with a doctor if you have kidney problems|
|folic acid||is needed for the circulatory system/ helps regulate blood pressure/ supplements can affect the effects of some cancer drugs|
|calcium||helps regulate heart rate/ helps maintain blood vessels|
|Vitamin D||helps absorb calcium in the body|
|iron||helps with blood formation/ ensures the absorption of oxygen in the blood cells|
Increase blood pressure with home remedies and medicinal plants
If you don't want to increase your blood pressure with supplements, there are numerous medicinal plants and home remedies in addition to food to increase it. A popular method of stimulating the circulation is to take a shower or bath with alternating temperatures. The alternation between warm and cold causes the body to widen and close the blood vessels. This, for example, increases low blood pressure.
Many herbs, especially herbs with a lot of bitter substances such as yarrow, hawthorn or wormwood are good for the circulatory system. In addition to bitter herbs, there are also some spring herbs such as wild garlic or shepherd's purse, which are good for the circulatory system due to their antioxidant properties(7).
If you don't like these herbal remedies, you can also use essential oils and do aromatherapy. The oils have a circulatory stimulating effect and thus also help to increase low blood pressure. With all the remedies and methods mentioned, you should use them over a longer period of time so that you can achieve the best effect.
Increase blood pressure with exercise
In the following we explain how you can increase your blood pressure through targeted training.
Cardio training aims to strengthen the heart through endurance sports. Popular sports here are jogging, cycling and swimming(8). It doesn't depend on which endurance sport you do, but that you do sport regularly and for about one to two hours a week.
Exercising can raise blood pressure that is too low to a good level. As with food, balance is good for it. (Image source: Alexander Redl/ Unsplash)
You should make sure that you are well hydrated before and after exercising. If you want to do a lot of sport, then you should also take in enough fluids during this time. If you don't drink enough fluids during exercise, you risk circulatory problems.
Weight lifting and muscle building are good ways to increase blood pressure. The performance of the heart and blood vessels is strengthened through the targeted build-up of muscles. The goal is not to hit the 120/80 blood pressure mark, but to achieve a stable, steady blood pressure.
Getting good blood pressure with weightlifting requires a lot of patience. Because many of the results only become really noticeable after a few months. In addition to strength training, you must (in some cases at least) adjust your diet, since effective muscle building and maintenance is only possible with the right diet.
Explosive training can cause blood pressure to crash upon completion.
You should start lightly to begin with, as a drop in blood pressure can occur after exertion in the sets, especially if you're doing explosive training (i.e. fast movements with heavy weight). For beginners it is much better to start with less weight and do different exercises so that everything is trained, circuit training is very suitable for this.
Cardio and strength training are not opposites, they can be combined well with each other. It is important that the balance between cardio and strength training is right. Getting these right can be difficult as it depends on the individual. In general, you can't go wrong with a 50/50 split between the two sports types, since you can use enough endurance sports and strength sports(9).
The only problem is when you're doing a lot of cardio relative to strength training, you're not getting any benefit from strength training. The best way to find out which ratio is optimal for you is to mix the ratio.
In most cases, blood pressure that is too low can be raised to a good level through a balanced diet, supplements and exercise. You don't even need a change in diet or a well-clocked training plan. Regularity and consistent adherence to diet and exercise are completely sufficient.
However, low blood pressure can be a symptom of an illness. If your blood pressure is permanently too low or if you cannot increase it through diet, supplements or exercise, then you should definitely consult a doctor.
- sportaktiv.com:HEART AFFAIRS: THESE 5 FACTORS CAUSE LOW BLOOD PRESSURE; 02/09/2016 source
- ratgeber-herzinsuffizienz.de:Blood pressure: understand values and measure them correctly Source
- herzstiftung.de: Low blood pressure: harmless or dangerous for the heart?; 08/31/2020 source
- apotheken-umschau.de : low blood pressure (hypotension); Updated 02/19/2018 Source
- ratgeber-herz-Wärme.de: Regulating low blood pressure with nutrition Source
- vitamindoctor.com: Low blood pressure: what to do? micronutrient medicine for low blood pressure; Updated 12/09/2020 Source
- kraeuter-buch.de: Effective medicinal herbs for circulatory problems; Torsten Purle, Source updated on 04/09/2020
- Gesund-vital.de: The best sports for low blood pressure; Anna Paki, 09/12/2019 Source
- dr-heart.de : Strength training - Bad for the heart and blood pressure? Source