Low Blood Pressure Diet

Low Blood Pressure Diet


General information on low blood pressure

In a medical setting, low blood pressure or hypotension means a lower than normal blood pressure level. Blood pressure is estimated by differentiating the maximum (systolic) from the minimum (diastolic), whose normal thresholds correspond respectively to 120-129 mmHg and 80-84 mmHg.

Low Blood Pressure Diet

Optimal blood pressure values ​​would be ≤ 120mmHg and ≤ 80mmHg, as excess blood pressure has been shown to correlate with an increased risk of vascular events such as myocardial infarction and stroke. However, too low a blood pressure level (<90mmHg and <60mmHg) can be dangerous; in these cases we speak of low blood pressure, which - as shown in the table - can recognize different levels of severity.

For further information: Low Blood Pressure For further information: Low Blood Pressure in Pregnancy For further information: Drugs to Treat Hypotension
Arterial Pressure Values Systolic / Diastolic
Dangerous low blood pressure < 50/33 mmHg
Pressure too low < 60/40 mmHg
Low pressure < 90/60 mmHg
Normal blood pressure < 115/75 mmHg
Acceptable blood pressure < 130/85 mmHg
Pre-hypertension 130-139 / 85-90 mmHg
Stage 1 hypertension 140-159 / 90-99 mmHg
Stage 2 hypertension > 160 / > 100 mmHg
Combination of stages 2 and 3 of hypertension, because the therapeutic approach is the same

For the reasons we are going to list, low blood pressure is a discomfort that is not always negligible. In fact, hypotension is capable of triggering annoying and, at times, indirectly dangerous symptoms. The general picture vaguely resembles that caused by hypoglycemia, since it determines: exhaustion, asthenia, drowsiness and poor mental clarity. Sometimes progresses to dizziness and fainting; it rarely triggers the shock. If the person loses consciousness, regardless of whether or not there is a shock, they can be seriously injured in a fall or create a traffic accident.


General causes of low blood pressure and diet

The causes of low blood pressure are:

  • Individual predisposition (greater in females)
  • High ambient or water temperature (bath, shower or sauna)
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Anemia
  • Dehydration (from excessive sweating, ketogenic diet, use of diuretics, etc.)
  • Mineral deficiency
  • Cardiac or neurological or hormonal impairment
  • Use of certain drugs (those for high blood pressure, for the heart, antidepressants, etc.).

Many of these causes are nutritional in origin, however, the low blood pressure diet is not a proper cure.

Furthermore, it should be noted that the results obtained with the low blood pressure diet are not always superimposable or reproducible. The effect on metabolism depends above all on the role that nutrition plays in the etiology of hypotension; if modest or nil (to the advantage of genetic factors or pharmacological influence), the improvement in health will be less relevant.

Low blood pressure during the weight loss diet

During weight loss diet therapies, low blood pressure is a common symptom; on the other hand, it can sometimes be so uncomfortable that it is even considered a real complication.

Low blood pressure during the weight loss diet occurs mainly when weight loss is excessively fast, and even more so in the case of a low carb diet. If this happens, it is necessary to evaluate with the therapist the possibility of slowing down the rate of weight reduction or of integrating more carbohydrates into the diet. It helps to drink more fluids, especially in the summer months and especially when exercising.


Practical tips for the low blood pressure diet

Below we will briefly summarize the nutritional tips to improve low blood pressure:

  • If absent in the common diet, use a little salt in food for seasoning. This is a questionable recommendation, as it could encourage the acquisition of improper and potentially harmful habits. Let's not forget that excess sodium in the diet tends to correlate with excess cholesterol and saturated fats (responsible for hypercholesterolemia), nitrates and nitrites (responsible for gastric or intestinal tumors) etc.
  • Chew natural licorice sticks. Licorice root contains glycyrizin, a molecule that simulates the action of the hormone aldosterone and promotes the increase in blood pressure.
  • Increase the amount of non-alcoholic drinks, preferably made from low-mineral water or vegetable juices. These could fill the tendency to dehydration. It is essential to remember that the easiest liquids to absorb have a more or less isotonic osmotic concentration; too concentrated drinks (which can cause diarrhea, worsening low blood pressure) or minimally mineralized waters (hypothetically draining, which can also cause an aggravation of hypotension) are to be avoided.
  • Limit alcoholic beverages. Ethyl alcohol is a molecule capable of causing (initially) a rather important vasodilation; this effect further lowers blood pressure. Note: for different reasons, ethyl alcohol is also harmful in case of hypertension. Furthermore, by stimulating the production of insulin, ethyl alcohol plays a non-negligible and potentially harmful hypoglycemic role (we will find out why below). Last but not least, ethyl alcohol is a toxic molecule that the kidneys tend to excrete in the urine. This process requires the expulsion of water and promotes dehydration.
  • No eating too large meals. Digestion takes a lot of effort and the organs involved need a fairly generous blood flow. As a result, blood will become scarce in other parts of the body such as the brain. A good energy breakdown between meals could be: 15% breakfast, 10% snacks (morning, afternoon and after dinner), 30% lunch and 25% dinner.
  • Fragment the diet into many meals. In addition to reducing portions, it is necessary that the nutritional intake is constant. First of all, let's not forget that most of the water in the diet comes from food. Secondly, this behavior allows to keep the blood sugar constant; blood sugar also has an osmotic effect and helps maintain normal plasma volume.
  • Abolish diets low in carbohydrates. These diets are responsible for hypoglycemia (the symptoms of which would worsen hypotension) and accumulation of highly osmotic ketones. Unlike glucose, which has an osmotic effect in the plasma, ketoacids are toxic molecules that the kidneys filter and excrete using large quantities of water; as in the case of ethyl alcohol, the result is a tendency to dehydration.
  • Ensure the amount of hemoglobin in the blood. Any deficiency of this protein can lead to the so-called iron deficiency anemia, a pathology that aggravates hypotension. To avoid the possibility of anemia it is necessary to make sure that: you do not have blood loss, do not have other pathologies affecting erythropoiesis, and reach the recommended amounts of iron, cobalamin and folic acid with the diet. For more details see the article: Diet and Anemia.
  • Abolish excessive food supplementation. Anything that is absorbed but not used by the body is intended for renal filtration and expulsion in the urine. Excessively increasing the osmotic concentration of the plasma can increase the need for renal filtration (a kind of cleaning) and the consequent excretion of fluids.
  • Practice regular exercise. This promotes blood circulation and tends to stabilize blood pressure levels; obviously, it is recommended to drink abundantly and, if necessary, to use hydro-saline supplements.
add a comment of Low Blood Pressure Diet
Comment sent successfully! We will review it in the next few hours.