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Wellbeing



The highs and lows of blood pressure

Keeping a healthy balance

Research has revealed that one in five adults are unaware of their blood pressure measurement*. While the lack of checking or monitoring blood pressure levels can result in high blood pressure going undetected but it also means that low blood pressure can be missed.

We often talk about the serious health problems, including heart attack, stroke and kidney failure, that can be caused if high blood pressure is not addressed. However, low blood pressure, known as hypotension, also comes with its own health issues such as unsteadiness, fainting and dizziness.

Hypotension is where the blood pressure in your arteries is abnormally low. If your systolic and diastolic pressure is under 90/60 then you are regarded as having low blood pressure.

Generally low blood pressure means you are less at risk of the more serious health implications of high blood pressure. But that is not to say hypotension won’t provide some cause for concern in certain people.

What are the symptoms of low blood pressure?

If you notice any of the following symptoms you may be experiencing low pressure:

  • Light headedness or dizziness
  • Feeling sick
  • Blurred vision
  • A general weak feeling
  • Confusion
  • Fainting

There are different reasons you may have low pressure which vary from the time of day, age, medication or an injury. Pregnancy or certain medical condition, such as diabetes, can also be a risk factor. Low blood pressure may also be a symptom of a disfunction. E.g. adrenal fatigue.

Hypotension is often not treated with specific medication. Depending on the cause of low blood pressure your GP may recommend a few simple lifestyle changes that can help to ease the symptoms.

Small lifestyle changes

Here are a few handy tips to help manage or control low blood pressure:

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  • Food – eating small, regular meals can help. Try to sit down to eat rather than eating on the move to help aid digestion. Continuing to sit down after you have eaten a meal can also be beneficial in helping to avoid changes in blood pressure. Check with your doctor if you might benefit from more salt intake in your diet. In case your low blood pressure is linked to adrenal fatigue, a blood sugar balancing diet will put less strain on your adrenals.
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  • Drink – increase the amount of water you drink each day. It is recommended that six to eight glasses of water a day is ideal to help keep you hydrated. Avoid drinking too much alcohol and drinking caffeinated drinks late at night as this can cause dehydration, which in turn can make blood pressure dip. You may also try licorice tea – licorice has been shown to increase blood pressure.
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  • Posture – try to ensure you get up slowly from a sitting to a standing position and take particular care when getting out of bed in the mornings to help keep your blood pressure on an even keel. Avoid bending or changing posture suddenly as this can cause drops in blood pressure levels, which can bring on symptoms such as a light headedness or dizziness.

Monitoring

Optimum blood pressure is the sign of a healthy body, so making blood pressure monitoring part of your at-home health checks, with an easy to use wrist or arm monitor, will help identify what your blood pressure level is. Spotting triggers will allow you to make simple adjustments to significantly improve your health and wellbeing.

Making a few small changes to your lifestyle can make a huge difference and help you keep your health on track, avoiding those blood pressure highs or lows.

*Research of 3,000 adults across Europe conducted by 3GEM Research and Insights on behalf of Braun, 2018