Did you know that you can suffer from low blood pressure even if you haven’t been diagnosed with it?
Did you know that you may have low blood pressure symptoms even if your doctor assures you, your numbers are fine?
Do you have hypotension or low blood pressure symptoms?
You may think these two are the same, but they are not. Low blood pressure symptoms such as
- brain fog
- lack of stamina
- dizziness on standing, etc.
may occur without actual hypotension diagnosis, even though the symptoms may be accompanied by low blood pressure numbers.
The distinction between the symptoms and the diagnosis is vital. If these two don’t align, neither you, nor your doctor can be happy. It’s because you won’t see “eye to eye”. While you go by symptoms, your doctor goes by diagnosis.
So while you go by what you feel and your blood pressure check at home, you doctor solely goes by his own measurements. He won’t be considering hypotension diagnosis unless the numbers stay below 90/60 mmHg.
Causes of low blood pressure symptoms vs causes of hypotension
You don’t need a hypotension diagnosis to feel like the proverbial vegetable. You can get low blood pressure symptoms if your pressure fluctuates regularly. Fluctuations are common and they can contribute greatly to a temporary weakness.
I want to stress the word “temporary”. Temporary means that although you experience low blood pressure symptoms (due to actual low blood pressure), your doctor may not be very likely to confirm it. By the time you get to the clinic, your numbers may look completely different. Besides, due to stress of the appointment they may be artificially elevated, which can completely skew your doctor’s impression.
Sporadic vs continuous hypotension
You may have just figured out that there are two types of low blood pressure types: sporadic and continuous. For the reason stated above, sporadic likely won’t be diagnosed as hypotension, while the continuous likely will be.
This distinction is crucial, because these two not only differ in timing, but also differ in causes. The causes for the sporadic low blood pressure are usually situational and easily remedied. The causes for the continuous hypotension have physiological causes and will require systemic approach.
What causes sporadic low blood pressure symptoms
Did you know that sporadic dips that produce low blood pressure symptoms are common in people with normal or high blood pressure? The problem is that many people have highly fluctuating numbers that prevent them from figuring out their own personal BP pattern.
If you feel foggy, dizzy, weak and unwell, don’t just stick to measuring your BP “whenever”. Test it at specifically predefined times that are also likely to reveal the causes behind. Here is the worksheet that can help you do that.
3 sporadic low blood pressure causes
Here are three most common causes of sporadic low blood pressure:
1 – Dehydration
Despite the popular belief, dehydration not always results in insatiable thirst. Sometimes it gives no signals at all, or gives weird signals like cravings for sweets or produces muscle cramps. When in doubt as to the origins of fatigue, always start with hydration.
- Good: drink a glass of water; water helps increase blood volume and consequently boosts BP numbers.
- Better: drink a glass of cold water; cold water increases the tonus of blood vessels, which further helps increase BP numbers.
- Best: drink some cold water mixed with sodium (salt/or full spectrum electrolytes). Sodium solution expands blood volume more than plain water and results in longer-lasting hydration effect.
2 – Low blood sugar
When blood sugar dips down, red blood cells stop releasing oxygen and this lowers blood pressure. You would think that low blood sugar is easy to detect, but that’s not true. A temporary dip in blood sugar in a healthy person can hardly ever be picked up by a random blood work.
What complicates the matters even further is the fact that one can have sporadic low blood sugar symptoms while the blood glucose numbers show up in the “normal” range. Sort of like the case with sporadic hypotension.
- Good: ingest glucose; if you ingest glucose (candies, pop, glucose pills), the effect of restoring blood sugar will be immediate, but watch out. The dramatic sugar surge will be short lasting and may lead to a perpetuate yoyo effect.
- Better: eat starches (pasta, rice, potatoes). Starches are nothing else but strings of glucose lined up together. With starches the blood sugar spike will be less dramatic than with pure glucose, the “up” may last a bit longer, and have a smaller yoyo effect. However, be aware that not all starches act the same. While slowly digestible starches like re-fried potatoes, can help reduce the ups and downs, easily digestible starches, like rice, may can behave like pure glucose.
- Best: eat animal protein; the liver can make glucose out of proteins, so eating a piece of cheese or meat can have positive effect on blood sugar. The process is relatively slow, which (if you can wait) is not a bad thing. The gradual and gentle increase in blood sugar prevents the infamous yoyo effect, an effect you want to stay away from, when trying to tame the glucose roller coaster. Remember however, that not all amino acids are gluconeogenic. By focusing on animal proteins, which contain a full spectrum of amino acids, you ensure that gluconeogenesis (glucose production) can actually take place. So no, kale or pea protein won’t do.
3 – Medication
It is absolutely possible to have hypertension and hypotension at the same time. Many patients that use heart medication for their blood pressure end up in a sporadic low. It is because anti-hypertensive medications do NOT regulate blood pressure. They only bring it down, regardless of the numbers. If your blood pressure fluctuates excessively from high to low, your BP medication may be the reason behind those BP dips.
- Good: adjust the meds; Ask your doctor to adjust your meds; low blood pressure isn’t healthy. It deprives organs such as kidneys and brain of oxygen. If frequent, low blood pressure may lead to dementia and kidney failure. You can read about symptoms, effects, and solutions in this article
- Better: lose some weight; excess weight and high blood pressure go together. Weight loss usually improves BP numbers, which can help reduce the number of prescribed heart medication. With fewer BP meds and healthier heart there is a much smaller likelihood for erratic blood pressure.
- Best: change your lifestyle. I hope that what I am about to say is not going to be a surprise: hypertension is lifestyle, not heredity,-dependent. The good news is that hypertension is reversible and a healthy heart does not need to be propped by pills. For heart-friendly no-fuss diet, pick up a copy of 69 Pleasures.
What causes continuous low blood pressure
Before you decide it’s time to prompt your doctor for hypotension diagnosis, make sure you have an accurate BP monitor. There’s nothing worse than insisting on something that does not exist.
Once your accuracy is ensured, the second thing you need to do is get into the habit of testing yourself in various situations. Use this chart to time-guide you.
Once sure of your numbers, start looking into continuous low blood pressure causes. Here are three most comon ones.
1 – Insufficient body Yang
I bet you’ve never heard that one before. Likely neither your doctor has. The concept of Yin & Yang isn’t known in Western medicine. Too bad, because it gracefully explains how diet influences the heart.
Lack of Yang or excess of Yin is a common cause in hypotension. People who eat too many Yin foods typically end up with low BP numbers. Low blood pressure is common in vegans, due to predominant presence of Yin forces in plan foods.
- Good: add yang foods; excessive use of yin foods imbalances yin & yang of the cardiovascular system. Long-term vegans, especially those who eat all their foods raw are most prone to yin excess.
- Better: add animal protein; animal protein carries yang energy thus, it can strongly counteract yin forces. Plant proteins seldom carry yang energy and for that reason should not be relied on to boost body Yang.
- Best: temporary go on carnivore diet; a carnivore diet may be the fastest way out of low blood pressure. This all animal food diet can increase body yang in a hurry. Our LiveUthing Program can help with the transition without hiccups.
2 – Sedentary lifestyle
Lives are busy and seldom presents enough opportunity for regular exercise. Unfortunately, lack of physical exertion is the fastest way to cardiovascular demise. Studies demonstrated that sedentary lifestyle not only contributes to heart weakness, but also to orthostatic problems.
- Good: aim for 10,000 steps; 10,000 steps in a day is not an athletic feat. It is the bare minimum we should do in a day. Low blood pressure and orthostatic hypotension have been linked to sedentary lifestyle. Systemic exercise has been demonstrated to be the most efficient way to reverse both.
- Better: lift some weights; The benefits of weight lifting are two-fold. Weight lifting not only causes a temporary increase in blood pressure, but it also trains the cardiovascular system to perform better. Start slowly, otherwise your blood pressure can go berserk with fluctuations.
- Best: put emphasis on physical intensity; Exercise routines such as HITT, or Tabata have been shown to normalize blood pressure in hypotensives in as little as three weeks. For more solutions to erratic BP refer to The Utlimate Guide.
3 – Adrenal burnout
Who does not lead a stressful lifestyle? Chronic stress is common and it definitely causes cardiovascular changes. In some people stress can lead to hypertension. In others, it can contribute to burnout and continuously low blood pressure.
- Good: relax; chronic stress wears off adrenals. To help them recover, opt for daily moments of relaxation; breathe slowly and smile more often.
- Better: take supplements; Nutrient deficiencies are common and these can contribute to adrenal malfunction. Adrenals rely on vitamins C and Bs. If you suspect deficiency, get a quality supplement that can boost the adrenal power.
- Best: follow the adrenal fatigue diet; This diet can do wonders for the blood pressure regulating organs. Did you know that adrenal-appropriate dietary changes are an absolute prerequisite for their full restoration? Avoid low fat diets. They aren’t good for the adrenals. For health-restoring recipes, go to 69 Pleasures. To test the adrenal get the adrenal panel.
Final thoughts on low blood pressure
Even though low blood pressure is not considered a life threat, it can have nasty effects. In the short run it can at least be unpleasant. In the long run it can devastate the body’s physiology. Don’t let low blood pressure destroy your life, just because it is “invisible”.
Make sure you know your numbers and fight the lows with the vengeance. The effort is worth it, because low blood pressure can be permanently reversed. However, be aware that hypotension cannot be reversed with pills or procedures. It requires lifestyle changes. Revived! will tell you how to start on the right path.