Do you have difficulty self-diagnosing hypotension? Here is the reason why. Many low blood pressure symptoms occur sporadically or follow a specific time pattern. Hypotension does not have to be present all the time for it to create a problem.
Below are the most common patterns of low blood pressure. Learning about them will greatly help you understand your body.
If you need a template for tracking the symptoms or you want to learn more about lesser known effects go to part 1 of the series.
Why you must turn into a detective yourself
Heart numbers are not steady through the day. They are subject to diurnal fluctuations. Many of those fluctuations are completely normal and are meant to happen. But some aren’t so normal. These abnormal swings can present a problem and lead to variety of symptoms .
The ever present circulatory instability creates confusion for patients and presents a diagnostic problem for doctors. Imagine that only a specific part of the day, such as the morning, feels unwell and the rest of the day feels just fine. How can one make sense out of that? Exactly because of constantly fluctuating blood pressure, hypotension tends to be missed or misdiagnosed by health care providers.
Low blood pressure symptoms in the morning
If your morning feels dopey, lightheaded and disoriented chances are you are waking up with hypotension. But how would you ever guess it unless you check blood pressure right then and there. Slim chance, especially that statistically 90% of people do not know their numbers at all.
Without testing people miss the real cause and blame morning grogginess on a restless sleep, heavy dinner, or extra hours stayed at work. And even though such mornings keep on repeating day in and day out, people still have a hard time figuring out why. They dismiss the symptoms, because they don`t know how else to explain them. Besides, why should anyone bother with symptoms that disappear shortly after getting up, moving about, and having a breakfast.
blood pressure at night
Blood pressure fluctuates not only through the day, but also at night. How it behaves at night affects the rest of the day. Since the night is the time of rest and relaxation it follows logically that blood pressure should be be somehow depressed during sleep. That is exactly what happens in most people. But lower does not mean better. Studies suggested that the numbers should follow a specific pattern to be considered healthy.
Blood pressure of a healthy person goes down overnight by only 10-20%. Such small depression is not enough to cause fatigue in the morning. But not everyone has healthy circulation and a healthy 10% dip. Larger dips happen as well and they can be as big as 50 points. These cause significant health problems and may be the reason for a disastrous morning. Excess dipping is considered unhealthy. Its effects are far reaching. Get a copy of Revived! to learn more.
Is your low blood pressure getting up with you?
Blood pressure is expected to increase naturally during the day and go up when a person gets up. But the “get up” numbers can vary, because they are determined by the amount of circulating hormone called cortisol.
Cortisol increases sharply shortly after awakening in 77% of healthy adults[i], but its strength and effect varies greatly between individuals. Those who experience low blood pressure symptoms in the morning may be exactly those who have low morning cortisol, which in turn may be due to adrenal fatigue.
Adrenal fatigue is a topic for a different post. However, you may be relieved to know that low cortisol can be tested. The consensus among holistic practitioners points to 4-point saliva cortisol as the most accurate test for adrenal function. This test can discover an underlying cause for fatigue, low blood pressure symptoms, low blood sugar, and hormonal insufficiency.
How is your afternoon blood pressure peak?
Blood pressure rises during the day and experiences an afternoon peak somewhere between 3 and 9pm. If this is your most energetic time of the day, it may be due to natural diurnal hormonal and blood pressure fluctuations. Check your blood pressure at that time. You may be out of a hypotension zone during these hours.
If your numbers are low regardless of the day get yourself familiar with foods for low blood pressure. If your numbers are high during the peak hours modify your diet accordingly. Here are foods to lower blood pressure.
Reach for coffee, not banana!
If your breakfast consists of a banana and milk you are NOT on a road to an energetic morning. Bananas and milk are calming and they are more suitable induce a good night sleep rather than a zestful morning.
The most friendly breakfast for morning low blood pressure symptoms seems to be strong coffee with sugar accompanied by salted foods. Do not use coffee substitutes, decafs, and artificial sweeteners. They won`t do. Only real coffee with caffeine in it will be useful. Do not be afraid to use salt shaker. Salt and coffee have well-known effect on rising low numbers at least temporarily. Be aware that despite popular belief coffee and salt do NOT cause high blood pressure. Read how caffeine affects the heart to understand your limits.