Home Remedies for Low Blood Pressure

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We already know that high blood pressure—or hypertension—is a huge problem in the United States and is a risk factor for the two leading causes of death in the country, heart attack, and stroke. But what about low blood pressure or hypotension?

Though low blood pressure is often not a cause for alarm, a huge dip in blood pressure could be a serious indicator for an underlying condition. Here is what you need to know about blood pressure including some practical ways to increase blood pressure at home.

What Is Low Blood Pressure?

Low blood pressure is when blood flows through blood vessels at a lower than normal pressure. It is unknown how common it is because it is not noted unless it is looked for. Because high blood pressure is a risk factor it is seemingly far more prevalent than low blood pressure.

"Low blood pressure is noted as less than 90/60," says Nitin Bhatnagar, MD, a cardiologist practicing in Greenfield, Massachusetts. "But for many, blood pressure less than 120/80 can be considered low.”

Signs of Low Blood Pressure

  • Dizziness upon standing or after a meal
  • Fainting
  • Light-headedness
  • Confusion
  • Blurry vision
  • Feeling tired or weak
  • Headache
  • Neck or back pain
  • Nausea
  • Heart palpitations

Low blood pressure could mean parts of your body are not receiving enough blood or oxygen. And, if blood pressure drops too rapidly, your body could go into shock—this occurs when vital organs are not receiving enough oxygen or nutrients.

If you notice signs of shock—cold and sweaty skin, rapid breathing, a blue skin tone, or a weak and rapid pulse—call 9-1-1 and seek medical attention immediately.

Causes of Low Blood Pressure

Several conditions could cause low blood pressure. A sudden loss of blood or even a change in body position—such as going from laying down to standing quickly—can cause blood pressure to drop leading to dizziness and fainting.

Common Causes

  • Certain medications
  • Bleeding
  • Pregnancy
  • Aging
  • Diabetes
  • Heart problems
  • Vomiting
  • Infection
  • Loss of weight
  • Endocrine issues
  • Dehydration

Home Remedies for Low Blood Pressure

Treating low blood pressure is dependent upon the cause. Talk with a healthcare provider to help pinpoint the cause of your low blood pressure and what steps are best to raise it. If you are experiencing low blood pressure symptoms here are some home remedies that may help in the meantime.

Increase Salt Intake

Excess salt in the diet is a major risk factor for hypertension. On the other hand, if you are suffering from low blood pressure, eating more salty foods could be the answer.

Having more salt in your diet increases the water in your blood vessels, too. This extra salt increases blood volume and blood pressure. If you have low blood pressure, increasing the amount of salt in your diet should improve your numbers.

Avoid filling up on high-fat, processed foods to increase your salt intake, though. Salt tablets are another alternative but talk to a healthcare provider before taking them. And remember to add salt when cooking and look for foods that are higher in salt content.

Salty Foods

  • Soups
  • Canned vegetables
  • Salad dressings and condiments
  • Deli meat
  • Pickled foods
  • Saltine crackers
  • Canned chicken and fish

Drink Coffee

Coffee tends to get a bad rap. Interestingly, it actually has a multitude of health benefits including the ability to improve blood pressure for people with hypotension.

A study evaluating the effects of coffee drinking on postprandial hypotension (aka low blood pressure after a meal) found that coffee drinkers after a meal experienced higher blood pressure than those who did not drink coffee or drank caffeine-free coffee. That means sipping on a cup of coffee after a meal is a good thing, especially for those who experience low blood pressure after eating.

And no matter how much coffee you drink, this study determined that it does not matter. You will still reap the blood pressure-controlling benefits of caffeine despite being a heavy coffee drinker.

If you are looking for portion size, this study found that drinking 3 to 5 cups of coffee daily is associated with a 15% reduction in cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk and a lower risk of CVD death.

Eat Smaller Meals

When you eat large meals, the body redirects blood flow to the digestive system to aid with digestion. This causes a temporary dip in blood pressure that some people experience as low blood pressure.

Eating smaller meals requires less blood flow to move away from other areas of the body helping to maintain oxygen levels and reduce symptoms of low blood pressure. Experts agree larger meals cause a greater dip in blood pressure after eating than small meals. Instead of 2 to 3 large meals per day, consider switching to 5 to 6 mini-meals.

Check Blood Sugar

If you have diabetes you are more likely to experience low blood pressure after eating or upon standing. If your body is unable to adapt quickly enough to changes in blood flow after eating or standing, your blood pressure can drop, and can even be dangerous.

If your blood sugar is unusually high or low and you are experiencing low blood pressure, it's time to have a discussion with a healthcare provider.

Hydrate More

Dehydration, which is a lack of water in your body, can cause your blood pressure to drop. That means blood volume will decrease and interrupt healthy blood pressure levels. Low blood pressure, especially associated with dehydration, can be dangerous and should not be overlooked.

If you are feeling signs of low blood pressure, grab a glass of water. Hydrating will help blood volume return to normal levels and give a boost to your blood pressure.

To figure out how much water you should be drinking per day, divide your body weight by 2. Drink that number in ounces each day. If this is tough for you, focus on drinking a large glass of water with each meal, one upon waking, and one before bed.

Wear Compression Socks

Compression socks, or compression stockings, are snug-fitting socks that gently squeeze your legs. They come in different lengths and offer several health benefits including blood pressure control.

Hypotension is when blood volume moves away from vital organs. Wearing compression socks can help move blood volume out of the legs and circulate towards vital organs that need it the most.

A study published in 2018 found that wearing compression socks not only raises blood pressure but also can prevent hypotension from developing in the first place.

Take it slow if you're new to compression socks.

Start by choosing the length of socks. Compression socks that hit just below the knee tend to be more comfortable than above the knee. But if you have thicker calf muscles, a few extra inches of fabric may be better.

Avoid wearing them all-day-everyday at the beginning as this could be uncomfortable. Start with wearing them a few hours per day and work your way up as needed from there.

When to Call a Healthcare Provider

Low blood pressure can be a serious problem if left undiagnosed and untreated. Your doctor will run simple tests to determine the severity of your low blood pressure. If needed, they will order blood tests to see if you have anemia, diabetes, or another condition that could be related to your hypotension.

Nitin Bhatnagar, MD

If you’re having symptoms of blurry vision, chest pain, shortness of breath, or dizziness, it’s time to speak to your doctor about your low blood pressure.

— Nitin Bhatnagar, MD

"If you’re having symptoms of blurry vision, chest pain, shortness of breath, or dizziness, it’s time to speak to your doctor about your low blood pressure," Dr. Bhatnagar says.

 A Word from Verywell

Home remedies are helpful for dizziness and other symptoms that may arise with low blood pressure, but they do not address the underlying cause. If you are experiencing frequent low blood pressure or a sudden drop in blood pressure, it is time to have a talk with a healthcare professional or seek a specialist for further evaluation.

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8 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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